The Coolest Rock Wall in the World

If you like geodes, gemstones, fossils, and other cool rocks, you’ve gotta check out this rock wall.

I was driving in Decorah last weekend when I saw “a really cool rock fence” surrounding a house.

It was about 4 feet tall and went around the entire property.

To my delight, while I was walking around the outside of the wall, a man came out of the house and told me that I had stumbled upon a collector’s home that was now part of the Historical Society- The Porter House Museum. He gave me a pamphlet-guide to the wall and offered me a tour of the home, even though it was “closed”.

A man named Adelbert F. Porter spent 23 years collecting specimens for the wall and an additional 6 years designing and building it from 1940-1946.

The project began when his wife wanted to buy a bird bath. Mr. Porter suggested that he’d build her one out of some of his rocks and if she didn’t like it, he’d buy her the one she desired. That bird bath project morphed into the most unusual wall in existence and includes a Japanese-inspired fish pond.

Check it out.

Bird bath that inspired the entire wall
Fish/Frog Pond

Once inside the home, you get to see some of the Porters’ art and curiosities. As avid travelers, they collected things from all over the world.

Mr. Porter was a naturalist, photographer, and an artist.

During his engagement to Mrs. Porter, she climbed atop the very tall rock formation known as “Pulpit Rock” so Mr. Porter could take a photograph. Her parents were furious at their recklessness and the stunt nearly derailed their marriage. Luckily, Mr. Porter’s charm smoothed things over and they wed soon after. Below is a picture of that photograph along with some of his other “nature art” collage creations. (apologies for the poor quality/reflections)

There is so much more to see at the Porter House Museum but I can’t share everything- I don’t want to spoil it…

All in all, this was the best accidental travel-find I’ve ever experienced.

Thanks for reading,

HouseRat Zero

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