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Temple of Tolerance

March 28, 2014

The Temple of Tolerance, also known as The Rock Garden, among other names, sits after a snowstorm at 203 South Wood St. in Wapakoneta. (Staff photos/Kathy Stemen)

Although a tourist attraction with travel reviews from all over the world, the Temple of Tolerance may be as much a mystery to the people in its hometown as it is to those who come visit.

“I get a lot now. There is no rhyme or reason,” Jim Bowsher, creator of the Temple of Tolerance, said about the people who come into his yard at 203 South Wood St. in Wapakoneta. “You have some people that come in just for the geology, just for the rocks ... and then you have somebody sitting beside them, and they don’t give a damn about rocks. They just come here for the feeling of it.”

Bowsher, deemed “Master of the Temple of Tolerance,” is often seen working on his writings inside the property he legally owns but says he does not possess.

“You can be here and not be in public, that’s what people tell me,” Bowsher said. “You just want to sit here and contemplate. Where else is there for contemplation? The library? The yard just has a different feeling about it. It’s too private.”

Although emanating a feeling of privacy, the yard is known to be open to the public, as long as those who visit respect the one ground rule put into the name — tolerance.

For the full story, see the Friday, March 28 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.

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