Photo a Day Challenge

House on the Rock


Colorful but motionless hot air balloons and kites hover above a fantastic village.


Adjacent to the airfield and cafe below the model airplanes is a display of a child’s vintage pedal cart under a steam engine tractor . . . making for an interesting contrast in wheels.


In The Spirit of Aviation, opened in 2002, vintage model airplanes fly above a 1950s airfield complete with a period cafe and 7UP memorabilia.  Among the models are a WWI Fokker triplane, a P47N Thunderbolt, and other fighter as well as civilian aircraft.

The Letter K: Knots

Sailors’ rigging knots embellish this display of another model viewed along the Heritage of the Sea walkway.


Packaging a model ship inside a glass bottle is a classic challenge and makes a nice display among the various models along the tiered walkway.


The walkway’s outer wall is lined with displays of various tools, ship models and other nautical paraphernalia.


This enormous octopus in turn eyes the sea creature as fair game for his own lunch.  This attack is viewed from ground level below the second tier walkway.


A gargantuan sea creature is about to devour a whaling expedition for lunch in the Heritage At Sea building, added in 1990.  The creature measures 60’ high and 200’ long and is viewed  via a three tiered walkway that surrounds it.


These colorful circus wagon wheels and clown mask are displayed in The Circus Building.  Opened in 1985, this building displays innumerable miniature circuses comprised of wagons, animals and tents.


The Doll House Maze opened in 1984, and displays more than 200 styles of doll houses. This multi-windowed house is backlit with the glow of larger stained glass windows.


Dolls and merry-go-rounds are fond childhood memories.  The Doll Carousel Room opened in 1982 and features two carousels with dolls riding horses.


. . . Or, this tankard found in The Organ Room  could probably hold a keg of Leinies , a keg of Old Milwaukee, and a keg of Point Beer.


The Organ Room is a conglomerate of jugs, jars, vats, clocks ,carriages, cannons, electrical generators, organs, pipes, bridges, ramps and . . . spiral staircases.  A true hodgepodge


Carousel horses are used as wall ornaments rather than as animals to be ridden on the carousel.


The Carousel contains 289 handmade creatures:  unicorns, centaurs, mermaids, peacocks, walruses, frogs, boars, elephants and zebras . . . but no horses.


Added in 1981, The Carousel measures 80’ in diameter and 35’ high and weighs 36 tons!  It is embellished with more than 20,000 lights, and It is billed as the largest carousel in the world.  We were impressed.


Jordan found several Oriental figures for sale in Chicago and had his workshop animate them.  A Mikado is a Japanese emperor and the title is reminiscent of a Gilbert and Sullivan  comic operetta in which flirting is illegal and punishable by death.  Jordan’s workshop built the extravagant facade and mechanized the two central figures to lift eyebrows and move jaws while they play “Harem Bells,” “Ritual Fire Dance” and “Dance Macabre” on their insturments, one above the other. The Mikado musical machine was built in 1975 and is displayed in The Music of Yesterday.


While ambling down the street this green window in a building next to a picket fence caught our eye.


Fire Engine Company One is housed in a period fire station on The Streets of Yesterday  and is completely furnished with period furniture, telephone, lanterns and other paraphernalia.  Jordan was apparently more concerned with aesthetic and entertainment value than with authenticity, so we are left to guess which items throughout this and the rest of his attraction are authentic antiques and which are well crafted reproductions.


Hope you’re not shy . . . this bathing facility is a prominent feature on the bricked public street.

City or Town

Influenced by the 1968 Streets of Old Milwaukee display at the Milwaukee Public Museum, Jordan opened The Streets of Yesterday, a 19th century evening street scene, in 1971.


Metallic spears, battle axes, shields and suits of armor await a challenge in this arena within the Mill House.


The red lighting seems particularly appropriate to accent the glowing cauldron above the white log on the large Mill House hearth. The lighting also accentuates the collection of firearms above and part of the paperweight collection under glass in the foreground.

Front Door

The Mill House was added to the grounds in 1968.  It serves as an entry way to other buildings which house plethoras of artistic endeavors and idiosyncratic  collections.