Tucson, Arizona: Valley of the MoonGeorge Legler's folk art environment has been augmented with sculptures from the defunct Magic Carpet Golf, including the Pygmy Hut and the Castle.
Visitor Tips and News About Valley of the Moon
Valley of the Moon was created by George Phar Legler in the 1920s as a fantasyland for children ages 2 to 80.
It is now also the home to four of the relocated sculptures from the closed Magic Carpet Golf property. The Pygmy Hut, The Castle, The Old Stump and The Spider Web are now concreted into their permanent location and landscaped in the front part of the park, "Magic Carpet Land." Over 150 various plants and trees have been planted and has added a much needed green to the atmosphere.[Valley of the Moon, 05/04/2010]
I am delighted to know that the Valley of the Moon is still around, even if it is only open for special events. I never knew his name until reading about the Valley of the Moon on RoadsideAmerica.com, but I remember several things about my birthday party and George Legler in 1951.
The guests gathered at dusk and were told to wait for a magical guide. Mr Legler appeared in an all-back outfit, complete with a large black hat and a thin black veil that covered most of his face. He looked like Zorro. When he approached, we all screamed, and then he started speaking in a soft calm voice about the things we needed to do to enter the magic grotto. One specific thing I remember was that he made the sign of a cross on our hands with some liquid.
Once inside the magic grotto, Legler performed some basic magic tricks, which seemed really wonderful to those of us pre-television kids. Either after or before the show, there were some picnic tables available for birthday cake and ice cream. In the 1950s, Legler's rabbit magic show was written about in Life, Look or Post magazine, because for years, my mom kept a copy of it.[Victoria Clark, 07/11/2009]
Valley of the Moon was a children's fantasy land built in the 1920s by George Phar Legler out of concrete and found materials. Kids were led through the park by Mr. Legler, told stories and tales at various stopping points along the way, and visited by fairies and other creatures that were often portrayed by neighbors' children.
Some of the stops included the Wizard's Tower, Bunnyland Theater, the Enchanted Garden, the Rabbit Hole, and the Caves of Terror. Pennyland, a sort of wishing well, was surrounded by statues of gnomes whose faces were cast by pouring concrete into Halloween masks.
By the '60s, the park had deteriorated and closed, although Legler still lived on the grounds. Several high school kids who had visited when they were children revisited in 1971 and talked Legler into reopening. Legler died in 1982, and the park, while still open, continued to deteriorate. In recent years it's been the site of Halloween parties, weddings, and occasional tours of the grounds.[Dean Jeffrey, 02/09/2008]
June 2009: The Valley of the Moon is reported to be open at times for special events and tours.
A unique area built by George Phar Legler in the 1920s for the purpose of bringing mental and spiritual relaxation to visitors. Mineralized rock cliffs, caves, pools, and garden miniatures have blended with tropic and desert flora to create what Mr. Legler called the 'Fantasy Touch of Three' (Lewis Carroll, Edgar Allen Poe, and Robert Louis Stevenson)....
His philosophy throughout life was 'Happiness is Given, not Sold.' In 1932 free Fantasy Fairy Tours were started. Later Bunnyland Theater (featuring trained rabbits) was added. The tours were led through the Valley by the Mysterious Mountain Gnome himself, Mr. Legler. His stories and magic displays captivated his audiences which over the years amounted to thousands of Tucsonans. Mr Legler passed away some years ago. The Valley of the Moon is now maintained by the George Phar Legler Society, Inc.[Kurt Nielsen, 09/04/1997]