Wapakoneta, Ohio: The Temple of Tolerance
- 203 S. Wood St., Wapakoneta, OH
- I-75 exit 111. Drive west on Bellefontaine St. for around a mile, then turn right onto Wood St. The house will be halfway up the block, on the left.
- Open daily; just walk up Jim's driveway and into his back yard. (Call to verify)
- RA Rates:
- Worth a Detour
An ordinary house on an ordinary street, but its extensive yards have been transformed by its owner into the Temple of Tolerance. Roadsideamerica.com Report... [04/15/2012]
The Temple of Tolerance: If you're visiting the Temple of Tolerance in Wapakoneta, Ohio, and temple master Jim Bowsher is around, ask politely if you can go inside his house. [04/15/2012] Complete Story...
Visitor Tips and News About The Temple of Tolerance
We visited this creepy looking house in the middle of the day. Mom was forced to come because she was too afraid to sit in the truck alone while Dad and I explored the massive rock garden. It was very intriguing as we walked around, admiring each different "development" and how they were created. There were old headstones and millstones throughout.
A cat followed us around and we came to this massive barrel; I looked inside through the window and it was just storage for other materials. There was a tree statue thing made out of old tree limbs, an old prison door, endless gates and old benches.
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the altar that rises above this mass garden was at some time that of sacrificial devotion, but whatever it was -- it was definitely the coolest free tourist trap of the day! Props to the owner![Lockamy, 04/25/2010]
From the street this appears to be just a house with overgrown shrubs, but there is an alley directly behind the house which leads you to the actual entrance to the Temple of Tolerance. It is set up like a very strange park. It is fascinating to see and I highly recommend going. While my husband and I where there though, there were a couple of shirtless teenage boys who kept following us around, just staring at us. Very weird![Mirullia Morneault, 03/29/2010]
An ordinary house on an ordinary street in Wapakoneta, OH, transformed by James Bowsher into the Temple of Tolerance. The house itself is built up in front with stones and used monuments, while the back looks like some Japanese-inspired stone retreat run amok.
But the rear of the house is much larger than one backyard, Mr. Bowsher acquired the backyards of a number of his neighbors and it goes on much farther than you would have thought it could in the midst of an ordinary suburban block.
Twigs form canopies and arches, there are altars made of stone, rusted machine parts, porcelain fixtures, old gods and little plastic bits of something else. Twittering birds and frisky squirrels abound. Dogs in surrounding yards bark and someone somewhere was blowing a police whistle. It also looked like a great place to pick up local high school girls.[David Hansen, 10/13/2002]
Nearby Offbeat Places
- Armstrong Air and Space Museum, Wapakoneta, OH - < 1 mi.
- Noah's Ark, Dillinger's Jail Cell, Things Swallowed, Lima, OH - 12 mi.
- Airstream Factory Tours, Jackson Center, OH - 11 mi.
- In the region: World's Largest Loaf of Bread, Urbana, OH - 39 mi.