Lucedale, Mississippi: Palestine Gardens

Guided tour of a home-built Holy Land, scaled in miniature -- one yard equals one mile.
Address:
201 Palestine Gardens Rd, Lucedale, MS
Directions:
From Lucedale: Take US Hwy 98 West, turn right at the State marker for Palestine Gardens on Bexley Rd North. After 3.5 miles, turn right onto Ford James Rd. Drive 1.5 miles, which becomes Palestine Gardens Rd. Continue 1 mile. The Gardens will be on your left.
Hours:
Mar-Nov. Tu-Sa 9-5, Su 1-5 (inclement weather early closing) (Call to verify)
Phone:
601-947-8422
Admission:
Free.
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Visitor Tips and News About Palestine Gardens

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Jerusalem model.

Palestine Gardens

Palestine Gardens (formerly known as Palestinian Gardens from 1960 to 1994) was developed as way to experience the Holy Land and the Land of Israel that most have read about but may not ever have the chance to visit. The founder, the Reverend Walter Harvel (Mr. H.) Jackson, and his wife Pellerree, were in the same seminary class in 1930 and one of their college professors encouraged them to visit the land of the Bible.

Tiberias model.

The idea was born, but took a sixteen year search for the right topography before building of the miniature cities, villages, mountains, and seas began. This Replica of the Holy Land has since given thousands of visitors a visual perception of the ancient times of the Old Testament as well the times of Jesus recorded in the New Testament. The distances represented between the models are scaled one yard/one mile but to appreciate, the cities are much larger (i.e. Jerusalem is about twenty yards in diameter).

There are some remaining original cities, but a major restoration was required and additions made. The same folk art style was maintained but included more detailed artistic work.

[Director, Palestine Gardens, 05/30/2017]

Carpenter Shop of Joseph.

Palestine Gardens

Palestinian Gardens, the one yard = one mile scale model of the Christian Holy Land, was constructed between 1953 and 1960 by Reverend Walter Harvell Jackson and his wife Pellerree, mostly out of cinder blocks and concrete.

It's currently maintained by Don and Cindy Bradley, who took over in 1994 and changed the name to Palestine Gardens "for simplicity and to prevent any misconception that we may be of the Islam religion."

Don Bradley has since added some new signs and begun rebuilding some of the Biblical cities. The current site is an odd mix of Jackson's crumbling original buildings along with Bradley's later signs and restoration efforts. In a way, I think I prefer Jackson's originals, but I'm also glad that Bradley is making sure that Palestine Gardens endures.

[Dean Jefffrey, 01/06/2011]

First Miracle of Jesus.

Palestinian Gardens: Replica of the Holy Land

Palestinian Gardens is a really unique experience, especially for southern Mississippi. They have been around since 1960, and seem to be doing fine. I only drove up to the gate because I was on my way back to school in Arkansas, but it looks pretty impressive. They have guided tours daily and there's also a theater and a chapel. It's 5 miles off of HWY 98. There's free admission March through November.

[Sarah, 03/22/2008]

Referred to as "A Living Map of Palestine," it is 20 acres transformed since 1960 into a scale model of the Holy Land (scale: 1 yard = 1 mile). Run as more ministry than tourist attraction, though we have a couple of brochures and souvenir booklets on file. It's larger, though not as intricately crafted as the Ave Maria Grotto. And Palestinian Gardens is in constant struggle with lush foliage, threatening to overgrow and swallow up tiny towns and scenes of the life of Christ, from Bethlehem to Calvary. But the owners have kept it open and operating for 50 years! Tours last about an hour.

Palestine Gardens sign.

Palestine Gardens

Palestine Gardens is a miniature reproduction of the Holy Land constructed from cinder blocks and decorative landscaping stones. It includes the major cities of Biblical legend. The Gardens run a 1/4 mile, and guided tours are available.

[Burke Williamson, 04/25/2006]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Presidential Back-Scratching PostPresidential Back-Scratching Post, Lucedale, MS - 5 mi.
The Shed BBQThe Shed BBQ, Ocean Springs, MS - 38 mi.
G.I. MuseumG.I. Museum, Ocean Springs, MS - 41 mi.
In the region:
Gaudy Mardi Gras Statues, Mobile, AL - 40 mi.

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