Over The Top Collections: The House On The Rock

Located sixty miles west of Madison, Wisconsin, just south of the Wisconsin river and two hundred miles northwest of Chicago, The House On The Rock is a collector’s dream. The main house was built in the 1940s by Mr. Alex Jordan in a Japanese-inspired style, and today it attracts half a million visitors from around the world to its gardens, home and housed collections. Included in the complex are a resort and an inn. Built as a home, (though some say “love nest”), it sits atop a rock pillar called Deer Shelter Rock, overlooking the picturesque Wyoming Valley and very near Frank Lloyd Wright’s home “Taliesin” in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Reports have Mr. Wright criticizing Mr. Jordan’s ability as an architect, which lead to the house being located there.

Infinity Room : House on the Rock

The Infinity Room extends two hundred feet out over the scenic valley and one hundred fifty above the valley floor. The horizontal spire-shaped room features over three thousand windows and affords a fantastic view of the valley below. Mr. Jordan was a life-long collector, and maintained the Attraction until 1988, when it was sold to Art Donaldson, also a collector and businessman.

While intriguing , the main house is of passing interest when compared to the enormity of the items in the collections. While each visitor will find different aspects of the Attraction their own “best part”, I have always been impressed by the huge (World’s Largest Indoor) carousel with its collection of over 235 animals, ever since I first saw it years ago when my daughters were very young.

World's Largest Indoor Carousel : House on the Rock

The Mill House features one of the world’s largest fireplaces.

Also in the collections are forty magnificent beer steins, hundreds of firearms, 250 doll houses and 650 porcelain-head dolls, old autos, Oriental figures, band instruments, and so much more.

House on the Rock: DollhousesHouse on the Rock: Firearms
Some reports question the authenticity of all the items but as a collection, this is way over the top.

House on the Rock: Rolls Royce

It is found in a beautiful part of the country, with rolling hills, river valleys and famous Wisconsin cows and cheese. The area itself has many great attractions, including the American Players Theater, Cave of the Mounds, The Wisconsin Dells, and even the Mustard Museum in Mt. Horeb, where trolls rule the streets.

Antique shops for browsing are always an added attraction for us collectors, and can be found throughout the region, with especially nice places on the western edge of Madison’s beltway. Artisans inhabit many villages in the area, especially in Mineral Point. In summer, craft and art fairs are plentiful.

As always, I wish you good hunting, and may your search for the next addition to your collection prove exciting and successful.



-- Don't forget to check us out on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter!



-- Join our Community to show off, buy, and chat about your favorite collectibles!

Jay The decor in the original house is unclassy and the carpet needs to be cleaned professionally. May 26th, 2012 at 11:51 PM

Jeana I'm Thinkin you went to wrong houes the House on a rock was a GREAT place to see. wish I had more time to spend in it as we were on a tight time sechule April 19th, 2013 at 1:53 PM

The Dean

The Dean Jeana, As a collector, my interest in the vast collections is what struck a nerve. Anyone interested in architecture would marvel at the place and may find the collections no more then interesting. I hope we both can agree its a wonderful experience in one of many great areas of Wisconsin. The Dean April 19th, 2013 at 4:07 PM

doug Original fallingwater photos and lithograph blocks. First photos March 9th, 2014 at 4:46 AM

More in Americana
The American Antiques Show : 2008

At this point in my travels between antiques shows, I had more culture than a Petri dish. Top-toeing through apothecary...