The Rock Wall and Garden

Surrounding the Porter House is one of the most unusual walls in existence.  The rough rocks, polished gemstones, and ancient fossils used in this unique wall were collected by Bert Porter over a period of years during his travels in North and South America.  Bert and his helpers built the wall over a six-year period in the early 1940s.



The intricate details of the wall were designed by Bert, who was a man of artistic sensibilities.  Every rock and fossil was placed precisely according to specifications in his diagrams and drawings.  The wall contains agates, jasper, onyx, amethyst, geodes, rose quartz, calcite, chalcedony, mica schist, sandstone, limestone, copper ore, iron ore, galena, petrified wood, and many others.



Behind the house, there is a secluded rock garden, as well as a miniature pool and two whimsical bird baths.  All were designed and built by Bert using rocks, fossils, and precious gems. 

Self-Guided Rock Wall Tour

While visiting the museum, grab a brochure for the Self-Guided Rock Wall tour from the main museum sign on West Broadway. 

An abbreviated PDF is available here which can be viewed online or printed. 

© Porter House Museum, PO Box 115, Decorah, IA 52101

© Photos courtesy Jessica Rilling • www.jessicarillingphotography.com