Valley of the Moon – Tucson, Arizona - Atlas Obscura

Valley of the Moon

The Magical World of George Phar Legler. 


In the 1920s, a man named George Legler began a massive project… to create a world of fantasy and imagination that sought to carry with it a message of kindness and peace to all visitors.

Legler initially worked as a postal clerk, but soon found his life consumed by his desire to spread his message to all that would listen. He purchased the land for the Moon in 1917, and with the help of a couple of close friends, began the laborious endeavor of transforming the desert into a magical landscape of winding paths, stone towers and walls, and hidden grottoes. Throughout the following years, he expanded constantly on the construction while giving tours with the aid of friends and local children under the pseudonym of “The Mountain Gnome”.

Legler grew too ill to continue giving tours by 1967, and the Moon fell into disrepair. Fortunately, a group of Catalina high school students jumped the fence and befriended the ailing artist. Soon after, they took over maintenance and preservation of the site, and their organization (now known as the George Phar Legler Society) still maintains the Moon today.

Due largely to the fact that the Moon is run and maintained by a very small group of devoted volunteers, the events calendar at the site is often sporadic and variable, so it’s best to check their calendar for chances to visit. Productions are scheduled in the spring, as well as a Halloween and Christmas show, and they are available to host private events.

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January 21, 2011

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