For an overview of Rockome Gardens, here is a short video with owner Steve Maher discussing the park
Rockome Gardens is known for its unique, historic rock creations interspersed throughout the extensive gardens. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll throughout them all, filled with tens of thousands of flowers and other plants. Different gardens have different themes, and you will discover something new everytime you visit.
The Rockome Restaurant features delicious, home-cooked meals, served buffet-style. The Restaurant is being run by the Herschberger Family, who also own Yoder's Kitchen in Arthur IL. It is generally open the same days as Rockome Gardens - please visit their page for further information, or call
Rockome Garden Foods and Cheese Factory
Rockome Garden Foods is located near the park entrance and open year around. This bulk food store is different from other food stores in that it is also an active learning center. There is a cheese factory with a large window where visitors can watch cheese being made. This cheese is available for sampling as well as purchasing in the store. An active beehive, complete with observatory window, is also here, giving visitors an opportunity to watch the honey being made. A bakery and candy shop also give visitors the opportunity to watch as their delicious treats are being created. Please visit their website for additional information.
The Illinois Amish museum is dedicated to the Old Order Amish, and features exhibits that depict and explain the Amish lifestyle. These exhibits include quilts, buggies, barns, homes and more. Visitors can enjoy an 18-minute video that introduces them to the Amish faith and
lifestyle while sitting on Amish church benches. The museum gift shop carries a wide variety of Amish gift items such as Amish dolls, cookbooks, books, DVD's and more. For additional information, please visit their website.
Play the chicken - who will win?
The Blacksmith Shop is located in the "Old Town" area on Main Street. A blacksmith will demonstrate and create a variety of objects by forging the metal then using tools to hammer, bend and cut to the design of his choice.
The Trading post carries a variety of Native American items, such as jewelry, beads, artwork and clothing. Their knowledgable staff will answer any questions you may have concerning the culture and history of the Native Americans. Children will love the Sluice Box Mining located in front of the store, where they pan for their own precious and semi-precious stones. There is also a teepee in front that is fun to explore, and atlatl and fire starting demonstrations are provided at various times.
Sarah's General Store
This store is located inside two old schoolhouses in the "Old Town" area of the park. Sarah's carries rocks, jewelry, candy, stuffed animals, children's shirts, various books as well as other gift items.
Elvan's Ice Cream Shop
There's not much better on a warm summer day than an ice cream! Elvan's specializes in Flavor Burst soft serve ice cream in a cake or waffle cone as well as shakes. Hot dogs, chips, popcorn and soda is also available.
Irene's Gift Shop
Irene's carries various specialty soaps and lotions that will delight your senses! This store also carries Amish furniture, canvas art, umbrellas and small gift items. There is even a "Christmas Corner" located here!
Marcella's Corner ~ The Official Raggedy Ann & Andy Shop
Did you know that Johnny Gruelle, the creator of Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy, was born and raised as a small child in Arcola, IL? This September America's favorite red head - Raggedy Ann - will be 97 years old! Marcella's was completely remodeled the winter of 2013, and carries a variety of Raggedy Ann and Andy items, as well as books and stuffed animals.
Old School House
For a glimpse into days gone by, visit the original East Prairie school, a one-room schoolhouse previously located two miles west of Rockome Gardens in the rural countryside. This schoolhouse was attended by Old Order Amish as well as non-Amish children prior to its closing in 1966. It was moved to Rockome Gardens in 1968.
Old Hickory Railroad
The Old Hickory Railroad is being revived through a group of volunteers and the "Rockome Railroad Club". These model trains are "G" gauge, with the "G" standing for "Garden". Children of all ages will enjoy watching these trains as they run the tracks, traversing a variety of terrain.
Visitors can really connect with the Amish way of life by touring the gardens in a horse-drawn buggy. Our friendly drivers will enlighten and entertain you with fascinating stories as well as information about the Amish lifestyle.
Rockome's new, smaller train will give you a break with a slow ride through the gardens.
Horse-powered Buzz Saw
photos courtesy of Alison Cremeens
You will want to stop and watch the horse-drawn buzz saw in action! The horse powers the saw to cut off a slice of a log, then you can then take the slab of wood to the blacksmith to have your name burned into the wood - what a unique souvenir!
Martin House / Amish Home
The Martin house was the summer home of Arthur Martin, who originally created the gardens in the late 1930's. There is a history of this home on the "Rockome Gardens Preservation" page of this website. This home is currently undergoing a major restoration. When this is complete, tours will be available of the home, with an area set aside to show the history of Rockome Gardens.
photos courtesy of Alison Cremeens
This authentic log cabin was built by Caleb Tatman, and he and his daughters, Nellie and Eva, lived in it on the Sangamon River near Monitcello, IL. Tatman was a prominent citizen who served as Piatt County Superintendent of Schools, practiced law and invested in real estate. He owned this cabin until his death in 1927, when it was deeded to his daughters and remained in the Tatman family until the 1960's. Keith and Pat Hudson acquired the property years later, and donated the cabin to Rockome Gardens in 2007.