Wisconsin had a rich history of concrete Christian shrines leading up to to Biblical Gardens in Wisconsin Dells. The Dickeyville Grotto (built 1925-1930), Rudolph Grotto Gardens (built 1927-1983), and Necedeh Shrine (circa 1950s) commemorated aspects of biblical and Marian lore with concrete and obsession. Mrs. Eva Newsom constructed her vision starting in 1961 casting each biblical figure from people she knew around her in Dixon, Illinois. She left Dixon to set up and run Biblical Gardens with her husband in Wisconsin Dells where they owned land. The two-thirds scale statues she made weighed as much as 700 pounds. Painted to be as "lifelike" as possible, they were presented in a wooded Wisconsin setting. Photographer John A. Trumble captured the approximately 15 final vignettes, often with a keen eye for dappled light to create drama. He published them on postcards with Bible verses for tourist consumption. The Newsoms project seemed to reach a peak in the 1970s and they retired in 1980 with Biblical Gardens operating until 1997 when their land was sold. Mrs. Newsom wanted the statues to remain together and they did when the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod purchased them at auction in 1997 for $5,000. WELS announced plans to repair and restore them then placed them at their Camp Phillip summer Christian retreat center in Wautoma in April of 2014.