Bottle House by Anne-Marie Bokslag

This picture is included in the America calender

Calico is a ghost town located in the Mojave Desert region of Southern California. Founded in 1881 as a silver mining town, today it is a county park. It is located in unincorporated San Bernardino County off Interstate 15, 3 miles from Barstow. Giant letters spelling CALICO can be seen on the Calico Mountains behind the ghost town from the freeway.
At its height, Calico boasted a population of 1,200 people, and over 500 silver mines. Now however, the town is populated by no more than 12 people, while the mines are inactive. Besides the usual assortment of bars, brothels, gambling halls and a few churches, Calico also supported a newspaper, the Calico Print. During the mid 1890s the price of silver dropped and Calico’s silver mines were no longer economically viable. With the end of borax mining in the region in 1907 the town became completely abandoned. The last original inhabitant of Calico before it was abandoned, Mrs. Lucy Bell Lane, died in the 1960s. Her house remains as the main museum in town.
In 1951, Walter Knott, founder of Knott’s Berry Farm, purchased the town and began restoring it to its original condition referencing old photographs. Though five of the original town buildings exist today, many others were recreated as replicas of their originals on preexisting foundations.
In 1966, Walter Knott donated the town to San Bernardino County, and Calico became a county regional park.
Today, the park operates mine tours, gunfight stunt shows, gold panning, a restaurant, the Calico & Odessa Railroad and a number of general merchandise stores. It is open daily, and requires an entrance fee. During the tours, one may see silver ore so rich that there are gray spots of silver in the rock.
Some believe that Calico is haunted by the spirits of miners. The town was the basis for the Kenny Rogers and the First Edition album The Ballad of Calico.
Calico is a registered California historic monument, and is one of a number of ghost towns in California (other examples are Drawbridge and Bodie).
It is the “official state silver rush ghost town” of California.
The house is only made of beer bottles (5.419 of them).

Canon EOS 300D


  • kathy s gillentine
    kathy s gillen...about 6 years ago

    fantastic capture

  • Thanks a lot Kathy

    – Anne-Marie Bokslag

  • E.R. Bazor
    E.R. Bazorabout 6 years ago

    Love this shot and the write up that you did!

  • Thank you Estes ;-)

    – Anne-Marie Bokslag

  • stephaniek
    stephaniekabout 6 years ago

    Great shot!! I couldn’t get everyone else out of my shot, lol. You sure give a lot of info………phew.

  • Thank you Steph. It wasn’t easy to get it without people…. lots of patience needed …lol.

    – Anne-Marie Bokslag

  • Antanas
    Antanasabout 6 years ago

    great capture, lovely

  • Thank you very much Antanas!

    – Anne-Marie Bokslag

  • Pat Moore
    Pat Mooreabout 6 years ago

    Awsome pic and story Anne-Marie, very interesting!!!!

  • Thank you very much Pat!

    – Anne-Marie Bokslag

  • Cora Wandel
    Cora Wandelabout 6 years ago

    I have been to Calico! Great shot, Anne-Marie!

  • Looks like I missed your comment on this one! With the new RB that happened to me more times already! Thanks a lot ;-)

    – Anne-Marie Bokslag

  • Michelle BarlondSmith
    Michelle Barlo...almost 6 years ago


  • Thank you ;-)

    – Anne-Marie Bokslag

  • cdcantrell
    cdcantrellabout 5 years ago


  • Thanks a lot!

    – Anne-Marie Bokslag

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