The Bottle House

Ed Moore

Mission Viejo, United States

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Wall Art


Artist's Description

The Bottle House in Rhyolite, Nevada was an unusual and intriguing place when I visited and toured it 36 years ago in 1972. The house was built by Thomas T. Kelly, of Melbourne, Australia (1832-1928) in 1905 in Rhyolite, Nevada, USA. Rhyolite currently is a ghost town in Nye County, Nevada – about 3.8 miles west of the town of Beatty, near the eastern edge of Death Valley National Monument, in California. The town came into existence as the result of a gold rush that began in 1904. Its population peaked in 1905 to 1910. However, decreased gold production led to a population decline resulting in total abandonment by 1919.

It took Mr. Kelly only 5 1/2 months to complete his Bottle House. He used 30,000 bottles – and didn’t wash them because there was no running water and barrels of water, which cost $5, were too expensive. Most of the bottles used were Adulphous Busch (known as Budweiser today). He also used a few patent medicine bottles, some of which contained opium. The Lewis Murphey family ran the house from 1936 until 1954. Their grandson Evan, ran it until 1989. The house and town have been managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management since 1990.

Artwork Comments

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