Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Vernacular Architecture in the Desert Old Man Kelly and his Rhyolite Bottle House

Are bottles good insulation? I guess. You never heard Tom Kelly complain, but then he lived in the Death Valley desert and it probably only got cold at night, but certainly well below freezing. (Actually the maker never lived in the house.)

I bought this photo because I like vernacular architecture. Little did I know it is seemingly the most documented bottle house in the world! HERE is the link to Rhyolite, where the house is documented in excruciating detail, with pictures from 1905 when the house was built, all the way to a fascinating group of photos showing the restoration one hundred years later.

It was an adobe construction, and the bottles came from one of the 53 (!) saloons in the town at the time. Yet today, it is a ghost town!
Mr. Kelly was 76 years old when he started construction. The complete story is HERE and quite a story it is.

I haven't dated my snapshot exactly, but it seems pretty early in the history. I have cribbed a few photos of the site, but do check the above links, it is a fascinating story, and a wonderful example of documentation, restoration and teamwork.

Snapshot of Kelley's Bottle House collection (top) Jim Linderman
Other Photos Rhyolite Site

1 comment:

  1. Went to Rhyolite specifically to see this house and the nearby ruins of the town. It is a truly fascinating place, especially from the inside looking out.