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Bottle House, Ghost Town of Rhyolite, Nevada | by Ken Lund
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Bottle House, Ghost Town of Rhyolite, Nevada

Around 1905, Tom Kelly built his house in Rhyolite, Nevada, using 51,000 beer bottles masoned with adobe. Kelly chose bottles because trees were scarce in the desert. Most of the bottles were Busch beer bottles collected from the 50 bars in this Gold Rush town. Rhyolite became a ghost town by 1920. In 1925, Paramount Pictures discovered the Bottle House and had it restored for use in a movie. It then became a museum, but tourism was slow, causing it to close. From 1936-1954, Lewis Murphy took care of the house and hosted tourists. From 1954-1969, Tommy Thompson occupied the house. He tried to make repairs to the house with concrete which, when mixed with the desert heat, caused many bottles to crack (Kelly had used adobe mud).

 

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Taken on March 21, 2009