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George Plumb's Bottle Castle

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In 1962, George Plumb, a retired carpenter, bought a one acre site in Duncan, British Columbia (Canada). He had decided to build a Castle and Taj Mahal out of bottles. A donation of 3,000 bottles from a local dairy got him started. He added soft-drink, whiskey, wine, and antique bottles (even a few television sets) to the outsides of his buildings.

Five thousand bottles went into the Bottle Castle (also known as the Glass Castle) which was a small five-room house completed in 1963. By the time he was finished, Plumb was famous. He entertained visitors from around the world and made appearances on TV shows including The Tonight Show where he played harmonica for Johnny Carson.

Over the years, he used 200,000 bottles. Plumb collected bottles from local industries and others were donated by neighbors and visitors. The structures around the main building included a Leaning Tower of Pisa, a well and a giant Coke bottle all made with bottles and cement. Around the buildings were animals sculptures, some made from concrete and others carved in stone. In the gardens, there were paths between low walls that led past flower beds to a small waterfall, water lily and fish ponds, a totem pole and a small studio.

After his death in 1976, the complex was maintained by family members until the 1990s. It was then sold to a couple who operated it as a tourist attraction for a few years until it fell into disrepair. Despite some interest in preserving the site, the building and sculptures were bulldozed for highway expansion.

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