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Charlie's Yelton's Bottle Houses

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In 1971, Charlie Yelton began building his bottle houses in Forest City, NC. He had seen a TV program about the Bottle House at Knott's Berry Farm in California and was inspired to try it himself. He had just retired after 50 years of working at a lumber mill and needed something to do. Four years and nearly 12,000 bottles later, he had created three houses, a wishing well, and a flower planter. He used beer, whiskey, 7-Up and Milk of Magnesia bottles.

Yelton had no knowledge of how to build a house. He just figured it out as he went. The floor of the main house was studded with his granddaughter's baby food jars. The interior of the "Altar Room" was done in red and contained a throne where Charlie would pray. Its stained glass effect was spiritual to Charlie. "I come here pretty often when I want to be alone with the Lord. I kneel down and talk to the Lord for awhile and when I leave, I feel a lot better."

Charlie died in 1993 at the age of 84. Although his family still lives here, these structures are not maintained. By 2008, the roof of the larger bottle house had completely caved in. These photos are from 2010.

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