Monday, December 28, 2009

The Bottletree Man

Oro Grande, CA -- (Approximately 1 hour 15 minutes from Los Angeles along the National Trails Highway on the old Route 66 near Barstow)

He calls himself "The Bottletree Man" or just, "The Bottleman." He also goes by Elmer. A labor of love and an expression of artistic talent, this strip of desert land is yet another classic example of what one may find along California's old Route 66.

Elmer took us on a tour of his property after talking to another interested blogger, traveling from Santa Cruz in Northern California. The Bottleman was happy to tell his story of each artifact attached to the top of every bottletree. He said he's been retired for some time now and is happy working on his on-going project. He doesn't charge anything to wander the forest of empty glass Coke, 7-Up, Royal Crown Cola and even relics like the one printed on the side: "Frank M. Towne, Pharmacist. San Bernardino, Cal. Open all night." Each tree, of course, has it's own trophy welded on top collected by Elmer and even his dad.

A few of the artifacts on the trees are a shot gun, cash register, saxophone, two California Highway Patrol helmets, an antique Radio Flyer wagon, truck horn, various wheels, and even an old dresser top mirror his mother bought used in 1939. And that's only the beginning; he has over 400 trees!

Visit Elmer either in person or his blog at


Eleonora said...

Wow, 400 trees! That must be quite a striking place. I'm linking over to his site now.

Thanks for yet another wonderful portrait of California, JT.


bfarr said...

Amazing. Thanks for sharing.