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Makinen, John J., Bottle House
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member "Paws"itraction
N 44° 22.398 W 086° 00.558
16T E 578928 N 4913813
Quick Description: Kaleva's biggest claim to fame. Follow the signs to Kaleva, then follow the signs to the Bottle House.
Location: Michigan, United States
Date Posted: 1/5/2007 1:02:54 PM
Waymark Code: WM13QC
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 46

Long Description:
This is a really unique structure. John J. Makinen, Sr. built this house out of over 60,000 pop bottles, most of which came from his business, the Northwestern Bottling Works. The bottles were laid on their sides with the bottom ends to the exterior. A native of Finland, Makinen moved to the area in 1903. He completed the house in 1941, but died before his family moved into it. In 1980 the building was purchased by the Kaleva Historical Society, which renovated it to house the Kaleva Historical Museum.

When we visited this museum for the first time, we were given a tour of the place by the head of the Historical Society, who is extremely skilled at giving interesting tours with local flavor. For example, he postulated that the term "pop", for carbonated beverages, originated in northern Michigan, perhaps at that very Bottling Works, from the onomatopoeia of the "POP" sound the early carbonated beverages would make when their corks would fly off. (Early bottling technique was to seal the beverage in its bottle with a cork, which could not always withstand the pressure of the carbonation.)

He also informed us that, even though adults were interested in the history of the house, all the children coming through at that time wanted to see...the bathroom! Evidently the bathtub had been featured in a Nickelodeon show with a sock puppet, and all the kids wanted to see "their" character's bathtub.

Street address:
14551 Wuosi Ave.
Kaleva, MI USA

County / Borough / Parish: Manistee

Year listed: 1987

Historic (Areas of) Significance: The only house to ever be built out of bottles. - ARCHITECTURAL

Periods of significance: 1925-1949

Historic function: Home for local immigrant and company owner - DOMESTIC

Current function: Tourist attraction and Historical Museum - RECREATION AND CULTURE

Privately owned?: yes

Season start / Season finish: From: 6/1/2007 To: 12/1/2007

Hours of operation: From: 12:00 PM To: 4:00 PM

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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