Over 60,000 soda bottles are what makes this home in Manistee County so unique.

There's a lot of weird and interesting history that you'll find throughout the state of Michigan and that includes The Bottle House located in Kaleva. While I'm not familiar whatsoever with the village of Kaleva, however, I am familiar with The Bottle House after reading about it years ago.

The Story

John J Makinen (1871-1942) was born in Finland back in 1871 but eventually moved to Kaleva, Michigan in the early 1900s. After living in the state for some time, he decided to build a house one block north of the center of town.

Makinen once owned a bottling company and had tons of glass bottles at his disposal. For whatever reason, he decided to use the glass bottles as building material for his new home. They ended up becoming the home's centerpiece if you will.

Over 60,000 glass bottles were all stacked on their sides with the bottom ends facing out to create four sturdy walls. I'm not entirely clear how long it took Makinen to build the house but I do know that he completed it in 1941. He finished the house at the age of 70 but unfortunately never got to live in it. He passed away in 1942 before he and his family could move into it.

The Kaleva Historical Society bought the home in 1980. They open it up for tours in the summer. The inside features exhibits on local lumbering history.

Kaleva is roughly a 3-hour drive from the Flint area.

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