David H. Brown, Embalming Fluid House

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Visiting Information

The site is open every day to visitors during May to October for a small fee. There is also a gift shop on site. 

About the Artist/Site

After David Brown retired after 35 years in the funeral business in 1952, he began building a bottle house. With the footprint of a three-leaf clover yet with castle-like crenellations ornamenting the front façade, the primary building blocks of this structure are some 500,000 bottles that once held formaldehyde embalming fluid, used by Brown and his undertaker colleagues in the course of their business. Two stories high and roughly 1,200 square feet in surface area (48 feet long and 24 feet wide), the six round rooms include a full kitchen, two bedrooms, and even a fireplace. The bottles are laid horizontally, with their mouth and neck protruding inward, their square bottoms thus providing a smooth exterior façade. Wood lathe was wired between the bottle necks to help hold them into place; these strips also provided the substructure for the interior walls of cedar planking.

 

Located around two miles south of Boswell overlooking Kootenay Lake on Highway 3A, the house attracted visitors driving along this scenic loop, so the Browns decided to open the house as an attraction to visitors instead of keeping it as their private residence, as originally intended. In the surrounding garden is a wishing well with waterwheel, a small bridge over a small stream, stone walls, and several ancillary structures. It is open every day to visitors during May to October for a small fee. There is also a gift shop on site. 

~Jo Farb Hernández

Map and site information

11341 Highway 3A
Boswell, British Columbia, Canada
Latitude/Longitude: 49.438046 / -116.755614

Visiting Information

The site is open every day to visitors during May to October for a small fee. There is also a gift shop on site. 

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