Michigan Roadside Attractions – Kaleva Bottle House in Manistee County
Michigan Roadside Attractions is a periodic feature on Travel the Mitten that will explore the many interesting things that can be found on the highways, byways and back roads of Michigan, ranging from the interesting to unusual.
When it comes to unique homes in Michigan, the John J. Makinen House in Kaleva is definitely one of the most unique. Often referred to as the “bottle house” or the “Kaleva bottle house,” there are more than 60,000 bottles worked into the construction of this home. Makinen owned a bottling works in Kaleva, but sadly passed away before his family was to move into the house.
John J. Makinen, Sr., (1871 – 1942) 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.
The house is now open on select dates as a museum, with more details and hours available here: http://www.kalevami.com/The_Bottle_House_Museum.html
14551 Wuoksi Avenue, Kaleva MI