Among the many attractions in Simi Valley, none are quite as unique or as delightful as Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village. Tucked away in a residential neighborhood, this distinctive attraction showcases one woman’s creativity, resourcefulness, and unyielding spirit.
Bottle Village is the creation of Tressa “Grandma” Prisbrey, who began building it in 1956 when she was 60 years old. With no formal architectural training but an abundant supply of determination, she transformed an ordinary piece of land into a colorful wonderland, using an unlikely construction material—discarded bottles.
What makes Bottle Village extraordinary is not just the creativity behind it, but also the sheer volume of materials used. Over a 25-year period, Grandma Prisbrey used an estimated half a million discarded bottles and countless other recycled items to build her whimsical village. The village comprises 13 buildings, including a chapel, a doll museum, and “The Round House,” made entirely from round-shaped items. Each structure is a testament to Grandma Prisbrey’s belief that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
Each step through Bottle Village reveals an enchanting mosaic of colors and patterns, created by sunlight filtering through the many bottles. The bottle walls, embedded with quirky items such as pencils, mirrors, and figurines, exhibit Grandma Prisbrey’s distinctive aesthetic and resourcefulness. Her creation is not just a testament to individual creativity but also an early example of recycling and sustainable art.
Today, Bottle Village is recognized as a California Historical Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Efforts to preserve this unique site are ongoing, and volunteers work tirelessly to maintain Grandma Prisbrey’s legacy and her fascinating village.
Visiting Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village is more than just a tour—it’s a step into the creative mind of an extraordinary woman. It’s a reminder that art can be born from the simplest of materials and that age and conventional wisdom should never limit one’s imagination.
Come and explore this exceptional piece of folk art, and let yourself be captured by the beauty and originality of Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village. Each visit is a tribute to the enduring spirit of a woman who turned discarded bottles into a captivating haven of creativity.