Boswell Embalming Bottle House – Sanca, British Columbia - Atlas Obscura

Boswell Embalming Bottle House

Sanca, British Columbia

This house was largely built out of hundreds of thousands of discarded glass embalming fluid bottles. 


There’s no denying the appeal of owning a picturesque house overlooking Kootenay Lake – even if that house is built from 500,000 empty embalming fluid bottles. In fact, some people would undoubtedly find it would “indulge a whim of a particular nature.” 

At least, that was the explanation given by the man who built the morbid abode. The house was built in 1952 by David H. Brown, who after retiring from the funeral business decided to use his now-useless collection of embalming bottles for something practical, or at least creative. While he didn’t have enough bottles of his own to build an entire house, he had plenty of friends in the business willing to lend him a hand, and hand over their bottles. The final tally of bottles used came to 500,000. 

The house itself is a cozy cottage, with round rooms arranged in cloverleaf fashion. Lush gardens surround the house, with terraces, bridges, and pavilions also made from glass bottles. The square bottles are arranged like glass bricks, mortared and cemented on the inside, with the glass ends on the outer walls of the house. 

The house is open for tours in the summer, seven days a week.

Know Before You Go

3-4 km south of Boswell on Hwy 3A.

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