The late John English had a passion for antique bottles, and his collection has been donated in his memory to the Ramona Pioneer Historical Society and the Guy B. Woodward Museum.
A total of 120 bottles are on display for viewing by the public in the Verlaque House basement on the museum grounds.
“John located a trash pit behind the Verlaque Store, circa 1884, now Catt Farm Supply. He began digging and unearthed a veritable treasure trove of Ramona’s early history,” said Bert Byrne, publicity chairman for the Ramona historical society. “Many unique bottles are featured, including Purex raised letter examples and many early medicine prescription containers.”
The collection is the result of the generosity of John’s widow, Mary Lou English, noted Byrne. Mary Lou’s mother, Judy Eaton, owned and operated the Branding Iron Western Apparel Store in the old Verlaque Store, and her father, Dale Eaton, helped get John started in the hobby of digging up old things, from arrowheads to bottles, leading to the Verlaque “find.”
John died as a result of a tragic accident while searching for treasures to add to his collection, but his accomplishments will live on in the museum display,” said Byrne.
Museum Director Ken Woodward and member George Smith recently completed setting up the bottles in two display cases.
The museum, 645 Main Street, is open for tours Thursday and Friday from 1-3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 p.m. Special tours may be arranged by calling 760-789-7644.