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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Farmersville in Montgomery County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Winter Zellar (Zero) Swartsel

The Bottle Farm

 
 
Winter Zellar (Zero) Swartsel / The Bottle Farm Marker (Side A) image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., February 14, 2009
1. Winter Zellar (Zero) Swartsel / The Bottle Farm Marker (Side A)
Inscription.
Side A:

A direct descendant of original settlers in Jackson Township, Winter Zellar (Zero) Swartsel was born in 1876. Throughout his life he was a natural born showman, teacher, eccentric, anarchist, and “possibly the grandfather of American Pop Culture.” At a young age and tired of the routines of Farmersville, he declared that, “He would live by his wits while his brothers lived by the sweat of their brows.” He and a friend bicycled first to New York City and then turned around to head west and eventually the world. Later his home would overflow with items collected while traveling the world. Outside was a similar story. While chiding the American people for their wastefulness and abusing their environment, his 22 acres of farmland became his artist's canvas filled with the thousands of items he collected from the “wasteful.”
(Continued on other side)

Side B:

(Continued from other side)
Winter Zellar (Zero) Swartsel's farm property became a field of glass as he adorned it with sculptures and “art” using glassware of all kinds, bells, bed frames, wood, and other discarded items. His finest works, fashioned from bottles titled “Kindly Light” and “Full Measure” created the popular Farmersville Bottle
Winter Zellar (Zero) Swartsel The Bottle Farm Marker (Side B) image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., February 14, 2009
2. Winter Zellar (Zero) Swartsel The Bottle Farm Marker (Side B)
Farm. The farm also provided interesting listening experiences. In addition to the bells and twinkling glass that rang out in the wind, residents in town could count on hearing “The Old Rugged Cross” played on loud speakers on Sundays. Bells on grazing sheep added to the “noises” he described as restful. The farm attracted visitors from every state in the nation except Delaware. Dying in 1953, Swartsel bequeathed his land to the community to become the Farmersville-Jackson Township Joint Recreation Park to be used for the pleasure of children.
 
Erected 2008 by Andrew K. Bowser BSA Eagle Project Troop 409 and The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 15-57.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection marker series.
 
Location. 39° 40.674′ N, 84° 27.025′ W. Marker is in Farmersville, Ohio, in Montgomery County. Marker is on Farmersville-Gratis Road, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in Farmersville-Jackson Township Joint Recreation Park, about 300 feet east of Swartzel Road. Marker is at or near this postal address: 14440 Farmersville-Gratis Road, Farmersville OH 45325, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this
Photograph of The Bottle Farm on Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., February 14, 2009
3. Photograph of The Bottle Farm on Marker
marker, measured as the crow flies. Farmersville War Memorial (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Farmersville Fire Department Memorial (approx. 1.4 miles away); Germantown Dam (approx. 3.7 miles away); Charles F. Shimp (approx. 5.1 miles away); Dayton Western Turnpike Milestone (approx. 5.3 miles away); Germantown Veterans Memorial (approx. 5.4 miles away); The Village of Germantown (approx. 5.6 miles away); Germantown Covered Bridge (approx. 5.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Farmersville.
 
Categories. AgricultureMan-Made FeaturesNotable PersonsNotable PlacesSettlements & Settlers
 
Winter Zellar (Zero) Swartsel The Bottle Farm Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
4. Winter Zellar (Zero) Swartsel The Bottle Farm Marker
Looking southwest.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 2,271 times since then and 209 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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