Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“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,
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)
bed frames, wood, and other discarded items. His finest works, fashioned from bottles titled “Kindly Light” and “Full Measure” created the popular Farmersville Bottle 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.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureMan-Made FeaturesSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection series list.
 
Location. 39° 40.674′ N, 84° 27.025′ W. Marker is in Farmersville, Ohio, in Montgomery County. Marker is on Farmersville-Gratis
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
Road, on the left when traveling west. Marker is in Farmersville-Jackson Township Joint Recreation Park, about 300 feet east of Swartzel Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 14440 Farmersville-Gratis Road, Farmersville OH 45325, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this 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); Slifers Presbyterian Church (approx. 3.3 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); Kern Cabin (approx. 5.3 miles away); The Jasper Road Bridge (approx. 5.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Farmersville.
 
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 was last revised on December 2, 2019. It was originally submitted on April 1, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 2,651 times since then and 59 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 1, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement
Oct. 20, 2020