Eulogy to Arnold Sierras


The San Jose Antique Bottle Collectors Association (SJABCA) was founded in 1958 by our long time club friend and mentor Mr. Del Kenyon. The club has since grown into a large family organization.

This many folks have visited this page Thanks for visiting the site.

We are currently meeting at the offices of-

Meeting Dates and time:
Meetings will be held every third Tuesday of the month at 7:00 PM.

Please check out new links added to our LINKS in the LINKS section below.


APRIL 16th, 2019.

Back to Bottle Business! Spring is here and it will be great for us to catch up on our past summer activities and show our latest acquisitions. Please bring bottles, "go-withs" and other interesting collectibles that you picked up over the summer break. Golden Gate Historical Society Show This Friday & Saturday, 4/12-3 in Antioch. Many members of our club made it down to the Morro Bay show this last month as usual, the event drew rave reviews. Hopefully some of us will be able to attend the Antioch show this week and pick up some coveted treasures. The event opens for Early Buyers on Friday, from 12 pm - 5 pm with $10 admission. General Admission is free on Saturday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. The show is at the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, 1201 West 10th Street, Antioch, CA 94509>

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, APRIL 16th, 2019.

Thank you to members that come out and give programs. It makes for a nice focal point to the meeting. Please make a note of any items you want to show for sale at club is fine. You never know when that item you were looking for a member of the club just might have.

This month lets also bring our new acquisitions from ebay or the shows and any other things of interest that you collect and want to share. As always if you have items to share or sell please bring them to the meetings!

Annual Dues are Due Now.

Please check

UPCOMING EVENTS for future meetings, location and links added to LINKS below Member's email addresses posted below.

Meeting activities may include Show and Tell, guest speakers and exhibits. Other club activities include pot lucks, field trips, annual picnic and Christmas dinner.

The SJABCA is a non-profit organization. Visitors are welcome and encouraged to join and participate in our activities.


$20.00 per Family or Single, checks payable to :
c/o Kathie Craig
1037 Hazelwood Ave.
Campbell, CA. 95008


Vi Kenyon, Bev Silva, Joe Silva and Del Kenyon

It is with sad regrets that our club founder and mentor Del Kenyon has passed away this December, 2017. You will be missed Del.

Another very well loved club member Walt Dabel has passed away.

Jan. 3, 1938 - Apr. 7, 2018 San Jose

Walt Dabel passed away quietly at home on April 7, 2018. He was born on January 3, 1938 to Martha Andre and Henry Dabel in San Jose, CA. He was raised on the Dabel family ranch on Quimby Rd. where the family grew apricots, prunes and almonds. Walt was called Butch by a cousin at an early age, a nickname that stuck. Walt attended James Lick High School, graduating in 1955. He then attended San Jose State where he was on the Judo team, coached by Yosh Uchido. He supported the judo team throughout his life. Walt married Barbara Ethel Walker. They bought Barbara's parent's house and welcomed daughter's Heather and Melissa there, and both lived there until they passed. Walt taught in Milpitas schools for his entire teaching career. He taught special education classes, science and math. Walt's yard flourished with iris, camellias, dahlias, daffodils, fuchsias, epiphyllums, and many other flowers. He also raised apricot, peach, apple, cherry, orange and lemon trees, as well as berry vines. Tomatoes were another favorite crop, but it was the giant pumpkins that took much of his time. His largest pumpkin was grown in 2011 and weighed 1528.5, selling to a buyer in Japan. Barbara passed away in April of 2009. Walt managed to live another 9 years, filling his days with his collections and his gardening. He was a true renaissance man - as comfortable growing flowers as he was pruning trees, fixing engines, or solving math equations. Walt was predeceased by both parents and by his wife of 46 years, Barbara. He is mourned by siblings Jackie, Tom and Bill. He leaves to cherish his memory daughters Heather (Dennis) Hignite and Melissa (Matt) Davis and grandchildren Chloe, Liam, and Corey. He also leaves nieces and nephews, as well as countless friends and other relatives.


Calendar of Upcoming Outside Shows & Events

12 & 13 April 2019 (Friday & Saturday) Antioch, California - The Golden Gate Historical Bottle Society's 53rd Annual Show and Sale, Early Buyers: Friday 12 pm -5pm, $10 Admission; General Admission: Saturday 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, Free. Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, 1201 West 10th Street, Antioch, CA 94509. Info: Gary & Darla Antone, 752 Murdell Lane, Livermore, CA 94550, 925.373.6758, packrat49er@netscape.net.

17th & 18th May 2019 (Friday & Saturday) Kent, Washington - The Washington Bottle & Collector's Antique Bottle & Collectible Show, Kent Commons - West Gym, 525 4th Ave N, Kent, Washington 98032. Early Admission: Friday, May 17th, 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm' $5.00 General Admission Saturday, May 18th, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm, Free. Set up: Friday 10:00 am. Website: wabottleclub.org.Contact: Niel Smith, 3124 Hoadly St, SE,Olympia, WA 98501; 360.943.0518; wbcaweb@gmail.com FOHBC Member Club

01 June 2019 (Saturday) Canyonville Oregon Jefferson State Antique Bottle & Insulator Expo, Saturday: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Free Admission, $10 early admission 7:00 to 9:00 am. Seven Feathers Casino Resort, I-5, Exit 99. Info: Bruce Silva, P.O. Box 1565, Jacksonville, Oregon 97530, 541.821.8949, jsglass@q.com

08 June 2019 (Saturday) San Diego, California - Save The Date! San Diego 19th Annual 2019 Antique Bottle & Collectible Show & Sale, Saturday June 8, 2019 Courtyard Marriott, Liberty Station, 2592 Laning Road, San Diego, California 92106, Located in Pt. Loma at Historic & Popular Library Station. Come For The Day, Spend The Weekend. Close To Hotels, Airport, San Diego Harbor, Beaches, Sea World & The Zoo, Dealers Set-up, 6:00 am,"Early Bird" 7:30 am-9:00pm: $10, Free Admission 9:00 am-3:00 pm, Kids under 12 free with adult, Info: Jim Walker, 858.490.9010, jfw@internetter.com, www.sdbottleclub.org

29 June 2019 (Saturday) Castle Rock, Colorado - 54th Antique Bottle Collectors of Colorado Show, Douglas County Fairgrounds at Kirk Hall, 500 Fairgrounds Drive, Castle Rock, Colorado 80104, Saturday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Early Bird 8:00 am, Dealer Set Up Friday, June 28th 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Saturday June 29th 7:00 am. Show admission $3, Early Bird admission $10, Antique Bottle Collectors Of Colorado, Contact Name : Eric Grace, Show Chairman, 10041 Granite Hill Drive, Parker, Colorado, 80134, 303.250

30 July - 03 August 2020 (Thursday - Sunday) Reno Nevada - 2020 FOHBC National Antique Bottle Convention & Expo, Grand Sierra Resort & Casino, Information: Richard Siri rtsiri@sbcglobal.net or Ferdinand Meyer Vfmeyer@fmgdesign.com), FOHBC National Convention - Western Region

Our Club President-Kathie Craig



"For What It's Worth" By Jack Craig


Vi and Del Kenyon

One of our founders, Vi Kenyon, passed away in April 2013. Vi was an avid collector with tons of knowledge and stories that she was always willing to share. She will be greatly missed.

Del Kenyon, our club founder and mentor and loving spouse of Vi Kenyon has passed this December, 2017. We will miss you Del!

There's little doubt that most of our current Bottle Club Members know the part that DEL KENYON played in our Club's History.


By Del Kenyon


It was just about dusk and I was through fishing: instead of following the river to get back to camp, I decided to take a short cut over the hill. When I got to the top, I was standing in the woods next to a little meadow, looking across the meadow, I could see a very old cabin. Then as I looked down I realized that I was standing on top of a very old grave. As I stepped back I saw a large wooden headstone that reads "Bessie and Baby. 1854"We all know what happened there. The next day I found 3 old plain medicine bottles with pontil scars.


By Del Kenyon

The Felton lime kilns produced most of the lime to rebuild San Francisco. They also had a Barrel factory that produced barrels used to ship the lime. I stumbled on the lime kilns while looking for old saw mills. There were many old cabins (shacks) so I knew there could be bottles in the area. Vi and I and our two boys went out many times to look for old bottles. After the kids finished their homework, they would prowl and horse around. Later we would have lunch in front of the kilns. There was a steep bank below the kilns and one day the kids lowered a rope down to the bottom. Then I heard one call out to me digging and came up with 11 whiskey 5ths, 1 quart, 4 pints, 3 half pints and 4 rectangular amber quarts. Don't remember the names on all the bottles now. We also found some food bottles, nothing really old. The place is now a State Park so no more digging but one can still look around. I did not get all the bottles. If you look north, you may find a real low water trough that the oxen used to drink out of.

Hunting Old Ghost Towns

By Pat & Louie Schuesler

In the 1960's we started going bottle hunting out to old ghost towns with friends from Reno, Nevada. One day we drove up Highway 49and stopped at an antique shop just on the south side of Placerville and looked at some of their old bottles. As we talked to the owners, they said that we could dig in the old Placerville dump ...just north of town. We came back the following weekend with our friends, and continued to dig there for several years. It was a very steep hill, and to get to the older bottles, we had to dig down deeper. Old cars were dumped up at the top of the dump, so we had to be extra careful!!! When new owners bought the property we had to sneak in across a canyon to the dump. Then it got closed permanently. Some of the people we dug bottles with were Jules & Irma Lapiz who lived in Boulder Creek. George and Ellen Matson went digging with us for many years and of course Ray & Jean Sickler. We started with bottles, arrowheads then rocks and minerals. Del Kenyon was the first president of our club, Pat Koster was 2nd, Jules Lapiz was 3rd and Louie was 4th president of our club. Ben Zeitman was the 5th. I believe that's as far as they got.

I Had A Dream

By Judy Bakke

My luckiest bottle find started with a dream. I had a dream that Kim and I were walking in the Santa Cruz Mountains and found a hill that looked promising for old bottles. We started moving the dirt and uncovered beer bottle after beer bottle on this hillside. It was such an exciting dream that I remembered it strong when I woke up. A couple days later we decided to go exploring around Wright's Station. We were walking through the creek bed and I was looking at the hillside. They were bumpy full of dirt, rocks and roots. Kim was way ahead. All of a sudden I noticed a small blue glass shaped feature blending in with the soil. I could tell right away it was a bottle. Scooping away the the dirt I could see that the glass on the bottom was crude and not symmetrical. I could see a beautiful embossed W on the bottom. I was so excited. I called over and over for Kim. I wanted him to see it just the way I found it Finally he came and we finished getting all the dirt off the sides and carefully pulled it straight out. Even though the top was missing, the ice blue glass was in perfect condition. A crown top William Brother's soda from San Jose sat cradled carefully in my hand. It sits proudly on my dresser to this day. I have yet to go to an official bottle dig but this one I have found myself.

Horseback Riding on Highway 17

By Pat Schuesler

In the early 1960s, I rode a horse right down

In the middle of Highway 17, to a small Los Gatos town,

I galloped then on weekends, when the highway work was done

Or.. in the quiet evening....that was a lot of fun!

My brother's horse Cayenne, was a wonderful horse to ride

He galloped along so freely with a magnificent fluid stride

And when the highway work was finished my riding had to stop

But the fun of all those memories, are really hard to top!

I loved it!! and, the memories...I'm the only one I know

Who rode horseback on Hwy 17....55 years ago.

Pat Schuesler, September, 2017


There's little doubt that most of our current Bottle Club Members know the part that DEL KENYON played in our Club's History.

Perhaps in spite of the fact that many have heard the story, it's one that's worth repeating in perhaps a bit more detail, for while it's not an historical epic, as yet, there will be a day when all that is left are a few written words and the memories of not only Del, but of all of us who are now a part of the "thought" long ago, that brought us to this day.

Del started in the days when bottles were something to either throw a rock at, shoot at with a rifle or totally ignore.

It was while on a fishing trip in the Feather River Canyon, in the year 1958 that Del, while making his way through the woods to a better spot on the river to cast his line, ran across an old Mountain Cabin and not far from the Cabin he also saw a grave, that had been there many years.

Del had decided to look through the Cabin. His search was born from curiosity, for in those days he wasn't interested in antiques. His interests were hunting and fishing.

The Cabin turned up nothing. So he left for his fishing spot

A couple days later he and Vi were driving down an old dirt road and Del saw a small sign that said, he thought, Antiques. He backed up and ventured down this so called road and ended up at at an Old Store, which was run by Charlie and Winnie Steele.

Del and Vi spent three hours talking to Charlie and Winnie, and when they left, Del had developed a mild interest in "Old Bottles", for the Antique part of the sign was referring to "Old Bottles."

With the information gained from talking to Charlie and Winnie, Del thought that there might be a chance there would be a "Valuable bottle back at the Cabin he'd found a couple days ago.

His next move was to return to the old Cabin. With shovel in hand, he went to work. All his efforts did for him was produce a Worcestershire Sauce along with two other nondescript bottles. But, although the Worcestershire had no value in today's market, it was solid gold to Del.

From that day on, Del was in search of "Old Bottles." Vi was sure that Del had strained his brain. He not only spent a good share of his time crawling down gopher holes in search of Bottles, he was on a constant lookout for other Old Cabins and Dumps. It became physically impossible for him to pass an Antique shop, Vi was usually with him as he rooted through them, she would wait in the truck and sit and knit, knit and sit, sit and knit.

Finally out of desperation she too, decided to search the so called "Antique Shops." Bad move, soon she too was hooked, not on bottles but on Dolls, along with other paraphernalia.

Del, along with two newly acquired buddies, Pat Koster and Giles Ralston searched high and low for four years. Their quest was a well kept secret. For who in those days would admit to spending their leisure time looking for "Old Bottles?"

One day while digging, Del heard about a "Bottle Club" in Sacramento. Once again, Del's curiosity got the better of him, so he and Vi decided to run down the lead, to learn more about their "New Hobby."

Both he and Vi found their meeting place. There they met Jackie Scroggins, Lou Denchfield. George Reiber and John Tibbets. Del was impressed with the Club, so over the months he and his buddies, Pat Koster and Giles Ralston worked out a set of rules and by-laws, by which to govern their new club.

The New Club formed in 1963, was an exclusive one. The now three members formerly met in Del's house. This being one of the two reasons Del was elected President. The other being that he had the most bottles.

The meetings were held in Del's house until the "Select" membership grew to 28. At that time it became necessary to find larger quarters for their meetings.

Their first public meeting place was in the Adult Education Building in Cupertino. Since there was no charge and the building was for public use, there could be no "private" meetings. That's when the doors were open to the public.

It wasn't long until the "Bottle Craze" started spreading and soon the S.J.A.B.C.A. Club became one of, if not the best, in Northern California.

It should be noted that Charlie Steele has since died, but Winnie Steel is alive and still interested in "Old Bottles."

Del credits them for his interest in bottles and hence they were his reason for starting our club.

Members email addresses

Warren Whited

Jeff and Jacqueline Walston

Kathie Craig

Pat Schuesler

Roger Hill

Dave Sisson

Willy Young

Mark Davis

John O'Neill

Dave & Mary Smith

Lois Robinson

Pat & Nancy Miller

Paul Merchain

Kim Bakke

Tobin Gilman


Eulogy To Arnold Sierras

Ricks Bottle Room

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Medicine Nexus

My Best Coin Day E.V.E.R.

Bottle Digging in Hawaii

Jon Dunlavy-Ceramic Artist Glaze Specialist

Treasure Hunting For Antique Bottles

Toadstool Millionaires

Antique Ink Bottles

American Land Rights Association-Land Rights Network

Bottle wants, Sales or Trades









Club Diggin's at Woolen Mills Oct. 15th and 16th 1999