February 1 - Thresie (Tressa) Luella Schafer
born in Easton, Minnesota, the youngest child (of eight) to
Catherine and Matthew Schafer.
Family moves to a homestead near Minot, North Dakota.
Tressa, at fifteen, marries Theodore Grinolds who is 52 years
Over the next 13 years, the Grinolds have
seven children: Earl (b.1913), Raymond (b.1914), Frank (b.1916),
Velma (b.1918), Othea (b.1920), Florence (b.1925) and Hubert
Leaves Theodore, settles in Minot with her children. She works
part-time as a waitress and entertains by playing piano and
Theodore Grinolds dies (71).
Moves to Pacific Northwest
Moves to Santa Susana (now Simi Valley), California. Lives in a
trailer parked on the property of her sister Hattie Hansen and
works at Tapo Citrus Company.
Marries Albert Prisbrey.
Begins building a cement block house on Alamo Street. Al
Prisbrey helps her complete the house.
Sells the house on Alamo to pay hospital bills and finance the
purchase of a 1/3 acre lot on Cochran Street. Daughter, Velma
Breen dies (36).
Tressa begins building Bottle Village on the lot at 4595 Cochran
St. Most of the major construction completed by 1961.
Eventually, 13 buildings and at least 22 sculptures will
comprise Bottle Village.
Tressa Prisbrey, now known as "Grandma" Prisbrey writes and
self-publishes her own story about the construction of Bottle
Village. The book mentions 13 structures, as well as the
gardens, walkways, and most of the shrines. At this point, six
of her seven children are still alive.
Daughter, Florence "Mickey" Madison dies (39). Son, Raymond
Grinolds dies (53). Husband, Albert "Al" Prisbrey (b.1905) dies
in automobile accident. Son, Frank Grinolds dies (53). Son, Earl
Grinolds dies (56).
Grandma Prisbrey sells the Bottle Village property & moves to
Oregon to care for her ailing son Herbert. She would not own the
Son, Hubert "Gene" Grinolds dies (48).
Tressa returns to Bottle Village to live as a
caretaker. Resumes giving tours and begins to obtain a different
kind of notoriety - the acceptance of her work by art scholars.
Work featured in five major exhibitions, two of which travel to
(see Resources page for exhibitions)
May - Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village made
Ventura County Cultural Landmark No.52.
June - Bottle Village made
official landmark of the City of Simi Valley.
July - Non profit
organization, Preserve Bottle Village Committee (PBVC) is
founded. Begins task of trying to raise money to secure
property, as well as being a support group for the ailing
artist. At 83 Tressa Prisbrey had begun to experience some small
June - Receives a grant for $4,300 from the
National Endowment for the Arts, to design and supervise the
construction of a Bottle Mural in the newly completed Simi
February - Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village
declared California State Historical Landmark No.939
May - Friends and family report a rapid steady
decline in Tressa Prisbrey's health. "Grandma" leaves her Bottle
Village for the last time. At the age of 86, She goes to live
with her one surviving daughter, Othea "Babe" Krieger in San
Dolls Head Shrine featured on the cover of LP
single "Mexican Radio" by rock band Wall of Voodoo.
January - Sister, Hattie Hanson dies.
July - Preserve Bottle
Village Committee become property owners as the result of a gift
deed from the local
October 5 - At the age of 92, Tressa "Grandma"
Prisbrey dies in a nursing home outside of San Francisco.
Bottle Village overseen by a small but dedicated handful of
people, who conduct educational events and other tours onsite
and work with the City [of Simi Valley] to acquire various Use
Permits to allow greater public access.
January 17th - A 6.7 magnitude earthquake
strikes the area. The epicenter is 8 miles from Bottle Village
and causes serious damage.
March - FEMA awards Bottle Village $18,900 to
conduct an Architectural and Engineering report that studies the
possibility of a large scale rebuilding. The stellar and
experienced rebuilding team consists of:
Bud Goldstone - Watts Towers Structural Engineer
Zuleyma C. Aguirre - Watts Towers Conservationist
Al Okuma - Architect
Marvin Rand - Photographer
Mo Shannon - MOCA Collections Expert
October - Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village
accepted onto the National Register of Historic Places.
November - After 2 & 1/ 2
years of working with FEMA, Preserve Bottle Village signs for
the approved $485,000 in earthquake repair money.
January - Local Congressman Elton Gallegly writes Bill HR175
against Bottle Village receiving any Federal Money, calling this
money a "waste".
March - Even though this
Bill is tabled, FEMA rescinds the grant. Citing the fact that
Bottle Village had been "unopened" since 1984, and citing
political concerns. During this time Bottle Village receives
excellent National Press from NPR, New York Times (Brown,
Patricia Leigh. "Reading the Message in the Bottles". February
6, 1997 ppB1, B8) and People Magazine. (Zutell, Irene. "Bottle
Battle". June 23, 1997. p113).
May to December - Preserve
Bottle Village files appeals to FEMA, successfully appealing
$18,900 yet not overturning FEMA's decision on the larger sum.
Preserve Bottle village continues preservation efforts, speaking
with private foundations.
PBVC receives generous grants and donations from:
Larry Janss - School of the Pacific Islands Foundation ($21,000)
Rothschild Foundation ($15,000)
Gareth Evans - Golden Rule Foundation ($10,000 + $5,000)