Calico is an old West mining town that has been around since 1881 during the largest silver strike in California. With its 500 mines, Calico produced over $20 million in silver ore over a 12-year span. When silver lost its value in the mid-1890's, Calico lost its population. The miner's packed up, loaded their mules and moved away abandoning the town that once gave them a good living. It became a "ghost town."
Walter Knott purchased Calico in the 1950's architecturally restoring all but the five original buildings to look as they did in the 1880's. Calico received State Historical Landmark 782 and in 2005 was proclaimed by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to be California's Silver Rush Ghost Town.
The Calico Bottle House was built after 1951 when Walter Knott began restoring the Calico Ghost Town as a tourist attraction. The Bottle House was built with more than 5,000 bottles.