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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 old.

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 (b.1926).

late 1920's
Leaves Theodore, settles in Minot with her children. She works part-time as a waitress and entertains by playing piano and singing.

Theodore Grinolds dies (71).

late 1930's
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.

circa 1961
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 property again.

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 Europe.
(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 strokes.

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 Valley Library.

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 Francisco.

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)