Last December 2010, during the Auburn 49er Bottle Show, I had the good fortune of meeting Don Dwyer from Oroville, California. Don mentioned that he had an extensive Western Bitters Collection and asked if Elizabeth and I would like to visit. That was all it took.
On Monday morning, we checked out of our hotel in Auburn and headed north to Don’s remote house. This was fun. Great scenery and a fun time talking to a rather unique individual who is quite passionate about his bottles.
The thing that I found most interesting, was that Don had purchased a copy of Jeff Wichmann’s (American Bottle Auctions) The Best of the West, Antique Western Bitters Bottles and had used this as his guide and motivation to get great examples of many of the bottles in the book. I too had purchased this nice book in 2002 and it has inspired me too. Let me tell you, Don has a good number of the bottles listed. The book was so dog-eared and used, that you could really get a sense of connectivity with Don and his driving desire to meet his collection goals.
Only one other person, Don noted, has seen his collection so I thank Don for this rare opportunity. If you are wondering…. Warren Frederich has been up there too.