Tuesday, March 26, 2019

In Loving Memory


Thank you all for your wonderful comments, accolades and caring responses through this difficult time. Rick’s passing was so unexpected and it’s heartwarming to our family to receive your support.  Rick was one of those guys that you could never forget. He had a presence about him and when I first saw him 45 years ago, I knew immediately that our paths would cross someday.

Please keep me on your mailing list for upcoming shows and newsletters. I’m hoping to continue supporting the hobby as much as possible. Thank you again.
Cherry
"Rick" Richard Gary Simi
December 21, 1947 - March 19, 2019

                                                          

“Rick”, Richard Gary Simi passed away on March 19, 2019 at Mercy San Juan Hospital in Carmichael, CA after complications from a serious surgery.  He was 71 years old.

Rick was born in Oakland CA and was the first born boy and first boy grandchild in the Simi family. He spent his childhood moving between El Cerrito, Lake Tahoe and South Carolina before moving back to California and graduating from Harry Ells High School in 1965.

After graduation, Rick worked with his father at Berkeley Glass and received his Journeyman Glazier certificate. Later he worked with Bob Holt, who had a lightshow business during the early rock days. They produced light shows for rock concerts at Winterland, the Filmore and other Bay Area concert venues. Rick worked with many popular rock bands during the 1960-70’s and enjoyed friendships with several.

He had a passion for music all his life, as well as photography, race cars and motorcycles.  Rick had an artistic flair and was good with his hands; creating stained glass windows and working with wood. He had many hobbies and always pursued them to the fullest.  He was truly an example of a “renaissance man”.  Rick loved being outdoors; motorcycle riding, fishing, long range shooting, metal detecting, and bottle hunting. He was well-known for his knowledge of antique bottles and wrote a local history book called “Gold Rush Camps and Bottles of Sierra County”. Rick also created a popular forum-style website about collecting and researching antique bottles that has a large following of viewers.

Rick ventured into the gold country during the early 1970’s and finally found his forever home. He camped and panned for gold and ultimately bought a house in Sierra City.  This was where he wanted to plant roots. He obtained his building contractor’s license and did much of his work in the Sierra City, Downieville area. He and wife Cherry purchased the old Downieville Brewery and completely renovated it. After retiring from the building industry, and at the time of his death, he was a Federal, State and Locally licensed firearms dealer, instructor and gunsmith.

During his 49 years as a Sierra County resident, Rick was a past member of the Sierra City Fire Department; acted in the Sierra City Fireman’s Follies as the memorable French maid “Fifi”, was a past Downieville Cemetery Director; served as a Director on the Forest City Historical Society; volunteered to create exhibits and remodel the Downieville Museum; has been the Yuba Pass Chili Cook-Off three time first place winner; hosted the annual Downieville Antiques and Bottles Show, and participated in many other local activities and organizations.

Rick is survived by his wife of 32 years, Cherry; children Alex Simi (Napa), James Prince (Downieville), Chandra Baciocco (San Francisco), Natalina Simi (Oakland). Sister Renee Simi Kantor (Pleasanton) and brother Michael Simi (Rohnert Park), and several nieces, nephew, and cousins. Dear to his heart are grand-daughters Macie and Makenna Prince. Also grandchildren Jordan and Zachary Simi. Rick was preceded in death by his brother Joseph Simi and both parents.

A Celebration of Life for friends and family will be announced at a later date.

As in the lyrics from the song Truckin’ by the Grateful Dead:
 Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me,
 Other times I can barely see,
 Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it’s been.

We love and miss you, Rick. 


Rick adored his grand-daughters and they loved him back. This is a favorite photo of mine. 



Friday, March 22, 2019

Rest In Peace

Rest In Peace Rick, we are going to miss you.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Mills' Bitters A.M. Gilman

Update on the Mills' Bitters


The first listing for the Mills' Bitters in California is in, The Shasta Courier, July 22, 1854. It shows H. Gilbert of Shasta, Cal. selling it.

Here is an ad from the Nashville Union and American, Dec. 2, 1855. It shows what the Mills' Bitters was made for and from whom. It was highly advertised in Nashville, Tenn. during the 1850's.
 
 
The first listing for A.M. Gilman is in the San Francisco directory 1854. He is listed at 106 Battery St. S.F.
 
Next in 1856 he is at 82 Front St. and established the company name, A.M. Gilman & Co. in 1855
 
 
1861 -  324 Front St.
 
1862 - 414 Front St.
 
1864 - 409 Front St.
 
1871 - 322 Washington St.
 
1873 - 308 California St.
 
1876 - 308 California St. "Lick House" Billiard Saloon
 
1880 - 1516 California St.
 
There is no listing for A.M. Gilman after 1880.
 
The newspaper ads I found for A.M. Gilman start in 1857.
The first one is in the, Daily Alta, April 2, 1857
 
 
 
Next is in the, Red Bluff Beacon, April 11, 1861 and August 7, 1862
 
 
 


 Daily Alta, August 2, 1873
 
 
 
Daily Alta, Nov. 27, 1874
 

Daily Alta, Dec. 20, 1875


Daily Alta, June 4, 1876



Daily Alta, August 12, 1877


Daily Alta, Jan. 31, 1878





Daily Alta, August 14, 1878
This is the first and only ad for the Mills' Bitters and the very last ad for A.M. Gilman.


Strange that Mr. Gilman waited until the end of his career to produce the Mills' Bitters. After this ad in 1878, he is only listed one more time in 1880. He is listed as a merchant at 1516 California St. After that he disappears. Shortly after Mr. Cassin takes over the brand. Mr. Gilman had a 26 year run in the liquor business.  He had only one liquor business in the Santa Cruz area fail.


But, the great thing that A.M. Gilman did is produce a rare one year only Western Bitters.
Thanks Mr. Gilman



 
 
 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

A RECENT WESTERN DIG

Hey Rick;

“Two western diggers( JS &DM) teamed up recently in a western State and found three pits ranging from the early 1860s to the late 1880s. There were over 100 intact bottles found with these being the undamaged “favorites”. Quite a variety of glass from all categories. Nothing like digging fun glass in 10 foot deep mud filled holes!”
Thanks!















Monday, February 11, 2019

Aurora Oregon Show - this weekend

I'd strongly suggest calling before traveling to the show due to inclement weather (IE; a LOT of snow)! 

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Saturday, February 9, 2019

W.S. Wright- Revisited - A True Piece of History.

Recently I was able to reacquire a bottle which I dug many years ago...lost in the pick, purchased it later, traded it, and now am grateful to have back on the shelf. It is a dark aqua W.S.Wright blob soda with thousands of champagne bubbles, and in perfect condition. To me these sodas are among the most historically significant pieces of western glass.
William S. Wright came to California in the 1850s and initially settled in the Petaluma, California area. He ran

a store there until moving to the Comstock about 1860. Wright started in the soda water business in 1861 at Mill and B street in Virginia City. In the Summer of 1863, Wright placed an order for 24,000 soda bottles from the fledgling Pacific Glass Works. This large order actually made headlines in the San Francisco and Sacramento newspapers. Obviously he had grand ideas of the demand for his bottled soda in the booming town. For such a large order of "custom" bottles, relatively few have survived. It is thought that a significant percentage of these bottles were poorly manufactured with flashes, numerous pot stones, and other impurities. In 1989 literally thousands of these "rejects" were dug in a large well or outhouse near the W.S. Wright factory. Only a handful were found intact, and most of these were loaded with chunks of charcoal, and stones. I have seen and held the killer dark green example with hundreds of stones throughout, and amazingly, none radiate. What a bottle!
The W.S. Wright has "Pacific Glass Works" proudly embossed on the base, and although no State is embossed, these are considered to be the earliest western blown soda bottle. They are also territorial which makes these bottles the earliest territorial soda bottles in the U.S.
Very few of the Wright sodas have been found outside the Virginia City area, which makes sense as there was most likely this one order. There are in my opinion about 30 undamaged examples in collections. All in all this is one important western bottle! Dale M.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

"Great New Discovery"


The "London Jockey Club House Gin" ledger book has been discovered. Many questions will be answered. Who created it and where, who was buying it and selling it. Even the names of the sailing ships they were delivered on and how many cases made it to California and the West. A full article on the complete history of the London Jockey coming out soon in the Antique Bottle & Glass Collector magazine.