Here's the short version: In 1943, Albert Quigley had not been delivering on his promise to build his wife a new house. One day when he went to work, the Mrs. and her five kids demolished the old house and moved all their stuff into a chicken coop. Construction on the new house began immediately, based on a model built my Mrs. Quigley out of cardboard and match sticks.

This is that house, and on the left is Elise Quigley's grandson-in-law, who now lives in the house and acts as tourguide. You might notice an unusual texture to the walls of the house. That's because Elise Quigley cemented her rock collection to the outside walls. Since the age of nine, she had been gathering rocks of unusual shapes, ordering fossils and mineral specimens from catalogs and so on. Her rock collection had become a mountain, and not only did it cover four two-story walls, there was plenty left over to make several birdbaths, mailboxes, bird houses and much miscellaneous decorative sculpture.

From the brochure: "Only $2000 in cash was spent on labor and materials.... Mrs. Quigley wrote the patent office about patenting her design. Yes, she was told, she could have a patent, but one hardly seemed worth the expense because, the bureau said, to build such a house would cost $60,000 in 1944 currency."

The house is loaded with windows. One end of the building is practically all glass, and in 1943 all the available building materials were going to the war effort. The family lived in the house without glass until the end of the war.

And speaking of glass, did I mention that Mr. Quigley collected bottles?

Find Quigley's Castle on highway 23 four miles south of Eureka Springs.

In the neighborhood: Law Enforcement Museum | Natural Bridge and Pedestal Rock

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