Collecting antique bottles a family passion

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WESTVILLE – Most families like to do things together. For the Ross family in Westville, they like searching for old bottles.

It all started when Richard Ross was nine years old and stumbled across a clear glass bottle tossed beside a brook in the Loch Harbour area. He picked it up and was fascinated with it, and from then on, he was hooked.

"I started searching around and found all kinds of bottles that the early Scottish settlers were throwing around," Ross explained. "That one was from the early 1800s and had whisky in it."

Ross started collecting bottles then, bringing them home and storing them.

"I used to live in Trenton and I dug a lot of bottles up over there, near the old plant," he said.

His oddest find was courtesy of his father and came from the bottom of the East River.

"Behind the TrentonWorks plant, they had a crane and they dug that one up from the bottom of the East River. Dad got that one for me. It's a rare one, too, with chips in it, probably from the 1800s," he said.

Over the years, his family also caught the bug, with wife Diane and daughter Rebecca, 14, coming along on hunts and starting their own collections.

"It finally rubbed off on them," Ross joked. "It's a contagious, fun thing to do."

It's a great family bonding activity, added Diane Ross.

"It gets us out of the house, we like going digging," she said. "We like to use the metal detector, too, but we don't usually find bottles that way."

The Pictou County Antique Bottle Club, of which the Ross family are members – daughter Rebecca is the youngest member of the group –showed off some of their rare bottles Saturday in Westville.

"We've had a few people through," said Diane Ross. "It's always interesting to see what people have."

Organizations: Pictou County Antique Bottle Club

Geographic location: Westville, East River, Loch Harbour Trenton

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