~~Mississippi Delta Artists~~
In search of something to keep them busy during the slow winter months of farming, two Mississippi Delta men, Dudley Pleasants of Greenwood and John Sabin of Carroll County started a manufacturing venture creating bottle trees. The business, The Bottle Tree Man, is growing quickly.
Slaves from the Congo in Africa brought the idea of the traditional bottle trees -- live trees with colored bottles on the ends of branches -- into this country. Bottle trees protected the homes from evil spirits by trapping spirits inside the bottles, where they could do no harm.
“I remember their being around tenant houses everywhere when I was a kid,” said Pleasants, who grew up on a farm near Minter City.
The bottle trees disappeared as bulldozers razed emptied tenant houses as farming mechanized and became less dependent on a human work force. Today, the bottle trees of Sabin and Pleasants, reincarnated, sprout from steady metal bases and branches that end in colored bottles.
Pleasants first saw a metal bottle tree when visiting a friend who had one constructed from concrete reinforcing rods. The idea of welding his own version appealed to Pleasants, who also makes iron crosses and pot racks. He made a bottle tree for his own courtyard and for family members prior to his business venture.
Editor's note: Building your own bottle tree and using rebar?
Check out White Cap Construction Supplies.
Read many more great stories about BOTTLE TREES listed on our USADS pages.
Don Drane's Bottle Tree
Charlotte Conner's Bottle Tree
And here's a bit of history behind the Southern bottle tree: Bishop's Bottle Tree
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