Nova Scotia's 'keeper of the cliffs' boasts impressive antique bottle collection
For decades, Don Reid has been known as the ‘keeper of the cliffs.’
Reid’s large collection of fossils helped make Joggins, N.S. a World Heritage site, but Reid also boasts a collection of more than 2,000 antique bottles.
He converted a garage into a showroom for his collection, which includes everything from medicine bottles and pickling jars, to bottles for alcohol and soft drinks.
The 93-year-old Joggins resident says he was bit by the collecting bug while in his teens.
“Run across a bunch of old bottles one day and I just kept it up, just kept searching and looking for bottles,” says Reid. “Around old villages, old farms, old dumps, and there’s just something that draws you to the old bottles.”
Reid also collected thousands of fossils over several decades and later donated them to the Joggins Fossil Centre, which led to Joggins being named a UNESCO World Heritage site.
He says collecting fossils and bottles is like digging up history, millions of years apart.
“That was a hard decision sometimes, what to look for. It’s just, some days you’d go looking for fossils, and other days you’d go looking for bottles.”
John Reid shares his father’s passion for collecting and says they spent many days together, searching for the next big find.
“You just do something you like. It’s an addiction,” says John Reid. “When you find an old bottle, you just go out and try to find more or something older, and fossils are the same.”
Reid has some bottles that are more than 150 years old, but despite the size of his collection, he has no plans to slow down.
“You look for a different kind…there’s many different kinds that hasn’t been found yet that was made 100 years ago, 200 years ago. Some was blown bottles. Some was made by hand.”
Reid scales back on collecting during the winter months, but says he will be on the lookout for antique bottles of all shapes and sizes once the warm weather arrives.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Dan MacIntosh