Third graders from Cullen Elementary School take the first public Glendora Historical Society tour of the Rubel Castle in Glendora. June 5, 2006. Photo by Nick MoffitA castle made of ... junk?
[NOTE: "Junk" really means "Repurposed Materials."]
Students marvel at eclectic landmark
By Marianne Love, Staff Writer

GLENDORA - Students from an elementary school took the first public tour on Monday of Rubel Castle, an eclectic mix of rock buildings, discarded items and a renovated citrus packing house.

Third-graders from Cullen Elementary School trekked through the 1.7-acre property previously owned by Michael Rubel. He orchestrated the work of thousands of friends and volunteers over 26 years to build his dream compound at North Live Oak Avenue and Palm Drive. It's located behind a 20-foot-high, cinder-block wall and a massive wood and steel gate.

Rubel's crew took parts of bicycles, tires, shovels and the like and cemented them in between the river rock that makes up many of the compound's walls.

"They had all this junk so they said `Let's stick it here because it looks funny,"' tour guide Richard Macy told the students.

Other features of the castle include a Santa Fe Railroad caboose, a 70-foot-tall clock tower - which rings every half hour - encased in rocks, automobiles dating to the 1920s, a blacksmith area, a printing press room, three underground “dungeons" and a drawbridge.

"It's freaky," said Robert Cortez, 8.

Rubel, 66, was not available for comment. He bought the secluded property when he was 18.

He is described by friends as eccentric, so he put out the word that he'd take whatever "junk" people wanted to unload.

"It's weird," said Andy Williams, 8. "All the stuff is coming out of the walls like that toaster."

His treasures began to build with glass jars and bottles, tools and many antique items such as a hand-wound Seth homas clock with working chimes that have been deemed priceless.

Rubel's compound is also known as Rubel Farms, Rubelia, or The Tin Palace.

The Bottle House was one of the first of the farm's structures and the highlight of the field trip for Allison Griffitts.

"It was cool. The bottles were all glowing," Griffitts, 8, said.

Michael Rubel turned over the place to the Glendora Historical Society after he took ill in 2005.

Rubel Castle Tours

Tours at Rubel Castle are scheduled regularly by appointment. Sign up at .

Huell Howser's 2011 Tour of Rubel Castle. (half hour)

Visiting with Huell Howser ©2011


Get "One Man's Dream," the definitive book about Rubel Castle by Dave Traversi.

Find out more about the castle by following this link to other links.

Filming at Rubel Castle

Order of the Unified Heart