THE CARS OF RUBEL’S CASTLE
Automotive treasures in Glendora, CA

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Rubel’s Castle in Glendora, CA

Words by Susie Ling
Pictures by Roy Nakano

Mike Rubel and his friends built fort-after-fort from resources found at the nearby city dump in Glendora, California. Each structure was taller than the last. At the age of 20, Mike – who had no money – acquired a 2.5-acre parcel of his childhood playground from Multimillionaire Arthur Bourne, who was heir to the Singer Sewing Machine fortunes.

Still with no money, Mike used charm and friendship to inspire all kinds of people to help him build his special castle against the walls of the old reservoir. People from all over gave him items for the castle—from coat hangers to a Route 66 stagecoach. And they came week-after-week for 28 years to help Mike build. Meanwhile, Mike slept on site in a glass bottle structure and an old citrus refrigerator. Rubel’s Castle remained a private home until 2005 when Mike gave his property to the Glendora Historical Society. There are five residents who still live in apartments within the castle.

Neighbors of Glendora have certainly adapted. They deal with 12 noon and 6 pm bell chimes on an 1890 Seth-Thomas clock. There were many parties here, including reverse egg hunts at Easter when kids hide the eggs for adults to find. The Castle never had a plan nor a permit. Still it has never even cracked despite the many Southern California earthquakes

Just before his passing in 2007, Mike Rubel turned the Castle over to the Glendora Historical Society.

For more information about Rubel’s Castle, go to rubelcastle.com

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Automotive treasures in Glendora, CA

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