NIT Wit Ridge is such a whimsical name for a house. And the place completely lives up to its name. The 90-year-old two-and-a-half acre ramshackle home on the outskirts of Cambria, California is a Historic Landmark in the area and a fine example of folk art. It is located just a few miles down the road from another famous landmark, the Hearst Castle.

Nit Wit Ridge is one-of-a-kind because it was built using millions of bits and pieces of recycled trash, and took over 50 years to complete. Arthur Harold Beal, aka Captain Nit Wit or Der Tinkerpaw, was a local trash hauler and loved all things rubbish. He basically suffered from the inability to throw anything away, collecting everything that the Cambrians threw away. So he used all his collections over the years, along with natural materials on the property to build the house, an effort that took him nearly a lifetime to complete, given his self-taught construction skills. Beal started working on his project in 1928, with just a pickaxe a shovel, and of course, a strong back. He began by laying the most unusual of foundations - he dug a 2.5 acre hollow on a hillside in Cambria and filled it with all kinds of trash. Over this, he used more trash to make an intricate network of terrace gardens, ornamental stone arches, buildings, fountains and walkways. Nit Wit Ridge stands three stories tall and is made from materials like abalone shells, used rocks, beer cans, car parts, old stoves, washer drums and tiles. Basically, anything that he could get his hands on. Well, from the outside the house looks exactly as it should, as derelict as ever.–ODC