Palace of Depression

This Great Depression-era creation was once known as the strangest house in the world.


In 1929, the most devastating year in the history of Wall Street, 70-year-old New York stock trader George Daynor was among those who lost his entire fortune. Left with just seven dollars, no hope, and a tinge of depression, Daynor never would have dreamt that he would one day become a world-renowned name.

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Directly following the stock market crash, Daynor claims to have been led by an angel on a 10-day, 112-mile hike to Vineland, New Jersey, where the only piece of property he could afford was a seven-acre junkyard situated on a swamp for the price of exactly seven dollars.

One night, while sleeping in the junkyard, Daynor’s angel reappeared in one of his dreams, urging him to use the mud, fuel leakage, bottles, bed frames, and unwanted auto parts on his property to build the “Palace of Depression,” a grand, marvelous home made of mud and junk. And that he did.

From 1929 to 1932, Daynor spent his days eating whatever he could scrape up—frogs, fish, rabbits, and squirrels—all the while constructing a gigantic palace out of dirt and scrap. Daynor built the palace to prove to every American what he learned from experience: that the Great Depression was not impossible to overcome. In Daynor’s own words, “the only real depression is a depression of individual ingenuity.”

Click ‘Continue Reading’ to view more photos of the home.