According to the Big Stone Gap Post there were two bottling companies in Appalachia, VA in 1907, one of which was The Cumberland Bottling Works with F. B. Clark & Son Proprietors.(1) According to their ad in the same paper, on September 25, 1907, they bottled and distributed pops, ciders, and all kinds of soft drinks.(1) They also sold drinks via mail order, most likely by rail.(1) Knowing that the Appalachia Bottling Company also had a store associated with it I was able to rule out one of the bottling plants which appear on the February 1908 Sanborn maps, and thus it appears that this bottling plant was located on the Northwest corner of the intersection of Main Street and Spruce Street. By 1929 the entire block was leveled for construction of the Appalachian Hotel.

The first mention that is made of this company is in the September 25, 1907 edition of the Big Stone Gap Post, the ad was also accompanied in the local news section by a small blurb about the company, which after looking through enough of this particular paper indicates that the company has just started. Things apparently didn't go well as Clark has sold the company to W. T. Barker and J. D. Larkey, who planned on continuing to operate the company under the new name "The Cumberland Bottling Company", on January 22, 1908.(1) The equipment mentioned in the notice included "One Gem carbonator, one Crowning table, one Hutchinson corking table, one 2 horse power gasoline engine, 355 two dozen wood cases, 100 four dozen shipping cases, 14,200 eight ounce bottles, 50 gallons flavoring extracts, one iron safe."(1) The odd thing is that they still have a Hutchinson corking table, which logically means that there should be both Hutchinson bottles and crown top bottles from this company, or that they purchased some equipment from another earlier bottler possibly J. F. Hash & Sons.

This company fell on misfortune as well. It was auctioned off to satisfy the deed of trust set up with the Larkey and Barker sale, the plant was purchased by A. H. Hale of the Appalachia Bottling Company. (1) I'm not completely sure what Hale did with the company; however, it is possible that he shipped it all to London, KY where he installed another bottling plant before selling the Appalachia Bottling Company and moving there in October 1908.(1) F. M. Clark moved back to Inman near Appalachia in May 1908 after having moved to Osaka, Missouri and then to Los Tanos, New Mexico after selling the Cumberland Bottling Works back in January of that same year.(1)

This corner was where the Cumberland Bottling Works would have stood

From the collection of Frank Anderson, photo by Joseph Lee
Part of a Cumberland Bottling Company bottle from Appalachia.

An ad for the company from September 25, 1907.

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(1) The Big Stone Gap Post September 25, 1907, January 22, 1908, May 20, 1908, October 07, 1908