Stone Mountain Bottling Co.
Pepsi Cola Bottling Co.
Southwest Beverages

On February 7, 1923 the T. M. Pepper Company changed its name to the Stone Mountain Bottling Company with George W. Venron listed as Manager.(5) They are still located at 320 Eighth Street according to all three editions of the Beverage Blue Book.(3) By 1924 they are bottling a brand called King Kole, which I have yet to find any information on, but could possibly be a brand created by the company itself. During the 1930's the company is bottling a brand by the name of Parfay, which was a cola, along with Nu-Grape, and a large line of Nu-Icy flavors including Root Beer, Peach, Cherry, Orange, Cream Soda, Orangeade, Strawberry, Clear Lemon, and Lemon Lime. They also seem to be distributing Ortel's '92 beer as so many bottlers, ice companies, and even dairies did after the repeal of prohibition. By the 1940's they are bottling the brand which would remain their leader (the main brand of a bottling company) into present day, Pepsi-Cola. During this same period their lineup included other national brands such as Mil-K-Botl (an orange soda), the lithinated lemon soda 76, and O-So Grape.

One interesting thing is that there is a Sun Flower Beverages bottle from Norton VA dated 1948. I would speculate, since Stone Mountain Bottling doesnít appear to have had a flavor line, that they were granted a franchise for this brand by the Tip Corporation of America of Marion, VA. Knowing that the majority of the franchises that the company issued were to Pepsi-Cola bottlers, it would make sense. This leaves one to speculate on the possible existence of a Tip bottle from Norton, VA. The Stone Mountain Bottling Company became the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Norton, VA on August 3, 1948.(5) The company also appears to have changed hands from George Vernon to George E. Hunnicutt as President, and T. R. Hunnicutt is listed as Secretary.(5) By 1948 the company also appears to have moved into the same building as the Old Dominion Ice Corporation on the corner of Twelfth Street and Spring Avenue. By 1951 they have abandoned the Sun Flower Beverage line in favor of Nu-Grapeís Sun Crest Beverages brand, which they will bottle for a long time.

The period of the 1960ís was a turbulent time in the bottling industry, competition was starting to squeeze out the independent bottlers causing them to shut down and sell. From all I have heard the president of this company at the time was quite active in purchasing these competitors as they sold out in order to prevent someone else from re-opening the company and competing with him. One of these bottling companies was the Dr. Pepper Bottling Company of Coeburn, VA which it appears sold out to the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Norton, VA, and instead of just warehousing their bottles and equipment like they would with the Sun Rise Bottling Company of Tazewell in 1960, actually continued to operate the plant in order to acquire the Dr. Pepper franchise for the area. In fact this may explain the Southwest Beverages Company which according to the present owner of the company was created specifically to handle their Dr. Pepper part of the business. In fact if the bottle caps from the company are any indication this company essentially handles anything not directly associated with Pepsi-Cola brands. Over the years these have included Squirt (a grapefruit soda) Hires Root Beer, both franchises acquired by purchasing Sun Rise Bottling Company, Nu-Grape, and the Sun Crest Beverage line.

At some point the company purchases a former bakery across the tracks from their second location, and moves there. This could have been sometime in the early 1970ís as Dr. Pepperís Clock Dial magazine changes the location of that particular franchise from being produced in Coeburn, VA to Norton, VA.(4) Logic would dictate that after the acquisition of the Seven Up Bottling Company of Richlands, VA sometime in the late 1960ís, they decided that they had to have a larger bottling operation to house all three of these large franchises, along with their smaller ones, in one building in Norton itself. This location on Twelfth Street is where the company is still located today, and they are the oldest bottling company in Southwest Virginia which is still bottling. As I mentioned before it is now owned by Mr. George Hunnicutt Jr, whom I have met, and hope will have many productive years of bottling ahead.


The second location of the bottling company on what used to be part of 12th street



Current location of Pepsi Cola bottling company of Norton and Southwest Beverages



6 1/2oz King Cole by Stone Mountian Bottling Company bottle dated 1924



1930 Stone Mountian Bottling Company ad









6 1/2oz Stone Mountian Bottling Company bottle dated 1926



A Nu-Icy ad from 1930







12oz Stone Mountain Bottling Company Pepsi-Cola bottle dated 1940. Would have had a paper label.




The bottom of the Pepsi-Cola bottle



A Pepsi-Cola ad from July 10, 1941









12oz Pepsi-Cola Fountain Syrup bottle dated 1943



Pepsi-Cola ad from the Stone Mountain Bottling Company from 1942









7oz "76" bottle dated 1945









7oz Oso Grape bottle dated 1946









7oz "76" bottle dated 1946









7oz Oso Grape bottle dated 1947









12oz Pepsi bottle dated 1947




Photo contributed by Claude Hill
The bottling line of the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company Norton, VA Circa 1950ís.









12oz Sun Flower Beverages bottle dated 1948









8oz Pepsi bottle dated 1948. The interesting thing with this bottle is the advertisement on the back for the larger 12oz size bottle.









12oz Pepsi bottle dated 1948




From the collection of Frank Anderson, photo by Joseph Lee
Mil-k-botl paper label from the Stone Mountain Bottling Company









10oz Mil-Kay bottle dated 1949









10oz Sun Crest Bottle dated 1951




Photo contributed by Claude Hill
The original Pepsi-Cola warehouse in Keen Mountain VA during the 1957 flood.









10oz Sun Crest Bottle dated 1952









10oz Sun Crest Bottle dated 1954









10oz Pepsi bottle dated 1955









10oz Pepsi bottle dated 1957




A Hartman Hillbilly era bottle cap from Norton, VA









10oz Mountain Dew bottle dated 1965, but with a Pepsi era Hillbilly bottle cap from Norton, VA. No name on the bottle itself.




Photo contributed by Claude Hill
The Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Norton truck fleet 1960ís.









12oz Grapette can from the early 1980's produced by Southwest Beverage Company of Norton, VA




Photo contributed by Claude Hill
Somebody had a bad day back in the 1950ís.









12oz Grapette can from the late 1980's produced by Southwest Beverage Company of Norton, VA









16oz Pepsi-Cola can from Norton, VA



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Bibliography:

(1) "Report of the secretary of commerce to the governor of Virginia" 1923

(2) "Annual Report of the State Corporation Commission of Virginia" 1950 edition

(3) Beverage Blue Book

(4) Dr Pepper Clock Dial Magazine

(5) Wise County Circuit Court Records