The Richlands Ice Corporation was incorporated on March 7, 1906 with E. V. Spotts, of Tazewell, VA, as President, Jason H. Gillespie, of Cedar Bluff, VA, as Vice President, M. M. Hankins as Treasurer, and W. B. Spratt as Secretary, both of Richlands, VA.(1) The expressed purposes of the company is to "manufacture and sell Ice and Soda Pop"(1) The company purchased the ice plant from Spotts Brothers in Tazewell, VA, and began moving the machinery to Richlands, with T. A. Gillespie of Cedar Bluff directing the work of removal, according to the Tazewell Republican newspaper dated March 15, 1906.(3) The article also explains that he will be in charge of the plant in Richlands.(3)

The August 10, 1906 issue of the Tazewell Republican includes a blurb entitled "Cutting no ice" in Richlands when W. B. Spratt, a lawyer from Richlands who was visiting Tazewell, was ask about the goings on in Richlands he replied every thing was fine except for the new ice plant.(3) Spratt continued to explain that the company was still having teething issues with the machinery, and even five months later was still not producing any ice.(3) I have a feeling these issues may never have been resolved, because they appear to have abandoned the corporation in 1907. According to the July 27, 1909 Times Dispatch newspaper in Richmond, VA, the Richlands Ice Company, Incorporated had failed to pay their annual registration fees for two years, and due to this their certificate of Incorporation was going to be revoked and annulled.(2)

This of course places a corporation, with the expressed purpose of bottling soft drinks, operating at the appropriate time period and using a similar naming style as the bottle shown below, granted the "s" has been dropped off of the name; however, manufacturing flaws such as that are common especially with a new company. While I have no absolute proof that this bottle belongs to this company the circumstantial evidence seems to point in that direction.

Photo by Charlie Barnette

The hutchinson bottle from the Richland Bottling Works Richland, VA

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(1) The charter books at Tazewell County Court House

(2) The Times Dispatch Newspaper of Richmond, VA July 27, 1909

(3) The Tazewell Republican