The Tenn-Cola Bottling Company of Kingsport was incorporated on February 1, 1916 with Enoch W. Tipton of Kingsport as President, and John A. Roberts as Secretary Treasurer.(1) It is interesting that future owner of the Kingsport Bottling & Candy Company, Tate L. Keith, is listed as a director of this company.(6) The funny thing about this bottler is that the "principal office" was not in Kingsport at all, but in Big Stone Gap, VA.(1) The company is listed in the Foreign Corporations section of The Pubic Acts of the State of Tennessee Passed by the Sixtieth General Assembly as being registered as such on May 29, 1916.(2) This fact makes me think that maybe there was a bottling plant in Kingsport as well at one point, or at least they distributed the product in that city, because being listed in the "foreign Corporations" section usually means that that company is "doing business" in that state, but is incorporated in another state.

The bottling company what would become the Tenn-Cola Bottling Company has its genesis around November 1914 according to the blub in the April 12, 1916 Big Stone Gap Post.(4) Its original name may have been the Roxa Cola Bottling Works and opened by a Mr. J. F. Plummer according to the May 1915 issue of the American bottler.(5) The company is already called the Tenn-Cola Bottling Company by June 1, 1915 as the factory is inspected by the Dairy and Food Commissioner of Virginia.(3) The same blub from April 12, 1916 places the plant on East Fifth street across the Dummy Rail Road bridge, and is now owned by P. H. Barron.(4) Barron would sell out his interest in the Tenn-Cola Bottling Company to J. W. Fields, of Medota, and Luther Shupe of Big Stone Gap.(4)

As to which side of the bridge that the company is located is unsure, as an article about the conversion of the Monte Vista building to an automobile dealership on July 18, 1917 notes that the building that formerly housed the Big Stone Gap Bottling Works was being converted into a garage.(4) A look at the 1923 sanborn map shows that the aforementioned garage is located on East Fifth Street, could this be the location of the company? With that being said a blurb from the February 1, 1922 announces that J. K. Gilly sold his grocery stock to devote his time to the Big Stone Bottling Works which he had recently purchased.(4)

An amber Tenn-Cola Bottling Company bottle dated 1916

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(1) "Annual Report of the State Corporation Commission of Virginia for the year ending December 31, 1916" 1917

(2) "Public Acts of the State of Tennessee Passed by the Sixtieth General Assembly" 1917

(3) "Quarterly Report of the Dairy and Food Commissioner of Virginia" (June 1, 1915 - August 30, 1915) (September 1, 1915 - November 30, 1915)

(4) Big Stone Gap Post

(5) The American Bottler

(6) Wise County Circuit Court Records