Tazewell-Orange.com is my contribution to the preservation of the local history of the Southwest Virginia and Tri-Cities area by researching on a particular mostly overlooked industry that affects our lives every day. That industry is the soda bottling industry which I was surprised to find was quite prevalent in the Southwest Virginia area, though as a whole it was nowhere near the amount of bottlers in the largest cities at the time, these local pioneers in the industry gave it one heck of a good try. Most of these companies wouldn't survive into the present day; however, some of them are still in the soda business either as bottlers or as distribution centers.
So the next time you lift that Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Royal Crown Cola, Nehi, Mountain Dew, or any other of the older soda brands to your lips there is a good possibility that not too far from you they bottled that particular brand. In some cases you have passed one of these locations many times in your life and never knew the history that took place there, just as I did. What is now a parking lot, park, crumbling building, or business, may have once held the hopes and dreams of someone starting their own bottling business and maybe even creating that new brand that may one day go national like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and the rest.
That is what drove me to research and collect the bottles of the local bottlers of this area, I had known some of the locations on this site for years and was ignorant to the history of what had stood there before. Of course there is a lot more history in these areas that needs to be researched and preserved; however, it is far too much for one man alone to tackle. Trust me the bottlers were hard enough on their own; however, I have, and will, continue to do my part trying to document this particular part of our area's history, so keep checking the site, because I am always finding that new bottle or new information. With that being said let me welcome you to Tazewell-Orange.com, and hope that you will find something interesting on this site.
Things have changed on the Tazwell-Orange.com site. Gone are the semi-local pages, and articles which don’t directly deal with bottling in my area such as the Robert E. Lee Motel article, and the collection pages. I decided to start a blog for Tazewell-Orange.com which would give me a place to publish this type of miscellaneous information and articles that happen to spring to mind, but don’t fit in the area covered by Tazewell-Orange.com. So follow this link to visit the Tazewell-orange blog.
Joseph T. Lee III is a member of the State of Franklin Bottle Club in Johnson City, Tennessee, a contributor to Blair Matthew’s Soda Spectrum magazine, and the creator of the Vintage Soda Group on Facebook.
The contents of this site is the total amount that I know about bottlers of this area. I will be adding more as I go. If you have any knowledge of the bottlers covered, or not covered by this site, then please email and together we can preserve the rich bottling history of this area. Or if you have a bottle that you have a question about feel free to ask.