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Picturing the Past 6: Bottling plant visit

Posted Tuesday, April 28, 2009, at 9:57 AM

Students visit the old Coca-Cola Bottling Co., on Elm Street in Shelbyville, in September 1959. (T-G file photo)
If you attended Bedford County schools during the years soft drinks were actually bottled in Shelbyville, your educational process probably included field trips to one or more of the bottling plants. It was a growing-up tradition in Shelbyville for years.

Pictured here is a school group touring the old Coca-Cola plant, in the still-existing large, brick building on Elm Street, in September 1959. Unfortunately, the envelope containing the negative didn't note what school or grade level was pictured.

Years later my classes were shuttled through that plant, and also the RC Cola plant, in the Lane Parkway building that now houses Bedford County's workhouse.

Don't forget the Brantley family's Pepsi and 7-Up plant on Madison Street, in the current Mini-Mall building.

Things have changed so much for the better. It wasn't that many years that each soft drink had one flavor only and came only in glass bottles. Makes me appreciate plastic bottles (environmentalists probably disagree with me!) and multiple flavors.

Picturing the Past is a weekly Tuesday feature of this blog.

Showing comments in chronological order
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We lived near the Brantley's when I was growing up, and I remember all of us neighborhood kids going to their house on Halloween. They gave each child a can of soda instead of candy.

-- Posted by k_collins39 on Tue, Apr 28, 2009, at 10:51 AM

Thanks David for another great picture. I can also remember the Royal Crown Bottling Plant being at the East corner of the Madison Street/Hoover Street intersection. Mr. Hoover sponsored a softball team for us in the early '60's.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Apr 28, 2009, at 11:51 AM

I was just wondering if there was anyone out there who remembered the Grapette Bottling Plant on North Main that was located just past Bobby Newell's State Farm office. Eddleman's Sheet Metal later occupied that building.

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Apr 29, 2009, at 12:23 PM

My aunt & uncle had an apartment in a house at the corner of Madison & Hoover in the late 40's. They were living there in 1949 when their daughter was born. I would spend a few days at a time with them & remembered the RC plant being across Hoover from their house. My husband grew up here & was 14 at that time. He doesn't remember the RC plant being on Madison, only the later location that you mentioned.

-- Posted by bettyhbrown on Mon, May 4, 2009, at 1:49 PM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.