Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Chero-Cola bottling plant in Hickory

    Chero-Cola, based in Georgia, opened in Hickory in March 1916 next to the Catawba Creamery.  Chero-Cola's national sales the year it opened in Hickory were $1.1 million. When sales peaked in 1927, Chero-Cola had 463 bottlers in 14 southern states. In 1934 Chero-Cola was reformulated and re-released as Royal Crown Cola. (I'm not sure when the plant closed.)

1916. Chero-Cola route salesmen. 'In the TWIST Bottle'. - Estate of Dick Cannon

1916. First day bottling at Chero-Cola.  - Estate of Dick Cannon

Chero-Cola building in 1916. Catawba Creamery to the left.  - Estate of Dick Cannon

1989. 'Hugh LaFone used to work at the Chero-Cola bottling plant in Hickory. He holds an empty Chero-Cola bottle.' - Jeff Willhelm/Staff

1989. Old Chero-Cola bottle owned by Hugh LaFone. - Jeff Willhelm/Staff

2003.  'Workers tearing down buildings along East Trade Street, the site of Charlotte's new uptown basketball arena, revealed World War I-era advertisements painted on the side of 405 E. Trade St. The two-story, tan-brick building dates to 1914 on what was then called East Avenue. Local historians encouraged city officials to save the structures along East Trade Street and incorporate them into the new arena site, but were unsuccessful.' Todd Sumlin/Staff 

Thank you to the reader who sent this in! 'From the Florence, SC bottling plant.' 
Definitely looks older than the other bottle.

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Andy S said...

It's a shame that Charlotte doesn't care much for it's history...or preserving it.

Maria David said...

Andy S - I agree completely. Thank goodness for old photos so we can at least try to imagine how things used to look around here!

Anonymous said...

Always nice to see an archivist's passion along with Todd's work. Snowdrift Shortening. There were some wonderful traveling sign painters along with local's work all over town, even into the 60's

Maria David said...

Anon - thanks for the nice comment, and yes, Todd Sumlin is so talented! Please let me know if you have any blog ideas! - M

Anonymous said...

Maria, A mystery solved! I own a Chero-Cola wall clock that was given to my Grandfather Henry L. Price as a premium for carrying Chero-Cola in his country store many years ago at Wesley Chapel located at the crossroads of Hwy 84 & Potters Rd. The clock is oak,
with brass pendulum, arabic numbers on the face, strikes on the hour & half hour and winds up with a key. I am 73 yrs. of age and remember the clock from my childhood, so I assume it has been in the family since the early days of Chero-Cola. It has never left the family. Thank you for your article which solved the mystery of Chero-Cola! Anna P. Nease

Maria David said...

Miss Anna - I'm so glad the blog was able to fill in the gaps. Thank you for the message!