Soft Drink Bottlers


There was a time when virtually every town had one
 or more soft drink bottlers. Huntington had at
 least five. All have long since closed.

David Smith | Submitted photo


Time was, not so very long ago, virtually every town had one
or more soft drink bottlers. Huntington had at least five.
 All have long since closed. Today, local soft drink
 fans have lots of different brands to choose
from, but all are bottled or canned
elsewhere and then
shipped here.

Huntington’s Coca-Cola bottling plant was by far the city’s
biggest and busiest. Its building in the 400 block of
 3rd Avenue was immediately recognizable by
the large stone Coca-Cola logos
 engraved on its front and side.

 The Huntington Coca-Cola franchise was established by Julies Broh
in the early 1900s and later headed by his son, Harry “Pat” Broh.
Between them, the father and son operated the plant for more
 than 80 years. In 1984, an out-of-town concern bought it
and almost immediately shut it down. Still standing,
the building has had various tenants over the years.

In the late 1940s, Jim McClain was a traveling sales representative
 for Dr Pepper. Deciding to settle down, he purchased a
 Huntington franchise for Dr Pepper, found a building
at 20th Street and Artisan Avenue, acquired some
 secondhand equipment and in 1947 started
bottling the popular soft drink. Retiring
in 1967, he sold his company to a
Charleston firm, which
shut it down.

When it was located at 1703 7th Ave., the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co.
of Huntington not only bottled and sold Pepsi but also Whistle,
Mountain Dew and Vernor’s Ginger Ale. Beginning in the
1940s, Seven Up was bottled at 114 8th Ave. and
Royal Crown Cola at 801 Adams Ave.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on June 18, 2023..


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