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21 Jan 2022, last revised 15 Jul 2022

The Mountain Valley Water Co. in Lake Linden was a branch of the Mountain Valley Water Co. of Michigan (6), located in Detroit and managed by John Glass (20). They sold mineral water from the famous Mountain Valley Spring in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Mineral water from this spring has been bottled since 1871, and it is still bottled today (mountainvalleyspring.com).

Newspaper ad - Detroit Free Press, 12 Dec 1909
Newspaper ad - Dec 1909
Newspaper ad - Detroit Free Press, 13 Feb 1910
Newspaper ad - Feb 1910

Dr. George W. Orr of the Lake Superior General Hospital and the Lake Superior School for Nursing (5) founded the Lake Linden branch (see Dr. G. W. Orr). His testimonial in an ad for the Mountain Valley Water Company of Indiana published in the Indianapolis Medical Journal in 1921 explained how he became acquainted with the spring water. When visiting Hot Springs, Arkansas in 1908, a physician informed him of a spring nearby whose waters can cure diabetes and Bright's disease. He laughed and thought so little of it that he didn't ask for the name of the spring. When his wife later developed diabetes (insipidus), he took her to Hot Springs and learned of the Mountain Valley Spring Water. In 48 hours, her symptoms were alleviated, and after ten weeks, she was in perfect health.

By May 1909, the Mountain Valley Water Co. of Michigan was shipping "small bottles" of water to Dr. Orr and Thomas H. Rule in Lake Linden and Rule handled distribution of the water in the Upper Peninsula (1,20). T. H. Rule was a grocer with his brother (4). By Aug 1909, a local branch was established in Lake Linden in the A. A. Guel building with Thomas Rule as manager (2). The basement held three 500-gal. tanks, and was used for storing, carbonating, and bottling the water (2). They sold the water to the public in 26-gal. tanks, 10-gal. tanks, cases of twelve 2-qt. bottles, and carbonized splits (2). By Oct 1909, business was good and they expected to receive a car load of water daily to meet the increasing demand (21,22). It was announced in Oct 1909 that the Mountain Valley Water Co. of Lake Linden purchased the Lake Linden photo gallery building (3).

In Dec 1910, the Mountain Valley Water Co. purchased the Lake Linden Bottling Works, including its stock of goods, fixtures, machinery, horses, sleighs, etc. (6,7). They had plans to market several new varieties of pop, including Mountain Brew, a ginger ale made with the spring water (6). Their headquarters were to remain where they were for the present time (6). In Jan 1911, they moved into their new building on Calumet St. (8), which the Sanborn maps show to have been the photo gallery they purchased earlier. It was located on the east side of the street, between 4th St. (now 3rd St.) and Center St. (now 4rd St.). They also had plans to install new machinery (8).

Sanborn map - Oct 1917
Sanborn map - Oct 1917
Header of Sales Receipt, dated 1911<br>Courtesy of the Richard Dana Collection
Header of Sales Receipt - 1911

In Feb 1911, John C. Owens of Lake Linden took over the company, with "Dr. Orr having severed his connection with the company because he found that it was interfering with his professional work." (9). Owens would look over the company's business interests and Edward Warren of Calumet would manage the factory (9,23) and represent the company's interests in Calumet (10). Warren had many years of experience by working for R. T. Harvey and Jos. James (23).

In Jul 1912, they made extensive improvements to the property, including the addition of a retaining wall at the rear of the lot and an iron fence to keep people out of the lot, a new barn with concrete walls and floor for three horses, electric lighting and water system, a shed, a small elevator to move case goods between the basement and ground floor, and a new gasoline engine and carbonator for bottling (11-13). More improvements came in Mar 1913, including adding a concrete floor in the pop factory, enlarging the storage rooms at the rear of the lot, and constructing a new business front (14,15).

Despite the expansion, improvements, and reports of good business, the company suspended operations in spring of 1915 (16). In Oct 1915, D. W. Sutter purchased the company and factory equipment from Dr. Orr (14). Sutter secured a lease for the property on which the factory operated and placed an order for new equipment (14). The 1916 Polk directory shows that the company reverted to the Lake Linden Bottling Works name, with Dominick W. Sutter listed as bottler and Edwin Warren as manager (15).

The Lake Linden branch bottled and distributed mineral water from 1909. Two hand-blown bottles and one ABM bottle are known for the company. The first bottle (#77) bears the name, MOUNTAIN VALLEY WATER CO. OF MICHIGAN, and thus may have come from the Detroit company during their early distribution period. It would be insightful to know if this bottle was also used in Detroit. The second bottle (#78) bears LAKE LINDEN as the town location, so it clearly can be attributed to the Lake Linden factory. Given the company's history, it may have contained mineral water or soda. It is unknown how many soda varieties they actually manufactured especially since the State of Michigan Dairy and Food Department reported a test for only Atlas Brew in 1910 (18) and 1912 (19).

References

  1. anonymous. (1909, Jul 07). Monthly Michigan Melange. The American Bottler 29 (7): 46.
  2. anonymous. (1909, Aug 10). The Mountain Valley Water Company. The Native Copper Times (Lake Linden, MI). p. 1.
  3. anonymous. (1909, Oct 19). Torch Lake Brevities. The Calumet News (Calumet, MI). p. 3.
  4. R. L. Polk & Co. 1909. Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1909. R. L. Polk & Co. Detroit, MI.
  5. R. L. Polk & Co. 1907. Houghton County Directory 1907-08. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  6. anonymous. (1910, Dec 11). Pop Company Sold. The Daily Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 12.
  7. anonymous. (1910, Dec 20). untitled. The Native Copper Times (Lake Linden, MI). p. 1.
  8. anonymous. (1911, Jan 11). Mountain Valley Co. The Calumet News (Calumet, MI). p. 2.
  9. anonymous. (1911, Feb 04). Mountain Valley Company. The Calumet News (Calumet, MI). p. 5.
  10. anonymous. (1912, Feb 09). untitled. The Calumet News (Calumet, MI). p. 3.
  11. anonymous. (1912, Jul 27). Building Improvements. The Calumet News (Calumet, MI). p. 3.
  12. anonymous. (1912, Jul 28). Improving Property. The Daily Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 7.
  13. anonymous. (1912, Jul 29). Extensive Improvements. The Calumet News (Calumet, MI). p. 3.
  14. anonymous. (1913, Mar 08). Improve Pop Factory. The Calumet News (Calumet, MI). p. 2.
  15. anonymous. (1913, Mar 08). The Improve Pop Plant. The Daily Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 7.
  16. anonymous. (1915, Oct 05). Plant to Resume Operations. The Daily Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 7.
  17. R. L. Polk & Co. 1916. Houghton County Directory 1916-17. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  18. State of Michigan Department of Dairy and Food Department. 1910. Bulletin No. 173-178, Jan-June 1910. Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co., State Printers. Lansing, MI.
  19. State of Michigan. 1912. Nineteenth Annual Report of the Dairy and Food Commissioner of the State of Michigan for the year ending June 30, 1912. Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co., State Printers. Lansing, MI.
  20. anonymous. (1909, Jun 01). untitled. The Native Copper Times (Lake Linden, MI). p. 1.
  21. anonymous. (1909, Oct 12). untitled. The Native Copper Times (Lake Linden, MI). p. 1.
  22. anonymous. (1909, Oct 19). untitled. The Native Copper Times (Lake Linden, MI). p. 1.
  23. anonymous. (1910, Feb 07). untitled. The Native Copper Times (Lake Linden, MI). p. 1.

77
Mountain Valley Water Co bottle
capacity: scant pint
color: aqua
top: crown top - tooled
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (none)
date: 1909-1910
rarity: rare

78
Mountain Valley Water Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: aqua
top: crown top - tooled
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (none)
date: 1911-1915
rarity: rare

abm-73
bottle image
capacity: half-pint
color: aqua
top: crown top - ABM
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (none)
date: c.1914
rarity: ?
  • heel has "14 2", which may be a date code