Shoshone Coca-Cola Bottling Company

Junkee Clothing Exchange

The Shoshone Coca-Cola Bottling Company was a commercial enterprise doubling as entertainment destination. On any given day, a row of children could be found standing transfixed outside the large windows on the building’s south side. There, Karl Breckenridge remembers “watching the parade of green-hued clear bottles down the conveyer line. They marched like sparkling soldiers in lockstep from west to east, or left to our right, being squirted four-at-a-time full of Coca-Cola, to then disappear from view just as another machine capped them—poetry in motion.” Occasionally a young spectator would be rewarded with a free Coke, courtesy of a kindly attendant.

Brothers Les and Stanley Farr, along with Leslie’s son, Curtis, ran the operation from the mid-1920s through 1970, but the Shoshone Soda Works was already a successful soda manufacturer when it won the exclusive western Nevada franchise for bottling Coca-Cola in 1929. The company benefited from its own water supply, Diamond Springs water, a business dating back to 1903, when Reno did not have a reliable municipal drinking water system. Sensing an eager market, founder George Pettigrew, the area’s best-known artesian well borer, had marketed and distributed Diamond Pure water from his own well on Reno’s south side.

By 1919 the Daudels had bought Pettigrew’s water company and began to manufacture soda water and ginger ale at their Daudel Bottling Works, located on this site. In 1924, Leslie O. Farr bought the whole operation, which included a service station and small grocery in a small wood frame building. The company sold Eagle Punch and Bluebird soda, among other brands, distributing them regionally. In the early years, Les used a foot-operated pedal to fill the bottles, while Curtis recalled helping his father by hand washing 25 to 30 cases of bottles every weekend.

The original brick building, now the southwest wing, was constructed in 1927. That portion continued to house offices while the later one-story additions, built in 1939 and 1941, were dedicated to the bottling operations, warehousing, and shipping.

Stanley Farr sold his interest to Les when he retired in 1957, and Les and Curtis ran the company until 1970 when they sold it to a Texas bottling firm. After the Coca-Cola operation moved to Vassar Street in 1972, the building became the home of Resco Restaurant Equipment & Supply Company. Junkee Clothing Exchange opened there in 2008.

Images

Original brick building, 1940s

Original brick building, 1940s

Constructed in 1927, the original two-story brick building housed the entire company. A later addition extended eastward from the long end viewed here, extending all the way to Center Street. Image courtesy of the Nevada Historical Society View File Details Page

Shoshone Soda and Diamond Springs

Shoshone Soda and Diamond Springs

Prior to the construction of the first brick building in 1927, the Shoshone Soda Works and Diamond Springs Water Company operated out of a wood frame structure on the same site. Image courtesy of the Nevada State Journal View File Details Page

Delivery truck, 1930s

Delivery truck, 1930s

A Shoshone Coca-Cola Bottling Company delivery truck carries a load of carbonated beverages, Acme Beer, and other beverages distributed by the company. Image courtesy of Nevada Historical Society View File Details Page

Employees, 1930s

Employees, 1930s

A row of employees stands outside the bottling company in 1938. Second from the left is Curtis Farr, son of company founder Leslie Farr. Image courtesy of Nevada Historical Society View File Details Page

"Refreshing as Spring"

"Refreshing as Spring"

A Shoshone Coca-Cola Bottling Company delivery truck driver greets a pair of cowboys on horseback, possibly during the Reno Rodeo. Image courtesy of Neal Cobb, housed by Special Collections Department, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Bottling Company, 1961

Bottling Company, 1961

With the construction of the bottling area to the right, the building's front facade was extended toward Center Street. Abundant landscaping and cheerful awnings set off the curved metal canopy over the entrance door. Image courtesy of the Nevada Historical Society View File Details Page

Charming corner, 1962

Charming corner, 1962

A photo taken for the Washoe County Assessor in 1962 shows the mature trees and meticulously landscaped hedges in front of the Coca-Cola building. Image courtesy of Nevada Historical Society View File Details Page

Sparks High School yearbook ad, 1962

Sparks High School yearbook ad, 1962

Students Oscar Garcia and Bill Traverso pose with a company truck in 1962. By the mid-1960s, the Shoshone Coca-Cola Bottling Company serviced 53,500 square miles of northern Nevada, from the California to Utah state lines and from the Oregon boundary south to Mina, with the exception of a small area served by the Ely Bottling Company. Image courtesy of Sparks Museum and Cultural Center View File Details Page

Junkee Clothing Exchange

Junkee Clothing Exchange

Junkee Clothing Exchange first occupied the building in 2008, after Resco Restaurant Equipment & Supply moved to East Plumb Lane. The windows on the south facade, the longtime front entrance to Shoshone Coca-Cola, have been covered over. | Creator: Alicia Barber View File Details Page

Entire complex, 2016

Entire complex, 2016

In 2016, the sprawling building housed Junkee Clothing Exchange, a business owned by Jessica Schneider offering recycled clothing, antiques, and furniture. | Creator: Alicia Barber View File Details Page

Jessica Schneider

Jessica Schneider

Proprietor Jessica Schneider stands inside Junkee Clothing Exchange, which she opened in the Shoshone Coca-Cola Bottling Co. building in 2008. | Creator: Sarah Petrie View File Details Page

Audio

Opening Junkee Clothing Exchange

Interviewed in 2015, Junkee Clothing Exchange proprietor Jessica Schneider discusses her reasons for opening her store at this location, and the challenges of doing so during an economic recession. View File Details Page

Street Address:

960 South Virginia Street, Reno, NV [map]

Cite this Page:

Alicia Barber, “Shoshone Coca-Cola Bottling Company,” Reno Historical, accessed May 30, 2017, http://renohistorical.org/items/show/133.

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