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Do you know where this is?

When this bottling plant in a town outside Worcester was built in 1927, it became one of more than a hundred bottling plants in Massachusetts, home to what was then a much broader array of choices in soft drinks that today we would be more likely to market as "craft'' beverages.

Soda, pop, tonic -- call it whatever you wish, but folks developed a loyalty to their favorite fizzy brew, and there were many of them.

This plant became one of the bottling plants of a local ginger ale producer, Chelmsford Ginger Ale Co. That company began (of course ) in Chelmsford, but expanded, and like the car companies of old that eventually gave way to the Big Three, was purchased by one of the bigger soft drink producers, Canada Dry. That purchase came soon after this bottling plant began slapping on the bottle caps, but it still produced Chelmsford brand ginger ale for loyal consumers.

Chelmsford Ginger Ale was what was called golden ginger ale, and it still has its loyal followers, who share locations where it can be purchased on their Facebook page.

In 1947, this bottling plant and warehouse was purchased, along with the franchise, by another local bottler, Dobbs Beverage Co., which planned a capacity of 500,000 cases a year.

The plant continued to produce for many years, but eventually ceased bottling. In the 1970s, it was purchased by a local company that needed warehouse space.

While that company still owns the 33,000-square-foot building, it is vacant, and a source of concern -- and plans for renovation.

Hint: Folks far and wide will recognize the name of the current owner.

-- Melissa McKeon

See tomorrow's Telegram & Gazette, and, for the answer.
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Title Annotation:Local
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Feb 16, 2014
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