• A St.
Journal article in the May 24-30 issue provides us with some
* About 600,000 cases of product
(ketchup, beans, olives,
and others), or $9 million worth, are handled annually.
* Pilots from
Scott Air Force Base use the Catsup Bottle as a reference point.
Catsup Bottle could hold 1.5 million tomatoes.
* Enough ketchup for
25 million hamburgers.
Inc. was headquartered in Mt. Summit, Indiana. Brooks, in turn, was
owned by Curtice Burns, Inc. in Rochester, New York. In
of 1993, Curtice Burns, Inc. put the land, warehouse, and water tower
for sale. The Catsup Bottle's future was in jeopardy.
Date: September 1993
help and support from
the Collinsville Women's Club and the Friends of the Collinsville
Museum, the 14-member Catsup Bottle Preservation Group was
New Collinsville resident Judy DeMoisy,
an architecture and historic preservation
enthusiast, heads up the group.
begins in earnest.
Rich Mays, confirms that Brooks Foods has offered to deed the water
to the city... "as is," of course. (After an extensive lobbying
effort and letter writing campaign, the city later declines the offer,
thus starting an incredible trend of indifference.)
to turn it over to an interested community group.
Group appear with John Pertzborn on the "Pertzborn's People"
of the KSDK Channel 5 news in St. Louis. It is picked up by the NBC
and is broadcast in Atlanta, Memphis, and parts of Florida.
radio station Y-98
FM morning show host Guy Phillips starts a $1 donation campaign.
show's producer, Tyler Richman, is a resident of Collinsville. The
are handled by Magna Bank.
begin to surface.
One parent tells of how her kids would fight as to which of them got to
sit on the Catsup Bottle side of the car!
Group opens its account at The Bank of Edwardsville - Collinsville
with a $50 donation from the Collinsville Women's Club. The Bank of
Edwardsville offers free banking service for the long range
interview with the Illinois
Post, Collinsville Mayor Fred Dalton says, "We, the city,
no practical use for the Catsup Bottle."
article appears in the Decatur (IL) Herald & Review.
is started by the Preservation Group. "This is to get everyone's
said Judy DeMoisy. "This is in response to several people in
city leadership who said the people don't care about the Catsup Bottle."
article appears in the Chicago Sun-Times.
restoration costs at $20,000, and Brooks Foods pledges to match
funds up to $10,000 under certain conditions. The company,
apparently not understanding
the idea and value of historic preservation, insists that the water
be repainted "in the colors and
designs as our bottle now exists."
that they are in negotiations with Bethel-Eckert Enterprises about the
sale of the property. Brooks is no longer interested in passing the
Bottle to the city and says that responsibility would belong to the new
owners. Brooks still insists on being in control of the painting.
campaign is begun with the hopes of helping the powers that be at
Foods see the light. Among the many who wrote to Brooks were the Illinois
Historic Preservation Agancy, the National Trust for Historic
and Society for Commercial Archeology. Many local
groups also provided input.
• The good
folks over at Red
Gold, Inc. checked in with us. They expressed great interest in
with the restoration and repainting project if the Catsup Bottle became
the property of the City of Collinsville. Although this offer didn't
with the historic preservation objective, it was very tempting and very
of Brooks Foods, says he is surprised by the public fervor. "We didn't
realize how people felt about it," he said.
in the Collinsville Herald appears under the headline "Is The
Worth Saving?" The letter by Collinsville resident Terry Sykes asks
in the Collinsville
Herald reveals that residents Debbie and Rod Schmidt have
extra special attachment to the water tower. That is where Rod proposed
and gave Debbie her engagement ring 12 years earlier.
borrows $938 from Collinsville Progress, Inc. (a non-profit
organization) in order to place the first shirt order.
receives a call from Brooks Foods. It seems the folks at Brooks
a bit upset about the fact that the folks at Red Gold had been in touch
with us. Their call was meant as a strong reminder to everyone
they (Brooks Foods) were still the owner of the water tower.
as the owner, they can still do with it what they want.
with the fundraising and preservation movement under way, they
and will tear it down if they so desire! Hmmmm, sounds like
was seeing red.
Design, and intern Matt Bell, provide pro-bono work for the shirt
Pat Horstman and Mike Stevens of Custom Imprints provide the
to produce t-shirts and sweatshirts.
sweatshirt sales begin with two designs available. One being a gray
with a 3-color abstract Catsup Bottle image saying "Catsup Well
The other being a blue shirt with a white image of the architectural
for the water tower and a red starburst saying "Roadside Architecture
Schneider of Cards
Plus, the local Hallmark store, sells out of his 100 shirt supply
asks for more. "We hit the jackpot on this for a fundraiser," he
Renee and Rich
Taake include a big Catsup Bottle decoration in their holiday lighting
display with a sign saying "A gift for all of Collinsville."
The news media calls constantly. Letters come in from around the
At this point we've created a monster, and it's taken on a life of it's
own. The leadership of Judy DeMoisy, and the diligence of the
Group members, keeps the project from spinning out of control.
Group member Wade McCormick pens a
little ditty called "The Catsup Bottle Song."
by editor Jim
Potts appears in the December edition of his award-winning, Mound
Empties, the newsletter for the St. Louis Antique Bottle Collectors
to the shirts
is overwhelming! "We can't keep them in stock!" DeMoisy says.
Eve, a call was received at the DeMoisy home. Merry Christmas. It
the corporate attorney for Curtice Burns, Inc. in New York.
of his call of course, was not to ruin the holiday, but to reign in all
of the activity. Curtice Burns and Brooks Foods were selling the
and wanted nothing to do with the Catsup Bottle anymore.
washing their hands of it, and it seemed they wanted no one else to
anything to do with the Catsup Bottle anymore either. It appeared maybe
that corporate big wigs viewed the situation as a bothersome
and enough was enough.
Well, no retreat no
surrender, baby, we were
just getting started...!!!