and his Inland
Design Group of Edwardsville, continues to provide free services
shirt designs and promotional materials. Western Press of St. Louis
1200 posters free of charge.
Rumor has it
is an effort underway to get TV weatherman Williard Scott to
Collinsville and promote the plight of the Catsup Bottle.
weekly Riverfront Times publishes a fantastic article by
Stage titled "Towering Achievement."
appears in the Detroit News. It gets picked up by the Gannet
News wire service and is supplied to newspapers around the country.
Mail order requests for shirts soar!
of antique ketchup, and catsup, bottles. He graciously sends two 1940s
Brooks Catsup bottles that serve as the historic basis for the
officially takes over the plant, ending the era of Brooks Foods in
Bethel-Eckert is a food distribution company that supplies product to
in the St. Louis Landmarks Association's Landmarks
gives a presentation to the Collinsville city council. Now add
to the disinterest and no support received from the city
includes the singing of the "Catsup Bottle Song" and catsup brewing in
a crockpot. The brewing catsup recreates the sweet smell that used to
through the community during the catsup factory's hey day. 3/4 of those
in attendance wear Catsup Bottle shirts.
city to accept
ownership of the tower and set up a committee to oversee maintenance
preservation," said Judy DeMoisy. What the Group did NOT want
taxpayer money to be spent on the tower.
presented Mayor Fred Dalton with a petition of over 3,000 signatures.
has been raised at this point. $10,000 is expected from Brooks Foods,
the CBPG intends to continue fundraising to establish a $5,000
fund. Brooks still wants to control the painting and says the lowest
all be for
nothing? Councilman Stan Schaeffer says he favors the city's
But city manager Rich Mays says he has not formally presented anything
to the council on the matter. "Nothing has even been discussed
Constant community critic, Evans Newstrom, got up and urged the
council to not get involved. He said, "I don't think that an unsightly
billboard at the entry to the city will be a lure to business. This was
an organized effort to pressure you into thinking that if you don't
this rusted hulk you are not in favor of progress in the city." Huh?!?
Was he even paying attention?
• The Collinsville
reports the "Ketchup Bottle Draws Attention From Affar." The article
the public in on all the national media attention of which the CBPG was
already fully aware. (Note the spelling in the headline. It will still
be months and months before newspaper writers and editors accept the
that it is the CATSUP Bottle and not Ketchup.)
Group appear with Elaine Viets on her program "Friday Night Viets"
on KTVI Channel 2 in St. Louis.
article by Michelle
Meehan entitled "Time In A Bottle" appears in the Belleville
Sunday Magazine. It highlights many, many great stories:
Halloween night in
1980 when Rod Schmidt (40 in 1994) pulled his Toyota Celica
the water tower and asked his future wife Debbie to marry him.
night in 1967
when Milton LePes (46 in 1994) climbed the Bottle about 2/3 of
way only to be discovered by the police. By the time he climbed down
cop car in Collinsville showed up."
in 1994) explains she was 15 years old and working the line in 1924.
washed tomatoes until her hands cracked and made 17 cents an hour,
the men made 20 cents.
(65 in 1994) recalls the Bottle being constructed and you could hear
riveting on a quiet evening.
told by Harold Drake (75 in 1994). A neighborhood kid was
around being a bother so "we dropped his pants and put tabasco on him.
He ran off into Canteen Creek to cool down!" One guy cut the tip of his
finger off in the bottle capper machine. When the big boss came down
said "I told you so" he ended up cutting off the tip of his finger,
And get this: The inspectors would take a bottle of catsup and pour
in it, shake it up, and any worms or foreign matter would then come to
• The Collinsville
Club donates $500 to the effort. The check is presented by officers
Bill Metzger and Fred Kaspar. The bank account suddenly has $7500 in
by Ken Brigman urging the city to do what it can to help, and
the CBPG for using private funds. He also offers some personal memories
and a brief explanation on what exactly roadside architecture is.
radio station WFUN
Kids Radio does a talk show spot with members of the Catsup Bottle
in with t-shirt orders from around the country. Rockland (NY)
Danville (IL) Commercial News, Rockford (IL) Register Star, Dover (DE)
Sunday News Journal, Bradenton (FL) Herald, Denver (CO) Post, Marin
Rafael, CA) Independent Journal. Stories also appear in Lafayette,
Indiana; and Moline, Morton, and Springfield, Illinois.
magazine publishes an article entitled "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" that
sheads some interesting light on the situation. It turns out that
had a lot more on its plate than anyone thought. There was a heck of a
lot going on! Curtice Burns and Pro-Fac Cooperative had been haggling
their sparation since March of 1993. It was a "dance of dominance" to
who would control whom. Fiscal '93 saw a decline of 5.3% which meant a
loss of $23.8 million. In November 1993, legal fees had already added
to $1.3 million.
writer and photographer
William Stage provides a story to the national trade publication, Signs
of the Times.
for a St. Patrick's Day fundraiser. "Corned Beef and Ketchup - a great
from the Collinsville
Chamber of Commerce announces that the Chamber will no longer
the project. This reveals an interesting community dysfunction.
some feelings had been hurt, and some long-time Collinsville "power
are resentful of this outsider coming into town and mounting such a
grass roots effort to get something occomplished. It wasn't the first
our conservative little community showed its true colors - and it
wasn't the last. (Now, many years later, after a couple turnovers in
and board members, the relationship with the Chamber of Commerce is just fine!)
• The Collinsville
man-on-the-street "Voice Box" column asks: If you could change one
to improve Collinsville what would it be? While others brought up the
and one-way street problems, Pat Madden answered with, "I'd paint the
Bottle. That's one of the premier things in Collinsville. Everywhere
go people know about the Catsup Bottle." Thanks, Pat!
fundraiser is held at the Silvermoon Country Music Nightclub.
on St. Patrick's Day, the event featured a corn beef and cabage dinner
and an auction. Radio personality Paul Jeffries from WIL was
The Village Bakery of Maryville provided a big 6 ft Catsup
shaped cake at cost. UMB 1st National Bank donated $400 to
cost of the advertising and ticket printing. The Junior Service Club
helped with the auction and Terry "Bones" Allen auctioned off items
by local businesses. Brooks donated 75 cases of catsup.
• Attendance was
literally overwhelming with 750 folks showing up, food & drink
out, and the auction overflowing into the hallway. Some residents who
late were angered about not being able to get meal tickets. They
their true colors by being very vocal and causing quite a scene about
Collinsville's 7th annual International
Horseradish Festival features the Catsup Bottle as a background
on its t-shirts. The comical shirts were designed by Ron Laney
for the TV series "Cheers,"
checks in from Hollywood. He purchased
a souvenir sweatshirt for his mom, and included Brooks catsup on the
of the show. Keep a look out for it in reruns!
of Representatives adopts resolution #2908 recognizing the efforts of
Catsup Bottle Preservation Group. The resolution was presented by Rep.
Jay Hoffman (D-Collinsville).
• The Route
of Illinois visits Collinsville during its 5th annual Motor Tour.
tour kick-off is at Fairmount Park race track. The Preservation Group
shirts, orange juice, and donuts for the cause.
balance: $23, 800
owned by brothers Larry and Jim Eckert, finally officially closes on
under the assumption of a $20,000 cost projection, and then realizing a
low bid of $28,000, the Catsup Bottle Preservation Group is
with some more bad news. The bids obtained by Brooks Foods were
full of holes. Lead abatement and elevated tower painting issues were
addressed. Nor did any of the bids contain a guarantee. Brooks says
will provide all of their paperwork to Bethel-Eckert.
June/July issue of
the Historic Preservation News newsletter feature a photo and
by our bud William Stage. His coverage has been wonderful and
allowed our story to reach many audiences. "We've had public
throughout the whole project. We've been an inclusive rather than
group," said Judy DeMoisy. "All the community needed was a little
leadership and the enthusiasm spread."
section of the Belleville News-Democrat lists the sale of the
Foods property at 800 South Morrison Ave in Collinsville at $300,000.
land, warehouses, Catsup Bottle water tower, and lots of memories.
• At a
Eckerts hire engineers Curry & Associates of Nashville,
to study the Catsup Bottle and to develop specifications and handle the
bid process. New owners Larry and Jim Eckert say they are helping to
the tower not for business reasons but because they are a part of the
Judy and Larry agree that the money raised by the CBPG and the
donated from Brooks, probably won't be enough to get the job done
The hope is to be done by the end of October.
Inc. offers to donate all of the paint for the project. This will
help to keep the cost down and we're getting the "cadillac" of paints,
at the Collinsville Car Show in Woodland Park.
and retired American Steel Co mechanical engineer, Bob Blew,
a beautiful HO scale nodel of the Catsup Bottle water tower for his
layout. An article appears in the Collinsville Herald.
water tower receives a Historic Landmark Award from the
Landmark Committee of Collinsville Progress, Inc.
appears in the Tucumcari
coordinator for the Collinsville Convention & Visitors Bureau,
sends a goody basket to the PR firm handling the November taping in
of the Jay Leno Tonight Show.
Jim Eckert are
still willing to deed the tower to the city. Jim said, "Our work
require a water tower. We really would like to have the city take it
says whether the city would accept the deed would depend on a lot of
including whether a maintenance fund was established, the paint job was
done properly, and if the tower was structurally sound. "I think we'd
it under those circumstances," he said. "But that still doesn't mean
take it automatically. We're just gooing to wait and see what happens
the fundraising and the rest..."
Fest says no
to Catsup Bottle shirts. The Italian Fest is Collinsville's premier
celebration. It honors the city's great Italian heritage and brings
downtown to party each September. And while the Catsup Bottle was a big
part of the International Horseradish Festival, the Italian Fest is
story. Chairman Becky Reinheimer said festival rules allow no
other than the Italian Fest's to be sold. "To do otherwise would
from us," she said. "Nothing against the Catsup Bottle. It's
and we follow our rules."
Bottle Preservation Group sets up shop and begins selling
at the Catsup Bottle site along the side of Route 159. The inventory
soon include baseball caps, baby rompers, and doggies scarfs! Also
are new Catsup Bottle shaped cookies!
of O'Fallon, Illinois, gets the contract to restore the Catsup Bottle.
The bid is $77,440 which is three times as much as
Reinneck, president of Diversified Coatings said it's the close
the height & shape of the bottle, and the lead paint removal that
the cost up.
four weeks of
sales at the Catsup Bottle set a wonderful trend of bringing in an
of $1,000 a week. Only 37 weeks to go!
Cat Tank Inspectors, climbs the water tower to check it out.
the Collinsville Police Department shows up to arrest him. Later, the
Department is called upon to provide generator power to help Clyde get
paint samples for testing. Everything works out just fine.
be world famous Catsup Bottle costume
makes its debut, lovingly crafted for her 10 year
old daughter Brook by Preservation Group chief, Judy "The
Bottle Lady" DeMoisy. Years later, Brook (that's her name, really,
not kidding - and she was born in Germany before the DeMoisy family had
ever even heard of the Catsup Bottle) would lovingly respond with "I'm
the daughter of a dork."
1949 black & white image of the Catsup Bottle go on sale to help
Corcoran and the
Breakfast Club from radio station WFBX 101.1 The Fox in St.
Louis broadcast their 4-hour morning
live from the
Catsup Bottle site. Channel
4's newsman Jamie Allman and meteorologist Trish
Brown were also on
We even had a sound bite from R.E.M.
lead singer Michael Stipe asking listeners to support the Catsup Bottle
effort. (Stipe was a 1978 graduate of Collinsville High School.)
and Edwardsville high school bands each played. (The CHS band director
at the time showed little interest in playing. Edwardsville High
School, on the
hand, jumped at the chance. Then at the last minute, CHS decided it
perform. Go figure?!?!?)
• The Oscar Mayer
Wienermobile was also there and well
300 people stopped by. That morning $3,000 was raised totally
• The show's producer and co-host, Karen
Kelly,has her own connections. "My
mom grew up in Collinsville and my aunt and grandma still live here,"
said. "And John Locus did my wedding pictures!"
• The St.
News & Review has a nice article with a photo but erroneously
that Bethel-Eckert had donated the Catsup Bottle to the CPBG.
issue of Sign
Business magazine contains a photo and brief mention titled "Rally
'round the catsup bottle."
issue of Heartland
Highways by Loren Eyrich features the Catsup Bottle.
publishes a great progress report article by Jim Potts.
the Federation Glass Works newsletter also carries Jim's
Bottle is featured
in the November edition of the American Planning Association's
Art director, Richard Sessions, in Chicago, sends a copy.
the Society for Commercial Archeology, the SCA News,
a story and a photo.
contract has been
signed - there's no turning back now! The contract is actually
Bethel-Eckert Enterprises and Diversified Coatings of O'Fallon,
Curry & Associates of Nashville, Illinois, is the project engineer.
R.L. Moore, Inc., the local rep for Tnemec will provide the paint.
Diversified's sales manager, says they have 30 years in the business
specialize in water towers. She expects work to begin in April 1995 and
it should take 3 weeks or so depending on the weather. She explained
of the challenges: tight quarters, unusual shape, and the large amount
of logo work in reproducing the vintage Brooks label. Also, a
structure of three 86' x 18' curtains needs to be built to catch the
Group was selling shirts at the Catsup Bottle site, two advertising
were posted on utility poles. Unfortunately, that was against the
in the city of Collinsville. Leader Judy DeMoisy received a
from Collinsville police for violating the local sign ordinance. "He
up and we thought he was going to buy a t-shirt," she said. "And then
ends up writing us out a ticket!"
columnist Elain Viets covers the incident and the story runs
the headline "Bottle Backers In Pickle Over Catsup Ticket." The extra
only helped the cause. And with some pro bono legal help from a
lawyer friend the charges were later dropped.
Judy DeMoisy was listed the Collinsville Herald police blotter
her daughter Brook was listed in the school honor roll!
Inc. donates $525 to the CBPG. Carl Schultze says, "It's a
thing. That's what Collinsville Progress is all about, improving and
ole elf himself, Santa
shows up to help sell Catsup Bottle shirts - the hottest Christmas gift
Tom Cat Tank Inspectors, sends a Christmas card saying there is no
for his work on the project.
Hallmark store, Cards
Plus, reports year-end sales of $20,000 for the Catsup Bottle
County Geneological Society newsletter has a brief Catsup Bottle