A Lincoln Mystery and other items found in Calumet, Michigan

B. Nash in Calumet, Michigan


Ever been to Calumet, Michigan? Its a wonderful little town, especially it’s main street. There are several shops of interest for me. I found myself, as usual, looking for “Lincoln” or “Civil War” treasures. I was not unsuccessful!

The first item is a total mystery! I purchased it for five dollars. I asked several other store owners if they had ever seen anything like it. They all replied in the negative. I searched on-line for information but came up with nothing. What is it you ask? An empty Club Soda pop bottle—made by the Lincoln Bottling Company out of Chicago. Yes, images of Abraham Lincoln have been everywhere and on everything! I’ve never seen or heard of it-or the Lincoln Bottling Company-have you? Please share if you have. Here are a few pictures of the bottle:

Lincoln Club Soda Bottle

Next item for consideration is a Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) flag stand. These cast iron flag stands were used for flags or banners in the local GAR posts all over America for the meetings of the Union army veterans who had returned home honorably and wanted to “keep green the memory” of what they did in the War of 1861-65. Can anyone tell me what flag or banner would go in the GAR stand? I would guess it would have been the post banner? Anyway, it was a real find for me:

GAR Flag stand


And speaking of the GAR, I picked up a delegate GAR medal. The ribbon is not original but the other pieces are. Nice find!

GAR Medal


Finally, I visited the Lakeview Cemetery in Calumet. There is a beautiful Veteran’s Section there-with- lo and behold-Union soldiers buried there! There were over a dozen I’d say. The centerpeice of the section is a monument of a Union Soldier with dedication to those who served in the Civil War and the Spanish War. This really made my day:

Monument in Lakeview Cemetery, Calumet, Michigan

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10 Responses to “A Lincoln Mystery and other items found in Calumet, Michigan”

  1. C. O'Shea says:

    Regarding Lincoln Soda Water bottle. The address on the bottle is the address of the Lincoln Bottling Co., the company my grandfather (Michael D. O’Shea) established in the early 1900’s and taken over by his 3 sons (William, Lawrence and Robert) in the late 1950’s and sold after the death of my father in 1970. My grandfather was an Irish immigrant who came to live with his brother Patrick who resided in Chicago in the 1880’s. My grandfather started out in ice delivery and later started the Lincoln Bottling Co. and bottled soda water and flavored drinks – grape, orange, root beer, cream soda etc. They bottled small bottled drinks and quart drinks that had a paper label with a picture of “Old Abe” on it. They also became the distributors for Schwepps tonic in the Chicago area. A funny coincidence occurred regarding my husband’s family and myself regarding a Lincoln Bottling Co. bottle. He is from Central IL (Pekin) but his mother grew up in Chicago. After the Lincoln Bottling was sold in the 1970s I had wished that I had kept a bottle for memory sake, and low and behold my mother-in-law had a quart cream soda bottle in her basement pantry which we inherited upon her death in 1978. Hope this history helps you.

  2. C. O'Shea says:

    Regarding the Lincoln Club Soda bottle, the address shown on the bottle (4333-4337 N. Central Park Chicago, IL was the Lincoln Bottling Company that was started by my grandfather, Michael D. O’Shea, and eventually taken over by his 3 sons (William, Lawrence and Robert). He was an Irish immigrant who came to live with an older brother who already resided in Chicago in the 1880’s. He started out in ice delivery. He went on to establish a soda water company (bottling flavored ‘pop” drinks also – grape, orange, root beer, cream soda etc.). They bottled both small and large(quart) bottles. The company had a label on the quart bottles with a picture of “Old Abe” on it. After the death of my father (William) in 1970 the company was sold to an unrelated group. I do not know how long the company existed after that time.

  3. Jim says:

    It’s dark green glass it has l s all the way around it

  4. Jim says:

    It’s for sale if anybody is looking to buy very rare bottles

  5. Jim says:

    I have a lincoln bottle from 52 Chicago ill

  6. B. Nash says:

    Thank you for sharing your memories. I have found that most people have never heard of the Lincoln Bottling Company. I have purchased two more bottles recently- but finding them is not easy.

  7. Ted L. Gregory says:

    I was born in 1943 and lived at 3536 W. Cullom Ave. That was around the corner and down the block from the Lincoln bottling Company. As a young child my pals and I would on occastion walk down the alley behind the Lincoln Co. and talk to the workers there. They would in turn treat us with a quart of soda from daily runs they were working on. I moved from the neighborhood arounf 1950 or so. But I still have fond memories of the Lincoln Bottling Co.

  8. B. Nash says:

    John: Great story. I have asked multitudes of antique specialists here in Michigan if they ever heard of the Lincoln Bottling Company. None of them had!

  9. John Reed says:

    All I know about the bottle is that the company was owned by my partner’s grandparents. She couldn’t tell me much about it. I think it was sold when she was avery young girl. Her brother told me a story about how they sent cases of soda to a family member who was stationed overseas during WWII. HE said he was very popular with his buddies because the soda was actually whiskey!

  10. Kevin Lindsey says:

    I contacted PDC Gibson, who is an authority on this type of thing, and here is his response: The flag stand is a Woman’s Relief Corps flag stand. These are quit common, and were found in most GAR Halls where the post had an auxiliary. The WRC, Daughters, SUV Auxiliary and Ladies of the GAR all use several flags during their ceremonies, so there would be four or more of them per Corps. They come in several different designs.

    The “GAR Badge” pictured is an officers badge of the Ladies of the GAR. It is an officer’s badge because it uses the wider ribbon, just like the GAR’s officer badges. Other than that, all Ladies of the GAR badges look the same.

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