Bottle collecting for Darren
and I was a side affect of hiking the Bruce trails and trespassing on
rural; properties where we knew we would see more wildlife. We would
come across the most obvious of farmers end of field dumps. We never did
find anything of significance but our screw top poisons and no return
embossed bottles were the beginnings of our interest in collecting. Over
time we had finished all the Bruce trails and moved into any creek or
river valley we could gain access too.
The Airport road valley is one
such place with its Humber river tributaries. We would park our car
outside what we now call "The Airport farm," one of many abandoned
farmsteads. north of Bovaird. Hunting for bottles and enjoying the
wildlife had now become the pattern. The valley was full of deer of
various sex and maturity, coyote, beaver, fox, Falcons, ground hogs, Red
Cardinal, Blue Jays, Green Bass and other species were observed.
Probably the most remarkable discovery was the April migration of huge
Turtles spread out along the mud banks (I counted eight and no less than
2 1/2 feet in length each in one day.)
The Airport farm was just a
ruin with an old road, mature trees and some barn foundations. Some of
what was found here is still in my collection. "Nesbitt's Of California"
(10 FL OZ black style ACL), "Nesbitt's Of California" (10 FL OZ white
style ACL, Ottawa Ont), "Canada Dry" (10 FL OZ ACL), "Coca Cola" 6.5 FL
OZ Albany N.Y. ACL), "Pick'n Dry" (10 FL OZ ACL Toronto), "Crush" (10 FL
OZ ACL Toronto), "Pure Spring" (10 FL OZ ACL), "Reinhart's Beverages"
(12 FL OZ Guelph Ont embossed) and more doubles to be packed away in
cardboard boxes. Darren also found several sodas plus an amber quart ACL
screw top Diversey Dilac milkstone remover, a green John Collins ACL,
and a Woodbridge Dairy foil milk cap.
From 1994 to 1996,
numerous healthy hikes were made often stopping at the same dumps and
sometimes discovering a new one. One such dump was along a hidden old
sloped down into the valley. Our first six amber skull & cross bone
"poison Liq Iodine" were found here, some with the glass
stoppers (never found any since). My
first two mini (6cm) "Coca Cola's" were discovered on two
different hill bank dumps. Over time better versions of bottles replace
what was found in the Airport valley, but the following are still in my
collection: "Pepsi-Cola" (10 FL OZ Montreal Que ACL/embossing 1959),
"Vernor's Ginger Ale" (8 FL OZ Windsor Ont ACL), "Walkers Beverages" (10
FL OZ Orangeville Ont ACL), "Nugrape" (6 FL OZ Toronto ACL), "Wishing
Well" (11 FL OZ National Dry product embossed), "Frosty Beverages
Sanderson & Porter" (12 FL OZ Toronto embossed), "Jersey Dry Beverages"
(30 FL OZ ACL Toronto), "7-up" (28 FL OZ green/no return/embossed),
"Registered Seltzer & Rydholm" (1 pint & 12 FL OZ aqua/embossed/Auburne
M.E.), "Lysol" (Lehn & Fink Canada-on bottom/amber/10cm), "Underwood's
Inks" (clear/screw top/round/7cm),"Improved Crown" (aqua/12.5cm and
16.cm sizes), "Crown" (aqua/22.5cm), "Imperial" (aqua/ Qt/19.5cm),
"Joseph Campbell Camden N.J. USA Preserve Co" (clear/20.5cm), "Shirrifs
Flavouring Extracts" (clear/round/9.5cm), "Guttuso Pure Olive Oil
Guttuso Olive Oil Corp Montreal" (clear/19.5cm), "Hollywood Sani White
Four White Shoes" (aqua/screw top/13cm), "Lepages Grip Spreader" (clear/
8cm), " Genuine Philips Milk Of Magnesia" (cobalt/17.5cm), "Milk Of
Magnesia Reg. Can. Pat. Off The Chas H. Phillips Chemical Company
Windsor Ont" (cobalt / 12.5cm), "Rundle's Liniment" (non-such-on
In the biggest and deepest of the dumps we found
our first milk bottles. Darren lucked out first with a "Silver wood
cream top" right near the surface. Darren also found "Brampton Dairy"
(quart/slug plate) and a "Brampton Jerseys" (pint/slug plate). I was
very happy to dig my first "Rosedale Dairy Brampton"
(pint / slug plate / block letters), "Roselawn" (quart/R-on bottom/Toronto),
"Rogers Dairy Limited" (quart / R-on bottom / Toronto), "ACME Farmers Dairy
Limited" (quart / AF-on bottom / Toronto).
On the west side of Airport
road is more abandoned ruins with farm fields and a string of wood lots.
The first time I explored this area was April of 1996 and any visible
dumps were engulfed in water. I returned in July when all the water had
drained away and found several more heavy embossed 1950's Cokes &
Wishing Wells. What got Darren's interest was a "Brampton Dairy
Brampton" (1/4 pint / backward 2 in slug plate) in excellent condition,
that was hidden under the moss. I also found a "City Dairy" (1/2
pint / Toronto-on bottom)
Darren joined me in another
search of the area where we found many fruit jar lids, ploughed ground
and ventilating pipes sticking out of the ground. We went to the dump
were I found the milk bottles and continued to look about. There was
clumps of metal, broken glass all trapped in amongst vine routes and
little popular trees. I ripped a whole bunch loose and then set about
looking through it all. I ignored what had first appeared to be a brick.
When I got around to pulling out and tossing this brick I went into
shock to see it was a stone bottle. At the time I had know idea what it
was but I treated it like it was a museum piece. This early Canadian
primitive was light brown, twelve sided and stamped J.B. Toronto
C.W. In Glen C Philips book he lists as John Barton maker of
Sarsaparilla in 1856. This is the only Canada West (1841-1866) bottles I
have ever dug and is my number one bottle. A picture of this bottle can
be seen in the "Primitive Stoneware Bottles of Canada" book. There was
no other evidence of anything old in this 1950's dump. It could have
been here first or what diggers call hold backs (that would be 100 year
hold back.) Latter on that summer I found two nice "Walker Beverages"
(6.5 FL OZ Orangeville Ont/clear/reg 1930) bottles (Darren received
Airport road valley on the east side is now a complete sub division
right up to the Castle more golf club and unfortunately I was never
around when they bull dozed through some of the farm settlement.
airport road valley ©
COPYRIGHT Maurice Kenny