Ramble On

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Cabin Lore - the Hawksbill Cannery

I see these colorful can labels around the county from time to time.  There are a couple of them, on cans and in frames, at the Hawksbill Diner in Stanley, and this weekend I found these two examples in Gathering Grounds in Luray.

The Gathering Grounds piece has a few of the tokens and chits that were issued by the cannery, I guess to workers and others.  There was an auction last year for a token printed with 4 cents on it - these items date from the late 1800's into the early 1900's.

So that inspired me to do a little research to see what I could learn about it, and off to Google I went.

As with the building on Zerkel Street where we hope to operate the brewery soon, the first things that came up in my search were trade publications.  The cannery was listed as a hotels supply vendor in the one I found, dated 1922.

There are a couple of photos in the "Luray and Page County Revisited" book by Dan Vaughn.  The author has included a photograph of the cannery under construction in 1906, located on North Hawksbill Street in Luray.  It was called Luray Canning Company at that time.  The business was renamed Hawksbill Cannery after I.N.Dovel bought it in 1914.

A subsequent photo shows well drilling for a proposed but failed expansion in Stanley.  Apparently there was a fire in 1950, but it was rebuilt by Dovel's son and by 1954 was one of the leading canners of watercress - that's one of the labels that they have at the Hawksbill Diner.

In any case, I have always like the color and graphical style of these labels.  I'm on the lookout for some.  And we're going to use them for inspiration in the brewery logo - we'll have to see what the designer comes up with on that one!

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