Imagine yourself in Sussex, New Brunswick on a hot, humid summer day in 1929. You’ve finished a long day of haying and it’s time for a rest on the verandah. Before you head outdoors, you step over to the ice chest, open it wide, and grab a cold, refreshing bottle of Sussex Ginger Ale. Now to the porch, pop the top and….. ahhhh! Soda heaven!
Sussex Ginger Ale has been a favorite of these parts for a long time – even longer ago than our imagined summer day of 1929. The iconic New Brunswick brand actually got its start in 1895. That’s the year mineral waters were discovered on Church Avenue by S. H. White. Mr. White knew a good thing when it came bubbling out of the ground and he quickly formed a partnership with G. Armstrong and started the Sussex Mineral Springs Company.
The initial offering of the company was pure mineral water, straight from the spring. Sales were good, but after a time they added ginger, sugar and carbonation to the mix.
Hello, Local Legend.
By 1910, the Sussex Mineral Springs Company was a growing concern that required the construction of a new building on Pleasant Avenue to house the business. Things were bubbly all over but in 1911, a newcomer arrived on the scene. J. Howard Pearn and G. Percy Bolton formed P & B Beverage Co., a direct competitor to the Sussex Mineral Springs Company. The two firms were competitors until 1929 when they joined forces and became Sussex Ginger Ale Ltd. This stoneware bottle from our collection comes from this new phase of the beverage’s history; very different from today’s cans and plastic bottles – but the same delicious taste!
Such is the story of the soda… but what about the fountain?
The town of Sussex has not forgotten the font of its fizzy goodness. A walk along Church Street will lead you to a modest monument known as the Church Avenue Fountain. Here, in 1932, a granite fountain was installed as a testimony to that original mineral spring discovery and the incredible business that grew as a result. The fountain, fed by a nearby artesian well, allows the town of Sussex a place to pause and reflect on its historic past.
What better spot to rest in the shade with a bottle of Sussex Ginger Ale?Here’s to good taste!