One Green Bottle

From the deposit of one green bottle a story emerges…screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-12-50-06

The bottle in question carries the label:

James Wilson



It transpires that James Wilson owned an aerated water factory and stores at 11 and 15 MacRae Street, Wick, during the early 1900s. He was also to have ownership, for periods, of the Lorne Buildingsjn21355b010_lorne-hotel









and the Station Hotel in Wick.jn20372b004_station-hotel








James Wilson came originally from Aberdeenshire and was to become a significant Caithness entrepreneur. His extensive and remarkable history is currently being fully researched by one of his descendants

Wick Heritage Museum has now also unearthed another bottle from the James Wilson factory. See if you can find it on your next visit

Many thanks to Mr William Rosie for unearthing the bottle and donating it to Wick Heritage Museum



In 1901 Mrs Isabella Shearer was marketing her own brand of whisky from 11 Back Bridge Street, Wick, MATHER_0434_Heritage Museum Artifacts Feb 2016but the town’s association with whisky goes much further back.

IMG_1245James Henderson established the Pulteney distillery in the town in 1826 and at the height of the herring fishing season it was reckoned that 3000 litres of whisky were being consumed within a week.

JN20643B005_Men in cart drinking

A few doors along from Wick Heritage Museum in Bank Row was the Crown Hotel, one of a number of Wick and Pulteneytown refreshment establishments.


Wick then fell out with whisky.

IMG_1247The Wick and Pulteneytown Total Abstinence Society had been formed in 1840 and in 1922 the Temperance Movement secured a 62% vote in favour of the town ‘going dry’. For 25 years the prohibition order remained in place.