Growing up and visiting my Grandparents in Collinsville Il was very exciting for me, in addition to eating Grandma’s homemade goodies, a trip to the big Catsup Bottle was also always included in the plans. Now that I am a Mom I also delight in driving my son to see one of the great wonders of the St Louis area.
Located just south of Collinsville Il, Nearly 70 feet tall, atop a 100-foot steel base, the large Catsup Bottle could hold up to 640,000 bottles of catsup, I still like to believe there is catsup in it, however my sources all point to it being used as a water tower which holds up to 100,000 gallons of water.
Built in 1949 for the G.S. Suppiger bottling plant, the bottlers of Brooks Tangy Catsup the original idea was a joke to many people. However the local fire department needed a water tower in that area and the large bottle was born. The bottle stood proudly over the factory where this very catsup was being bottled. In 1960 catsup operations were moved and the building became warehouses.
Due to years of being in the weather the catsup bottle was in jeopardy of being torn down, however a group of Catsup enthusiasts rallied together and worked countless amounts of hours and raised the money to restore the magnificent watertower which was completely repainted and restored in 1995. The workers also were able to get a original 1949 Brooks Catsup Bottle to use as a model to keep the authentic look.
Today the Catsup bottle has become a popular roadside attraction to young and old alike. It was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 2002, and is visited by people worldwide and has been featured on several major networks. It still brings people to visit and take photos on a daily basis.
Every year in July they hold a annual Summerfest and Birthday party to celebrate this historic landmark. It is always a great celebration and often boasts entertainment sure to delight any member of your family. This year they had the Oscar Mayer Wiernermobile in addition to other great local vendors. Offering food, beverages and all the family fun you could ask for.
In closing I say this is a great place to visit as the St Louis area has so much to offer and is a often overlooked vacation getaway. You wont be sorry you had the chance to see this great piece of history and will never look at Catsup the same way again.