Message on a Bottle: Nanaimo’s Soda History

I’m excited to share that I’ve self-published a booklet, and that Message on a Bottle: Nanaimo’s Soda History by Dalys Barney is now for sale!

Available for $10 if I can connect with you locally near Nanaimo, or $12 if you need it mailed to you, the booklet will likely appeal to bottle collectors and to those interested in Vancouver Island history.

Starting as early as the 1870s, Nanaimo had entrepreneurs who were bottling and selling soda in the city. A small luxury that could be enjoyed by the young and old alike, bottled soda was especially welcomed at well-known Nanaimo summer events like the miners’ picnic. While independent local soda businesses have faded away with time and industry consolidation, what we’re left with today are the bottles, some of which feature iconic Nanaimo images like a crossed miner’s pick and shovel or the Bastion.

Not a pricing guide, but an attempt to tell the history of the city’s soda industry, the booklet focuses on single-serving glass soda bottles and Nanaimo manufacturers like William Rumming, John Mitchell, and Louis Lawrence.

Special thanks to the Nanaimo Historical Society and the Nanaimo Community Archives for helping to fund my printing costs.

An Island Girl Introduction

Hi, I’m Dalys Barney!  That’s me with Nanaimo’s first mayor, Mark Bate.Dalys&Mark After a full 36 years of living on Vancouver Island I still can’t seem to get enough.  I love learning new things about this awesome place – especially anything to do with history.  Through my work in the technical services department at the Library at Vancouver Island University, I often come across interesting resources about the Island, and I’ve always got my eyes peeled for more.  Last year I joined the Nanaimo Historical Society, where I’ve enjoyed listening to presentations from a variety of great speakers.

I thought it might be kind of fun to start a blog highlighting my personal exploration and discovery of Vancouver Island’s history.  At this point I’m thinking it will be a mixture of research I’m discovering, comments on local heritage events I’ve attended (including the Historical Society), book reviews, and other ramblings.  While my main focus will be the history of the Island, especially central Vancouver Island, I also foresee posts about new Island discoveries: parks, trails, venues, activities, etc.

I’m totally new to this whole blogging thing, but I’m pretty excited, so here goes!