Greetings, soda pop lovers!
I am going to tell you a story that may or may not be true as the research on this is sketchy at best.
Once upon a time, the late 188os, to be exact (or only exact to an extent), there was a man named Charles Alderton in Waco, Texas. Alderton invented what many would call a yummy beverage. Instead of naming this beverage after himself (because Alderton just doesn’t sound thirst-quenching), people would order a “Waco” at the pharmacy where it was first made available. Eventually, Alderton gave the drink to the owner of the pharmacy, who was originally from Rural Retreat, VA. The pharmacist named the drink after the man in Virginia who gave him his first job many years ago.
He named it Dr. Pepper.
There are potential issues with the story. Some claim the pharmacist actually lived about 50 miles outside of Rural Retreat and therefore may not have been employed by Dr. Pepper at all. Some stories say that the pharmacist was in love with Dr. Pepper’s daughter at one point and that is why he named the drink after him.
… hey, WHAT if he WORKED for Dr. Pepper AND was in love with his daughter? AND commuted 50 miles to work every day?
Either way, there are many people that agree this man did indeed inspire the name, and you can see DR. PEPPER’S GRAVE- Mountain View Cemetery, 514 S. Main St., Rural Retreat, VA.
(Mind you, there is no actual address for the cemetery; the above listed address will lead you to Grace Lutheran Church. Across the street from it is Mountain View Ave.. Turn down that road and you can’t miss the cemetery down the road.)
If you turn into the cemetery entrance closest to the flag pole, the road turns sharply left. You’ll see a series of stones to your left almost immediately that say “Pepper.” Naturally, he is among them. After all, how many Pepper families would really be around there?
So… does the man buried under this marker have anything to do with the soda pop? Not sure, but he’s got a great view for eternity.
Until next time, dahlings…