by Kylie Pine

The Star Bottling Works appears to have started operations in about 1917 under the leadership of R.A. Pfeil.

[1] At that time their headquarters were located at 647 Market Street.[2] Sometime between 1924 and 1926, L. Morrill Ramage took over the Company.[3] By 1928 the company had moved to new digs at 810 N. Liberty Street and is listed under the name Star Bottling Company. The business is described in the listing as dealing in “carbonated beverage and fountain supplies.”[4]

By 1932, the city directory listing name had changed again to Ramage’s Star Bottling Company and by 1936, it just reads Ramage’s Beverages.

Ramage's Beverages.  WHC Collections X2014.002.0069.001.

Ramage’s Beverages. WHC Collections X2014.002.0069.001.

The name progression is a little confusing. Although the City Directories show a change to Ramage’s Beverages by 1936, a 1936 article in the Oregon Magazine refers to the company as the original name: Star Bottling Works:


In a new building just south of his Star Bottling Works at 810 North Liberty Street, Mr. L.M. Ramage is installing 550 cold storage units, each of 8 cubic feet capacity. Modern Improvements in refrigeration are used and storage will be available May 1st.[5]

It is unclear if the name “Star Bottling Works” continued to be officially used by the company after 1936 or if the editors of the magazine were defaulting to the old name from habit…the same way I continue to call the Moda Center the Rose Garden.

Note: L.M/L. Morrill Ramage appears to be Luther Morrill Ramage, born January 8, 1886 in Magnolia, Illinois (per WWII Draft Card), although the draft card does indicates that M. stands as an initial only, not a middle name as listed in various city directories.  Wife Lillian C. Ramage.


[1] The holdings of the Willamette Heritage Center have city directories for Salem for 1915 and 1917. Star Bottling Works does not appear in the 1915 edition and does appear in the 1917 edition.

[2] Polk’s Salem City and Marion County Directory, 1917. Portland, Oregon: R.L. Polk & Co., 1917. Willamette Heritage Center Collections: 0083.043.0021.0006.

[3] This is evident from the appearance of his name as proprietor in the 1926-1927 City Directory. R.A. Pfeil remains operator in the 1924 Directory.Polk’s Salem City and Marion County Directory, 1924. . Portland, Oregon: R.L. Polk & Co., 1924. Polk’s Salem City and Marion County Directory, 1926-27 . Portland, Oregon: R.L. Polk & Co., 1926. Willamette Heritage Center Collections: 0081.002.0013.003

[4] Polk’s Salem City and Marion County Directory, 1928-1929 . Portland, Oregon: R.L. Polk & Co., 1928. Polk’s Salem City and Marion County Directory, 1930-31 . Portland, Oregon: R.L. Polk & Co., 1930.

[5] “Oregon On Her Way” Oregon Magazine. Volume XXXIV Number XII, April 1, 1936. Page 5. Willamette Heritage Center Collections, 2008.038.0131B.