A Christmas Pickle for Berrien County

In December of 1945, a new business venture came to Berrien County, The Manhattan Pickle Company. Doing business locally as the Nashville Packing Company, the  Manhattan Pickle Company set up a processing plant in an industrial building constructed by Berrien Investment, Inc.

The Manhattan Pickle Company was founded about 1915 by Louis Weinberg in Manhattan, Illinois, just south of Chicago.  By the 1940s,  Louis’ son, Jack Weinberg, was at the helm of the company.  One patented product of the company was the wine cured pickle.  “Wine Cured Made with fresh cucumbers, garden dill , sweetened wine and blended with aged vinegar salt onions and rare spices”.

Industrial plant, 1117 East Marion Avenue, Nashville, GA. This facility, constructed in 1945, was originally home to the Nashville Packing Company, a subsidiary of the Manhattan Pickle Company of Chicago.

Industrial plant, 1117 East Marion Avenue, Nashville, GA. This facility, constructed in 1945, was originally home to the Nashville Packing Company, a subsidiary of the Manhattan Pickle Company of Chicago.

The Manhattan Pickle company filled the Nashville, GA plant with processing equipment to handle and package produce. For making pickles, there were huge vats with floating oaken lids.

Sol Weinberg, CEO of the Manhattan Pickle Company, moved to Nashville to manage the operation of the local pickle plant. Weinberg moved into a newly constructed home on Parrish Street.

Weinberg House, constructed circa 1945. This house on Parrish Street, Nashville, GA was orginally the home of J. A. Weinberg, President of the Manhattan Pickle Company.

Weinberg House, constructed circa 1945. This house on Parrish Street, Nashville, GA was originally the home of  Sol Weinberg, CEO of the Manhattan Pickle Company.

An old newspaper clipping from 1945 reported on the opening of the pickle factory in Nashville, GA.

December 22, 1945
Nashville (Georgia) Booms, Wants No Bottlenecking

      NASHVILLE, Ga., Dec 22. – If the people up in Tennessee aren’t going anywhere, won’t they please get out of Nashville, Georgia’s way?
The trouble with Nashville, Tenn., thinks Mayor W. K. Gaskins of Nashville, Ga., is that it hasn’t budged an inch since Andrew Jackson’s day.
“All they’re doing today is sitting up there reading our mail,” he says, “and bottlenecking our railway express shipments.”
      Mayor Gaskins wants the whole world to know – and particularly the postal and railway shipping clerks – that there’s a NASHVILLE, GA.
He doesn’t believe there’s room in the South for two big cities with the same name, but says the people here are planning to be in business at the same old stand and under the same old name for quite some years to come.
      Now Nashville, Ga., has a lot of ground to cover before she’ll be as large as Nashville, Tenn., but she’s on her way. She’s alive and growing while her Tennessee cousins are dead and standing still, according to the best trend of thinking here.
      She’s doubled her population in the last four years and in the past year has quadrupled her industrial productive power. And she’s the fastest-growing city in Georgia and the U. S. A. Anybody in Nashville will tell you that.
      But you don’t have to have someone tell you of Nashville’s growth. You run smack into it anywhere you turn.
      Stretching itself alongside a Georgia & Florida railroad siding is a whaling-big structure of concrete blocks – spanking new. It’ll house the Nashville. Ga., Packing Co., a subsidiary of the Manhattan Pickle Co., of Chicago.

LAND OF GREAT PRODUCE
      The Nashville, Ga., Packing Co. will process and package the cucumbers, beans, okra, cabbages and other varieties of vegetables grown on truck-farming lands of Berrien county.
      J. A. Weinberg, president of the parent company, thinks so much of the possibilities of such a good processing plant here, and of the productiveness of Berrien’s soil, that he’s planning to leave the Chicago business to his brothers and pitch permanent camp here.
      “This land will grow more things to eat,” he says, “than any other land in the world.”
      The Nashville (Ga.) Packing Company is a big project and one that will provide employment for some 200 to 300 persons and distribute thousands of dollars in farm purchases from the residents of Berrien county, but backed up right to it is another whopping big building getting finishing touches before its machinery starts humming.
      This plant will house the fertilizer and chemical concern of J. D. Tygart. It will mix fertilizers and agricultural chemicals for the farmers who grow food for the next-door packing company and for other outlets.
      You don’t have to leave the spot where you’re standing to see still another tremendous sign of Nashville’s industrial growth. They’re breaking ground and laying the foundation for one of the largest tobacco warehouses ever to go up in south Georgia. Already one of the state’s leading tobacco markets, this warehouse, to be owned by J. H. Harvey, will add vastly to the city’s stature as a tobacco center.

FREEZER-LOCKER, TOO

      Take a look at that abattoir over there, lying squat and industrially pretty. It’ll slaughter and process meat for some of the home of the section. J. Henry Gaskins is building it.
      And you’d have to look far and wide to find a more handsome automobile-distributing and servicing plant than the one E. Jenkins has erected at a cost of $75,000.
      Still another building in the process of construction is the elaborately equipped freezer-locker, ice and meat-curing plant which Henry Hornbuckle, of Tifton, is putting up.
      Nashville is on its way, and it is being given a tremendous boost by its organization of progressive business leaders operating under the name of Berrien Investment, Inc. Some 125 citizens of Berrien county are stock-holding members of this organization born solely for the purpose of stimulating industrial growth in the county.
      A nonprofit organization, headed by J. H. Harvey and a board of live-wire directors, Berrien Investment, Inc., is backed by a working capital of $150,000. This money is used to help establish new industries. Its first project was the Nashville (Ga.) Packing Company. The company advanced the money to build the $75,000 packing plant. The Manhattan Pickle Company has contracted to rent the building for five years with the privilege of purchasing it at the end of that time and having what money they’ve paid in rentals apply on the purchase price. The money which the investment company receives in rentals or purchase will be put to work again – toward the construction of another industrial plant.

NEWCOMERS WANTED

      The investment company works in close cooperation with the Nashville Lions Club and the Georgia & Florida Railroad in its campaign for a greater industrialized Nashville. Besides pitching in on the price of building a plant, the investment company uses its influence in other ways to make things easier on an incoming industry. Free taxes for a period of years, for example.
      President Weinberg, of the Manhattan Pickle Company, parent of the Nashville (Ga.) Packing Company, says that industry isn’t seeking a handout from any town it enters, or doesn’t mind risking investment capital in putting up a building, but the Nashville plan is attractive because it shows that the community really means business and has the welcome mat out front. He says his company will buy the building it will occupy at the end of the five years and would buy it now, but in the formative years it’s a nice working arrangement to have the people of the town interested in the industry.
      Housing is another project of Berrien Investment, Inc., and today new houses are mushrooming all over Nashville. The organization is using its collective influence to get building materials, and soon a vast home-building project will swing into operation designed to provide 50 homes for workers of the Nashville (Ga.) Packing Company. Under the plan, the investment company and the packing firm will jointly stand the initial cost of erecting the homes with the worker-occupants getting the chance of buying them at terms convenient to them.

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