Not only did the Salem Coca-Cola bottling plant bottle the ever popular Coca-Cola line of beverages, the facility also produced beverages customized for the local market. One such beverage was "Canobie Club" soda. With a name that was synonymous with wonderful memories of summers spent at Canobie Lake, there would certainly have been a demand for the product. In cities across the United States anyone could get a Coca-Cola, but only in the Salem and Windham area could you get a Canobie Club "Birch Beer" or a "Lemon & Lime" soda. To tout its local connection, every bottle label displayed the headline "Made in the Hills of Old New Hampshire." Unlike its other soda counterparts, the soda was marketed as a great beverage for the health-conscious with the slogan: "Its purity renders it supreme as a healthful and satisfying drink." To stand out from the rather plain labels of other sodas, each bottle was given a brightly colored label with a large graphic of two young men rowing a canoe on Canobie Lake. Even the cork-lined bottle caps were printed with the image. Evidently there was not as much demand for the "Canobie Club" line as the producers had imagined because the line was likely discontinued by the 1950s. Salem Coca-Cola went on to continue its bottling of more standard Coca-Cola products.
On January 10, 1801, John Dinsmoor, as the justice of the peace, signed a warrant to arrest James Wilson. According to the warrant, if James was found within the precinct, he was to be arrested and held so that he could make an appearance before Dinsmoor on Saturday, January 31 at two o'clock. Windham's constable, who may have served the warrant and attempted to arrest Wilson, was Abner Campbell. Like many of Windham's constables in that era, he was the town's only constable and served for just one year. In addition to arresting Wilson, who lived in the Burnham house at the Windham town center, his personal estate was to be attached for the sum of $20. When Wilson appeared before Dinsmoor that January afternoon he would have been confronted by David Morse, of Haverhill, a nail maker. Some time prior, Wilson had purchased "three pounds three shillings and six pence" of goods, presumably nails, from Morse, and failed to pay him. In 1801, the sum of British currency was equivalent to $12.25 according to the warrant; that amount is rounded up to $13 and somehow raised to $20 against Wilson's estate. While the outcome of the case is unknown, Wilson did not stay around Windham for long. During the War of 1812, Wilson found himself a seaman who had earned the moniker "Sailor James." While in England a "press-gang" found Wilson on the street and impressed him into the British service. However, Wilson was a fervent patriot and refused to fight against his countrymen. For his refusal to fight with the British ranks Wilson was imprisoned at Dartmoor Prison, but eventually released. Following his release from prison Wilson returned to Windham and married Mary Gregg. After living in Windham for a year, Wilson deserted his wife, went to Baltimore, and was never heard from again.
Derek Saffie is an avid Windham historian who enjoys researching and sharing his collection with all those interested in the history of the New England town.