Who would have thought digging around in the woods would lead to an eventual lifelong hobby? Well, for Dennis Restoff, it is how he began his trip through time in the form of artifacts. Restoff has completed his collection of Lorenz bottles dating back to the year 1861. He has a bottle from every decade of progress up until 1968.
“It only took me six years,” joked Restoff. “I really haven’t been in it that long.”
Lorenz soda, which was located where Steigman Construction currently stands, primarily supplied soda as well as milk and ice cream. The Lorenz soda was brought to Nashville in 1871 by John Lorenz Sr after priorly operating in Farmington, Missouri. Lorenz eventually transferred the business to his sons John and Edward.
Restoff has acquired his items through a number of avenues including auctions, networking with other hisorians, and digging.
“I’ve dug several of these myself, out in the woods, that’s where it all started was me digging,” said Restoff.
He was in the process of recovering old beer cans when he stumbled upon his first bottle.
“I never really knew Nashville had a bottling company, and when I was digging for beer cans, I found a soda bottle that said Nashville on it,” said Restoff. “I was like, I was never told there was a bottling company, that’s cool. That’s actually what started me getting into local history.”
The bottles are on display in the east room at Restoff Hardware behind a glass cabinet. Also featured in the same room is Restoff’s beer can collection, which is roughly 6,000 cans. Restoff is a 2015 graduate of Nashville Community High School.