G:\Home\Linda\Adco History\Canning Was Major Industry For County.doc
Canning Was Major Industry For County
(From "Adams County Crossroads of the West Volume II"
by Albin Wagner)
The extension of irrigation in Adams County gave rise to the development of small "truck
farms" along the South Platte devoted to raising cabbage, tomatoes, celery, pickles and other
vegetables for the hungry mouths of Denver and the rest of the region. The produce was most
often sold at the Denver City Market. Denver's first market opened in 1883 at 23rd and
At the height of the cabbage production period from 19171924, thousands of carloads of
cabbage were shipped from the siding along 2nd Ave. (renamed Cabbage Ave.) in Brighton. The
Colorado Cabbage Exchange, headquartered in Brighton, was organized in 1920 by area farmers
as an early effort in cooperative marketing. The Vegetable Producers Cooperate Association,
another marketing cooperative, was formed in 1923.
Local promoters also sought to develop a canning industry based on the locally grown
vegetables. The first canning factory built in Adams County was the Brighton Canning Co.
factory completed March 7, 1889. Sauerkraut, pickles and tomatoes were canned in the 20' x 40'
frame building on the corner of Skeel and Front Sts. (now S. 1st Ave.). However, the local
company soon failed.
Max Kuner began the Kuner Pickle Company's association with Brighton in 1895 when
he moved a building to Brighton from Greeley as a "Salting Works" for pickles and sauerkraut.
Kuner was born in Lindau, Bavaria, December 4, 1824. He came to the United States alone when
he was seven years old, via New Orleans to Vicksburg, Mississippi. He married there and was a
Southern sympathizer during the Civil War. In 1873, Kuner took over a pickle factory in St.
Louis for back debts. He later moved to Denver where he joined his brother in the company of
J.C. Kuner and Son. Max took the company over in 1883, renaming it "Kuner Pickle Co." Kuner