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Zoller Hop Company Records, 1900-2006

By Tiah Edmunson-Morton, Mary Williams

Collection Overview

Title: Zoller Hop Company Records, 1900-2006

Predominant Dates: 1909-1950

ID: MSS Zoller

Primary Creator: Zoller Hop Company

Extent: 1.5 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The Zoller Hop Company Records are arranged into five series: 1.  Company Management, 1909-1925; 2. Artifacts, circa 1900-1954; 3. Photographs, circa 1900-1958; 4. Scrapbook, circa 1905-2006; 5. Motion Picture Films, 1931-1945.

Date Acquired: 00/00/2017

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The Zoller Hop Company Records consists of records and materials created and assembled throughout the first half of the 20th century. The collection contains records of business operations: correspondence and management files, photographs of fields and community events, and digitized versions of two films.

The Zoller Hop Company was located in Independence, Oregon, the “Hop Capital of the World’ during the first half of the 20th century. The company was later owned by Donal MacCarthy and the name was changed to “D.P. MacCarthy & Son.”

The two films have been digitized and are available online: "Spring hop field operations and fall harvest," 1931 and "Harvesting and processing," 1945.

Scope and Content Notes

The Zoller Hop Company Records consists of records and materials collected throughout the first half of the 20th century. The collection contains records of business operations: correspondence and management files, photographs of fields and community events, and two films. Donal MacCarthy’s frequent letters to the Zollers, preserved in carbon-typed format, provide a first-hand look at concerns of a Willamette Valley hop farm through monthly and annual balance sheets, harvest expenses, statements of the capital, and partial inventories of equipment. Shipping documents for bales of hops to breweries shows the breadth of the Zoller Hop Company’s market.

The majority of the collection consists of correspondence between Charles Zoller, Christian (C.H.) Zoller, and Donal MacCarthy between 1909 and 1918. Their correspondence focused on farm operations, transportation and shipping issues, market conditions, disease and pest problems, economic uncertainties for breweries and related businesses as a result of Prohibition, concerns about the Oregon Hop Growers Association and their impact on the market, labor unrest, the rise of unions (Industrial Workers of the World) and demands for higher pay to counter the shortage of workers during the war, and other related subjects. Because the bulk of the collection was created during World War I, the correspondence also addresses market conditions as they related to war-time activity, the shortage of railroads cars to ship hops due to the transportation of ammunition and war supplies, speculation about market prices if hops were no longer imported from Germany, and Austria’s shortage of field workers in 1917 as the U.S. entered the war. The collection also contains correspondence from 1918 regarding the dissolution of the Zoller Hop Company and MacCarthy’s transition to business owner.

Hops were picked by hand on MacCarthy’s farms until 1949, and the photos and ephemeral items in this collection document this method of harvest. Picked hops were collected into baskets in the fields; these were then poured into a weighing basket and the number of pounds were punched out on the tickets. These tickets would be cashed at the hop office, used as cash at the campground store, the stores in Independence, or could be taken in cash.

The collection has 71 photographs related to hop growing near Independence, Oregon, of which over 50 are original, and thirteen ephemeral items such as payment ticket books. The majority of the photographs document the MacCarthy hop operations from the 1920s-1940s. Photographs show stringing, spraying, equipment, and processing in dryers/kilns. Also included in the collection are two framed panorama views of the Zoller hop farm and fields.

There are digitized versions of two family home movies showing field operations, harvest, and processing facilities on the D.P. MacCarthy & Son farm. The films are available online: "Spring hop field operations and fall harvest," 1931 and "Harvesting and processing," 1945.

Biographical / Historical Notes

The Zoller Hop Company was located in Independence, Oregon, the “Hop Capital of the World’ during the first half of the 20th century. The company was later owned by Donal MacCarthy and the name was changed to “D.P. MacCarthy & Son.”

The Zoller family brewery supply business was headquartered in New York City. Charles (the father) was President and Director, while Christian (the son) was Vice-President and Vice-Director. The “Charles Zoller Company” distributed brewing supplies and machinery, including a washing equipment, a hop-separating machine, the Krausen apparatus, brushes and brooms, cleaning liquids, valves and rings, bottles and caps, as well as yeast, hops, rice, and malt.

In addition to owning a supply business, the Zollers were also involved directly in the hop farming business. In 1906, they purchased a farm and equipment from Henry Ottenheimer in Independence, Oregon, naming it the Zoller Hop Company. With this farm and their existing supply business, they became successful brokers for the sale of Willamette Valley hops to breweries throughout the United States (Florida, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Texas, Indiana, Ohio). Charles Zoller was President, Oregon’s U.S. Senator Charles L. McNary was Vice-President, and D.P. MacCarthy was Manager and Secretary. Christian H. (C.H. in company records) worked in New York with his father, but was actively involved in gathering information and providing operational assistance to MacCarthy.

Charles A. Zoller was born in Germany in 1852, moved to New Jersey in 1872, and married Anna Schmidt 1883; Anna was the daughter of Christian Schmidt, who owned a large and successful brewery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Zoller lived in Manhattan with his wife, two daughters (Matilda, Anglia), and two sons (Christian, Charles). Zoller established a business in brewers’ technical materials and supplies in New York City in 1879. He was a pioneer in the United States brewing industry and was instrumental in introducing improvements in brewing machines from companies outside the U.S. He was one of the organizers of the Manufacturers and Dealers League of the City and State of New York and was an ardent opponent of national Prohibition. He died in July 1929 and the nationwide industry periodical the American Brewer carried his obituary notice.

Christian H. Zoller was born in 1884 in New York, worked with his father in the family brewing supply, and then moved to Philadelphia in 1919 to work with his uncle at the C. Schmidt & Sons Brewing Co. He worked as a sales manager from 1919 to 1934 and took over as president of the company in 1945. He was responsible for major modernization of the brewery, the biggest sales expansion in the company’s history, and the acquisition of the Valley Forge brewery. He held this position until his death in 1958, when Carl E. von Czoernig (great-grandson of Christian Schmidt) took over the business.

Donal P. MacCarthy was born January 26, 1873, in South Africa, and was educated in England. He spent his early years in a stock broker's office and at 20 went to Canada to work as a crewman on a cattle boat. He later worked on a large cattle ranch in Canada. MacCarthy arrived in the Willamette Valley on Thanksgiving Day in 1894 and settled in Woodburn. He worked in the woods in the Silverton area, and subsequently purchased a farm at Mulino and another in the Waldo Hills. In the early 1900s he partnered with Jack Carmichael and they opened a hop-buying company; he later opened his own business in Salem. In 1907, he purchased a 180-acre farm near Independence (Fir Grove Hopyard) and over the next several years added three more farms, including the Zoller property in 1918. In 1936, he formed a partnership with his son, Eugene D. MacCarthy, and their land holding totaled approximately 600 acres at the time of MacCarthy’s death in April 1954. In his obituary, MacCarthy was noted as being "probably the oldest hop grower in Oregon." He was an active member of the community; he was a member of several farm and livestock organizations, and a lifetime member of the Salem Lodge of Elks.

Author: Tiah Edmunson-Morton, Mary Williams, Glenn Mason

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 4 boxes, including 2 oversize boxes, 82 photographs, 2 digitized motion picture films (463.9 MB)

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: Collection purchased in 2017 and 2018. Addition of photographs and company records in 2021.

Related Materials:

The Zoller Hop Company Records are complemented by the Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives Oral History Collection (OH 35), which includes interviews from industry professionals, journalists and community members.

Other related materials can be found in the Mt. Angel Abbey Hops Photographs (P 349), Hop Growers of America Records, Oregon Hop Growers Association Records, and Hop Research Council Records. Also of note are the research reports in the Crop Science Department Records (RG 095) and the College of Agricultural Sciences Records (RG 158).

The Brewing and Fermentation Collection (MSS BFRC) consists of materials collected by the OSU Special Collections and Archives Research Center pertaining to the history, growth, and culture of the Pacific Northwest brewing industry, including regional hops and barley farming, commercial craft and home brewing, and craft cider and mead. The Oregon Hop Grower / Pacific Hop Grower (1933-1940) and The Hopper (1945-1954) are periodicals that supported the growers, brewers, and related industries with articles about crop forecasts and yields, mechanization and technological advances, pests and diseases, research, health, and membership information. They also contain minutes and reports from various state and national grower associations.

The Hop Press: A Memorandum of What's Brewin' newsletter was prepared by Hop Specialist G.R. Hoerner and issued monthly by the Oregon State College Extension Service to provide information on hops and brewing to County Extension Agents in Oregon. This informal publication provides a detailed view of hops growing and production in Oregon and the northwest for this period, as well as information about hops growing in Washington, Idaho, and California. Included are a variety of news items, such as statistics on hop acreage, the costs of production, number of growers, information about industry organizations, summaries and preliminary reports of OSU hops research, news items from newspapers and other publications in Oregon and Washington, agendas for Hop Growers Conferences, and summaries of presentations at these conferences.

Collections linked to Oregon State University research, as well as other manuscript collections are described on the Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives research guide. More information pertaining to the history of hop growing and brewing in Oregon can be found on the Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives website.

Preferred Citation: Zoller Hop Company Records (MSS Zoller), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Processing Information: Framed items were kept in frames for exhibit purposes.


Zoller Hop Company
MacCarthy, Donal P.
Zoller, Charles A.
Zoller, Christian H.

People, Places, and Topics

Hops--Diseases and pests--Oregon.
Hops and Brewing
Natural Resources
Zoller Hop Company

Forms of Material

Born digital.
Home movies.
Panoramic photographs.
Photographic prints.

Box and Folder Listing

Series 1: Company Management, 1909-1925
The “Company Management” series is composed of business correspondence between C.H. Zoller and the Donal MacCarthy which discuss multiple topics such as market conditions and transportation. Also included are operational records and community events within the town of Independence, Oregon.
Box-Folder 1.01: Correspondence and Operational Records, 1909-1913
Box-Folder 1.02: Correspondence and Operational Records, 1914
Box-Folder 1.03: Correspondence and Operational Records, 1915
Includes farm diary.
Box-Folder 1.04: Correspondence and Operational Records, 1916
Box-Folder 1.05: Correspondence and Operational Records, 1917
Box-Folder 2.01: Correspondence and Operational Records, 1918
Box-Folder 2.02: Correspondence and Operational Records, 1919-1925
Box-Folder 2.03: Picker Announcement, Undated
Zoller Hop Company, and E. Clemens Horst Eola Ranch.
Box-Folder 2.04: Hop Men's Banquet, 1931
Box-Folder 3.01: Newsclippings, 1953
Box-Folder 3.02: Certificate, 1951
Monmouth Cooperative Warehouse capital stock certificate for Eugene and D.P. MacCarthy.
Box-Folder 3.03: Monthly accounting, 1911
Series 2: Artifacts, circa 1900-1954
This series contains some artifacts from the Zoller Hop Co. Included are company stationary, weight tickets for the pickers, and registration cards.
Box-Folder 2.05: Blank Company Stationary, c. 1900-1954
Box-Folder 2.06: Blank Field Weight Tickets, and Registration Cards, c. 1918-1954
Series 3: Photographs, circa 1900-1958
This series is comprised of photographs collected as the Zoller Hop Company grew and later became the D.P. MacCarthy & Son. Enclosed are pictures from community events and the fields, along with photograph of a painting by E.S. Whelan. Panoramic photographs are in original period frames.
Box-Folder 2.07: Field Photos, c. 1900-1950
Box-Folder 2.08: Event Photos, 1936-1953
Box-Folder 2.09: E.S. Whelan Painting, 1958
Box-Item 4.1-4.2: Panoramic photographs, circa 1930
Framed photographs.
Series 4: Scrapbook, circa 1905-2006
Scrapbook includes photographs and ephemera, as well as descriptive annotations written by Claire Rogers MacCarthy in 2006. (9 pages, 36 pictures)
Box-Item 3: Scrapbook, circa 1905-2006
Series 5: Motion Picture Films, 1931-1945
MacCarthy family home movies showing field operations and processing on the D.P. MacCarthy & Son farm.
Item 1: Spring hop field operations and fall harvest, 1931
This black and white film shows workers training bines in spring for Early Cluster hops while on a cart being pulled by a horse, spring field maintenance using a tractor, field inspection by Charles Bier, Jr., filling up a sprayer truck and spraying for hop lice, camp activities (horseshoes and music), hop harvest (picking, weighing, replacing wires), and transportation of bales to dryer. Includes title slides identifying scenes. This film is available streaming online.
Item 2: Harvesting and processing, 1945
This color film shows field harvest and processing facilities. Specifically, workers harvesting hops; workers on "crow's nests" cutting hops from wires; cleaning, transportation, processing, drying, and baling. The end shows workers staking and training bines in the spring. This film is available streaming online.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.