In the forward to Twin Lights Tonic, by Paul St. Germain and Devlin Sherlock, Philip Elliot Hopkins, Co-executor of the Twin Lights Trust, recalls a childhood trip to the Little Art Cinema in Rockport. He was there watching a special screening of Cinema Paradiso, eating popcorn and sipping birch beer made locally by Twin Lights Tonic; It was a perfect moment. Each part of this lovely vignette has become a rare treat: A small local arthouse theatre, magical foreign films on the big screen and real handcrafted soda pop.
The Twin Lights Tonic Company, named after the iconic twin lighthouses on Thatcher Island, was founded in 1907 by Thomas Wilson. Run out of the back of the small family-owned grocery store, hand-crafted sodas in old fashioned flavors such as birch beer, cream soda, sarsaparilla and golden ginger ale were brewed. Each of these bubbly wonders came in a heavy glass bottle with the image of the sister lighthouses on the front. Wilson would eventually hand the bottling company over to his stepson, Joseph Sears, who would eventually hand it over to his grandson, Pierce Sears. A lifelong resident of Rockport, Sears was known for often hand delivering his unique sodas, which were crafted on equipment dating back to 1947. Sadly, Sears passed away earlier this month, marking the end of the Twin Lights Bottling Company.
The story of Twin Lights is one of a cherished multi-generational family business, steadfast members of the Rockport community and a beautiful product that defined the uniqueness of the place from which it came. This story has been captured in the newly released Twin Lights Tonic by Paul St. Germain and Devlion Sherlock; Tracing the history of this beloved local company and a delightful soda that brought joy to generations on the north shore. For a copy of the book, visit The Book Shop of Beverly Farms.