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kentucky_s_largest_distillery_was_in_petersburg [2013/04/30 12:15]
jgregory
kentucky_s_largest_distillery_was_in_petersburg [2015/04/27 13:32] (current)
jgregory
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 Originally published: December 14, 2006 in the //[[Boone County Recorder]]//​ Originally published: December 14, 2006 in the //[[Boone County Recorder]]//​
  
-As you drive down Kentucky 20 into quiet [[Petersburg]],​ Kentucky, it is hard to believe that Kentucky'​s largest distillery once dominated the southern half of the town.  For over a century, the [[boone_county_distilling_company|Petersburg Distillery]],​ by far [[Boone County]]'​s leading industry, sat along the banks of the Ohio River in Petersburg.+{{  http://​bcplfusion.bcpl.org/​Repository/​distillery_maud_gulley_louden_4th_from_right_1.jpg?​400|Distillery,​ 1910}} 
 +As you drive down Kentucky 20 into quiet [[Petersburg]],​ Kentucky, it is hard to believe that Kentucky'​s largest distillery once dominated the southern half of the town.  For over a century, the [[boone_county_distilling_company|Petersburg Distillery]],​ by far [[Boone County]]'​s leading industry, sat along the banks of the [[Ohio River]] in Petersburg.
  
 The early development of Petersburg was closely tied to a North Carolinian named John James Flournoy who, in [[1817]], platted the town and established the Petersburg Steam Mill Company. ​ Flournoy'​s mill was transformed into an industrial power by a Virginian named William Snyder who came to Petersburg in [[1833]] with his brother John.  William Snyder developed the Petersburg Distillery into an industrial giant: in [[1860]], the distillery produced a staggering 1.125 million gallons of whiskey. ​ Despite the distillery'​s success, Snyder was heavily in debt.  In [[1862]], his assets were seized and auctioned by the sheriff at the courthouse. The early development of Petersburg was closely tied to a North Carolinian named John James Flournoy who, in [[1817]], platted the town and established the Petersburg Steam Mill Company. ​ Flournoy'​s mill was transformed into an industrial power by a Virginian named William Snyder who came to Petersburg in [[1833]] with his brother John.  William Snyder developed the Petersburg Distillery into an industrial giant: in [[1860]], the distillery produced a staggering 1.125 million gallons of whiskey. ​ Despite the distillery'​s success, Snyder was heavily in debt.  In [[1862]], his assets were seized and auctioned by the sheriff at the courthouse.
  
-The distillery weathered the exorbitant Federal liquor taxes of the [[Civil War]] under subsequent owner Colonel William [[appleton family|Appleton]]. ​ Near the end of the war, Appleton sold most of his interest to Petersburg'​s Joseph C. Jenkins and James Gaff of Aurora, Indiana. ​ Jenkins was a successful stock breeder whose glorious home, "[[jenkins|Prospect Farm]],"​ still commands the hill above town.  Gaff was a distiller whose brother Thomas Gaff's [[1855]] home "​Hillforest"​ is a National Historic Landmark. ​ The trio had some success, but by [[1874]] each had sold their interest in the distillery to the Cincinnati firm of Freiburg & Workum.+The distillery weathered the exorbitant Federal liquor taxes of the [[Civil War]] under subsequent owner Colonel William [[appleton family|Appleton]]. ​ Near the end of the war, Appleton sold most of his interest to Petersburg'​s Joseph C. Jenkins and James Gaff of Aurora, Indiana. ​ Jenkins was a successful stock breeder whose glorious home, "[[prospect_farm|Prospect Farm]],"​ still commands the hill above town.  Gaff was a distiller whose brother Thomas Gaff's [[1855]] home "​Hillforest"​ is a National Historic Landmark. ​ The trio had some success, but by [[1874]] each had sold their interest in the distillery to the Cincinnati firm of Freiburg & Workum.
  
 Cincinnati'​s whiskey industry of the late 19th Century was marked by expansion and agglomeration and Freiburg & Workum were the biggest fish in a very large pond.  By [[1880]], the distillery was making more whiskey than any other distillery in the state of Kentucky. ​ That year, the distillery was worth $250,000 and produced 975,820 gallons of whiskey. ​ By comparison, the nine distilleries in famed Bourbon County produced only 433,263 gallons of whiskey. ​ By [[1897]] the Petersburg Distillery'​s annual capacity had ballooned to 4 million gallons. ​ The daily capacity of the stills (12,000 gallons) was more than 14 times that of the average [[1890s]] Kentucky distillery and comparable to the output of the massive distilleries of Peoria, Illinois Cincinnati'​s whiskey industry of the late 19th Century was marked by expansion and agglomeration and Freiburg & Workum were the biggest fish in a very large pond.  By [[1880]], the distillery was making more whiskey than any other distillery in the state of Kentucky. ​ That year, the distillery was worth $250,000 and produced 975,820 gallons of whiskey. ​ By comparison, the nine distilleries in famed Bourbon County produced only 433,263 gallons of whiskey. ​ By [[1897]] the Petersburg Distillery'​s annual capacity had ballooned to 4 million gallons. ​ The daily capacity of the stills (12,000 gallons) was more than 14 times that of the average [[1890s]] Kentucky distillery and comparable to the output of the massive distilleries of Peoria, Illinois
  
-The Petersburg Distillery'​s success would not last into the 20th Century. ​ Freiburg & Workum sold the distillery in [[1899]] to a company that sold off all the bonded whiskey and eventually dismantled the buildings. ​ By 1919, little of the once proud industry remained. ​ Today, the distillery is an archaeological site with remnants of stone and brick foundations and walls. ​ Three buildings from the complex survive, including the ca.[[1870]] Cooperage, ca.[[1850]] Scales Office, and [[1885]] Superintendent'​s House. ​ Other buildings in town are built from distillery brick, including several houses, the 1913 [[ryle_s_supermarket_and_odd_fellows_building|Odd Fellows Hall]] and the tiny 1916 Petersburg Jail.+The Petersburg Distillery'​s success would not last into the 20th Century. ​ Freiburg & Workum sold the distillery in [[1899]] to a company that sold off all the bonded whiskey and eventually dismantled the buildings. ​ By 1919, little of the once proud industry remained. ​ Today, the distillery is an archaeological site with remnants of stone and brick foundations and walls. ​ Three buildings from the complex survive, including the ca. [[1870]] Cooperage, ca. [[1850]] Scales Office, and [[1885]] Superintendent'​s House. ​ Other buildings in town are built from distillery brick, including several houses, the 1913 [[ryle_s_supermarket_and_odd_fellows_building|Odd Fellows Hall]], the 1916 [[Petersburg Baptist Church]] and the tiny 1916 [[Petersburg Jail]].
  
 ===== Related Topics ===== ===== Related Topics =====
-  * [[a_list_of_historic_preservation_review_board_recorder_articles|More articles by the Preservation Review Board]] +  * [[articles_of_interest|Articles of Interest]] 
 +  * [[boone_county_distilling_company|Petersburg Distillery]] 
 +  * [[petersburg|Petersburg]]
  
  
  
kentucky_s_largest_distillery_was_in_petersburg.txt · Last modified: 2015/04/27 13:32 by jgregory