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The history of this distillery comes largely from the Coyte papers, cited in OASG.
1880: The distillery was owned and operated by D. L. Graves & Co. The date of establishment is unknown.
1882: H. A. Thierman, Sr. bought the plant and operated it as "Mayflower Distillery Co."
1892: Thierman sold out to Dick Meschendorf, who changed the name to the Old Kentucky Distillery. His brands were Kentucky Dew, Cherokee Spring and Old Kentucky; later Old Watermill, Normandy Rye, Old Jefferson County and Dew Drops Malt. His blends were Woodbury, Old Stoney Fort and Royal Velvet.
Insurance underwriter records compiled in this year suggest that the distillery was of frame construction. The property included thee warehouses:
Warehouse A -- brick with a metal or slate roof and located 46 ft east of the still.
Warehouse B -- brick with a metal or slate roof, located 63 ft SW of the still
Warehouse C -- iron-clad with a metal or slate roof, located 6 ft beyond warehouse A.
There were also cattle pens 115 ft NE of the still-house.
The insurance records show that the distillery was being operated by E M Babbitt for a number of companies.
1900: The company was incorporated with Dick Meschendorf as President, O. H. Irvine as VP and Dan Schlegel, Secy. & Treasurer.
1911: Meschendorf died at age 53. Irvine and Schlegel moved up the ranks of officership, joined by J. J. Sass as Secy-Treas.
1923: Existing stocks of whiskey were removed on Prohibition and the warehouses razed. The fine brick bottling house was kept unused during prohibition and refitted for bottling in 1933.
1925: The distillery building was partially destroyed by fire but the undamaged portion was used for several years as a riding school.
1960: The buildings were leveled for the interstate highway.
Aliases that this distillery's product was sold under
Review bonded warehouse transactions for this distillery
The Old Kentucky Distillery provided product that was sold under the following aliases:
Internal Revenue recorded warehouse transactions for The Old Kentucky Distillery as follows:
( explain: origin of these records, letter codes )
- 1898: E M Babbitt -- T, B, W
- 1898: Mayflower Dist. Co. -- T, B, W
- 1898: D Meschendorf -- D, T, W
- 1901: D Meschendorf -- D, T, S, G, W
- 1903: D Meschendorf -- D, T, G, B, E, X, W
- 1904: D Meschendorf -- D, T, B, G, W
- 1914: D Meschendorf -- no details given
- 1914: Old Kentucky Distillery inc. -- no details given
- 1920: Old Kentucky Distillery -- no details given
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