View Full Version : McCormick Distilling Co.
In the process of going through my mother's estate I selected a keepsake of a 4/5 Q fired clay jug of "Straight Corn Whiskey Aged in the Hills of the Platte Valley" by McCormick Distilling Co of Weston, Mo (picked up on a childhood vacation to Colorado) circa 1971. Does anybody have any familiarity with this distiller and or product? The contents were drained a long time ago so I have the clay jug as a keepsake.
The distillery name still exists, but the distillery moved from Weston, Mo (a suburb of KC) over to Illinois. Judging by the taste of some of their whiskey, they've moved downstream from someplace large & chockfull of industrial cleaning products. The company now makes a lot of other spirits, liquors and pre-mixed cocktails, but they still market those stone jugs of Corn Whiskey.
Thanks for the info Carl...at least the stone jug is a nice collectable! I do not recall the reason my dad picked it up, probably as a vacation item at some interstate stop going from Illinois to Colorado. He either drank it, with others, or poured it out from your description.
30 years ago, the old McCormicks distillery was still in operation, I can understand wanting a souveneir. FWIW, Weston is a nice little town, they grow tobacco on the loess hills up there. Weston Tobacco is the furthest North and West tobacco crop that I'm aware of. With the old distillery and tobacco barns, and being built down on the river...Weston's like a tiny slice of the Old South transplanted up into Yankee territory. Worth a side trip if you're traveling thru the KC area. My friends who used to drink their corn whiskey swear it used to taste pretty good when it was made there in Weston. One of 'em even swears their basic bourbon was pretty good 30 years ago. Before my time. This still is the 'Show Me' state.
We always considered Missourians "southern." http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Growing up in the Illinois Quad City area (up the river - Mississippi)the transplants from Mo looking for work certainly brought their "southernish" ways with them...in reality...it was a rural/urban distinction...along with some accent. But you are correct, Mo is considered "midwestern" but I would say it is culturally more southern. Just like "southern Illinois, Indiana etc. I live in the Chicago area now and co-workers from the city do not have a clue as to the rest of the state...south of Joliet is no-mans land and west of Rockford is unknown. One friend of mine could not understand or appreciate the childhood experience of "frog/carp gigging"...I might as well have been from Mayberry.
I totally agree, Jono. I once met a lovely young lady from southern Illinois. We were on a cruise. She was every bit as southern as I am. Including the drawl.
Oddly enough, though, I only had eyes for another young woman from Chicago. What a beauty she was! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
I spent the first 16+ years of my life in the town of Flora, IL (junction of U.S Highways 45 and 50). I never met anyone from Chicago until I went away to college. To my hillbilly ears his accent sounded more like the locals (Boston) than like me.
Many years later, while working up some bio/promo material for my blues band, I hit upon the fact that I had grown up as close to Memphis as to Chicago.
Sometime before that, I had discovered that slavery existed legally in parts of Illinois before the Civil War (aka, "War Between the States"). It seems that there were salt mines, IIRC, near the town of Shawneetown, right on the river, and the Illinois State Legislature decided that slavery was OK there, even though Illinois was nominally a free state.
If I read history correctly, The Emancipation Proclamation didn't free those slaves. It took the 13th Amendment to the Constitution to finish the job.
Yes, the dividing line between north and south is very indistinct.
There was also an infamous "breeding" plantation in that area...as disgusting as that concept is...in fact a particularly "famous" slave with the qualities desired was responsible for hundreds of children being born into slavery. I would have to think there was a lot of "corn whiskey" being made in that area in addition to salt mining etc. The whole river trade system stretching from Minnesota to the Gulf as well as the Missouri/Ohio and every tributary in-between must have been lined with distilleries at one time. McCormick on the Platte may have been just such an old "western" distillery. I am waiting for a boom in "micro-distilleries" to happen as with beer.
We could always tell the "presumed Chicagoans" apart by their actions....picking field corn along the interstate! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif Fishing in their Sunday best clothes/shoes. Showing up to hunt too loudly etc. I know there are many fine sportsmen in Chicago...I am referring to the stereotypical urban dweller who seeks the outdoors once every 10 years...usually armed with a flask of Schnapps. I would love to hear how an Alabama accent and a real deep city Chicago accent sound together...interesting aural experience...makes for a good sit-com! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
>I am referring to the stereotypical urban dweller who seeks the outdoors once
>every 10 years...usually armed with a flask of Schnapps.
My favorite story is the farmer in Connecticut who went out with
Blaze Orange spraypaint and wrote (in big letters) "COW" on each side
of each cow. It really cut back on his yearly hunting-season losses
due to New York City "hunters" walking up to his pasture and mistaking
them for deer.
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