View Full Version : Old Lewis Hunter distillery

02-16-2008, 12:54
My Grandfather passed away last year and in his barn I found a whiskey barrel in the barn marked Old Lewis Hunter distillery. DSP KY 15. Anyone know anything about this distillery? Thanks, Randy.

02-16-2008, 13:55
Does your bottle state a city or county on the label?

I checked my index, and Sam Cecil list five different distilleries in five different counties as having used RD 15 at one time.

He does list Lewis Hunter as one of the names used at the Kessler Distillery (page 78) at Lair in Harrison County (RD 9, 19 and/or 38). One of the citation of RD 15 is for the Redmon Distilling Co.(also page 78) in Cynthiana, Harrison County. A local could tell you if those two towns are close.

What the connection of these two distilleries may be, maybe someone else can answer.


02-16-2008, 14:06
Google Maps shows Lair about 2 miles outside Cynthiana

02-16-2008, 14:21
It's the actual barrel, not a bottle. It also says "filled mar 20 1973" and "sour mash bourbon whiskey".

02-17-2008, 06:50
All I could find on the TTB website search was a listing for Old Lewis Hunter KSBW which appeared to be owned by Seagrams. It was dated 1980 with a DSP of 37 for the bottling facility.

03-07-2008, 12:43
I was intrigued by this inquiry and started to dig locally, since Harrison County is not too far away.

I found a geneology site which led me to a great-great granddaughter of Lewis Hunter named Annette Petersen. She lives in CA but has offered to send info about the family and distillery.

Quoted below is the e-mail she sent me.

Subsequently, I headed to the library and found a collection of documents called Cromwell's Comments. John Cromwell was a columnist in Cynthiana who wrote for the Cynthiana Democrat from 1928 to 1940.

I'll make a second post after I summarize that info.
I would be happy to send you all that I have on the Hunter family. I live in California, but I visit Kentucky every two or three years. I still have Hunter/Hinton family in the Fleming County area.

Lewis Hunter was acturally my great. great grandfather. When I went back to see the distrillery, I met a local resident who was a volunteer at the Harrison County Historical Society. George Slade was extremely helpful, we stayed in touch until his death a couple of years ago. He sent me quite a bit of information regarding the family and the distillery itself.
If you google the names Lula Belle Hunter and Jasper Wardlow, the article that they published should come up in the Newsletter that was posted a few years back.

When I went to visit George, he kept telling me that I had family buried at the old Blackburn House down the road between Cynthiana and Lairs Station.. I told him that I couldn't think who that could be, since my family was buried in Fleming County. We finally figured out that Lewis Hunter's mother MaryAnn (Rohr) Hunter had been a widow and remarried. She married a Mr. Blackburn and she was buried on the Blackburn homestead. I never did get to see the grave because some crazy old lady who lived there wouldn't let people on her land.

I know that there is a photo of an old Bourbon bottle with a man's portrait featured on the front if you look on the Internet images. I have no idea who the man is. I have no photos of Lewis Hunter, but I may be able to get one from a cousin in Kentucky. I do have a photo of his tombstone. He is buried in Hillsboro, KY.

I have a portrait of his son, James Wassie Hunter and his wife Emma Hinton if that is of interest to you. Also, I have an interesting advertisement that was featured in a Baltimore, Maryland newpaper in the 1960s. Siegrems was asking for the Hunter family to please provide a photograph of Old Lewis Hunter. There was a $500.00 reward. Now I am wondering if someone provided a fake portrait.

I have thought about contacting the PBS people who look up information on the History Detectives. I think it might be an interesting case for them to feature."

I'm going to go up and take pictures at the site when the weather breaks.

03-07-2008, 15:05
Thanks much Mr. Ed. My curiosity is even more peaked. I'm looking forward to seeing more on this. I've not had much success with finding anything myself. My Grandfather had the barell for years and when he died I brought it home from his farm, so it has some sentimental value. Thanks again, Randy.

03-11-2008, 20:05
The "Old Lewis Hunter Distillery" is now owned by me. I would like to see your barrel some time, and take a few pictures of it, if possible. You can have a tour of the site, just about anytime if you want. Rick

03-12-2008, 04:11
Hey Rick, not a problem. Just PM me sometime and we'll set something up. Thanks, Randy.

04-14-2008, 20:44
Hey Randy, Any chance we could get together the second Saturday or Sunday in May. Rick B.

04-15-2008, 04:57
Hey Randy, Any chance we could get together the second Saturday or Sunday in May. Rick B.
Look forward to it. Just let me know a little in advance so I can plan my weekend around it. Randy.

04-24-2008, 12:17
I'd love to see the site as well. Please let me know if you will in fact be in the area the second weekend of May.

Kevin Nowaczyk