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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2004 and Guru
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Nelson County, Kentucky

    Stitzel-Weller Distillery----November 16, 1956

    This letter was sent to my Great-Uncle Wilmer Beam from Julian VanWinkle...As I have stated in some of my previous posts the letter tells the tale...

    I spend great amounts of my "free" time tracking my family distilling history...This is one of the "proof positive" examples that I have of their Distilling History...My Great-Uncle's Everett, Wilmer and Roy worked there(Stitzel-Weller)...then came another Uncle on my grandmother's side who also became the Master Distiller there...His name was Will McGill...Uncle Roy and Uncle Will's pictures are in Sally's book...

    Not long after prohibition---My G-grandfather Joseph L. Beam and his son Harry M. Beam were at Heaven Hill...The other 6 son's were at---Desmond (Old Kennebec Distillery) Roy (Frankfort Distillery) Elmo (Samules Distillery) Everett (Stitzel-Weller Distillery) Wilmer (Old Kentucky Distillery) and Otis was at (Buffalo Springs Distillery).......

    I know that Joseph L. Beam and his seven sons, were in "practically" every distillery in Nelson County...The 1937 production Distillery Scheduele is another "proof positive". Hell, there are 5 of em on it as Master Distillers...the others not listed were assistants....You will not hear their names...kinda got lost over the years...

    The letter from my Uncle Everett...telling how he set up a small operation for Michters...I don't think that was in any of their history...

    Maker's Mark... when they first started my Uncle Elmo was there for the first two seasons until he passsed...no mention of him in their history that "I have seen"...

    The family story has it that Bill Samuels Sr. and my G-Uncle Elmo were good friends...Uncle Elmo retired and moved to Florida...Bill Samuels SR. retired also...Then, 10 years later, he buys that distillery and decides to make a "different" (wheated) kind of whiskey...He calls my Uncle Elmo in Florida and asks him to come back to Kentucky and help him get this distillery going...He did...and the story should have end with, "The rest is history"...Yeah..."Part" of it.....

    Shinnin in Kentucky...

    Bettye Jo

    P.S. I would love ta know what happened that first day at Stitzel-Weller... AND...You may have noticed, Uncle Wilmer was the Master Distiller for Yellowstone in November 1956...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Bloomington, IN

    Re: Stitzel-Weller Distillery----November 16, 1956

    Excellent! thanks for scanning this in. -- Greg

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Louisville, Kentucky

    Re: Stitzel-Weller Distillery----November 16, 1956

    Bettye Jo.
    Very cool. I could almost hear Paul Harvey saying "And that folks, is the rest of the story..."
    Do you think maybe Maker's doesn't want to talk too much about a Beam in their history, for fear of the public getting the brands confused?



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