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  1. #1
    Connoisseur
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    Michter's in Schaefferstown, PA. New photos and info.

    Yes, it's been closed since 1990 and the Beam family has the mini pot still, but that doesn't mean you can't take a tour of the place! I met up with the current owner of the site yesterday and spent about 5 hours taking pictures and talking with him. The site is in great danger of being taken by the township and I am going to do what I can to stop it. Through research (and some good connections!) I have found that the thought that the site was taken off the national register is totally false. Michter's is still not only on the National Register of Historic Places, it is still a National Historic Landmark- a very high designation. I am local to the distillery and will be hoping the owner clean and fix the place up- a once in a lifetime opportunity!

    Also, some other myths, questions, and legends I may be able to answer:

    Sheridan, PA appears on marketing material until 1975 because that area was the Sheridan PO area before that.

    Michter's first jugs appeared in 1957.

    Gene Wilson did not totally strip the place out. Only the small pot still and small items were removed.

    The distillery closed on Valentine's Day 1990, not in 1989, 1988, 1991, 1980, or 1981 as are listed various places.

    The A.H. Hirsch bottlings are not the whiskey that was left in 1990. That whiskey left the premises in 1974.

    The whiskey that was left in 1990 was obtained by the ATF in 1993 and sent to New Jersey where it was re-distilled into antifreeze and race fuel.

    The main distilling equipment was shut down around 1978 and the small pot still was used from then until closing.

    The site is not abandoned. Though there has been vandalism, most of the people have been caught and arrested. The site is under 24 hour surveillance and the locals have guns. Don't trespass.

    The current owner is open to giving people tours, but due to poor health, cannot be out in the weather or on his feet for extended periods of time.

    Hope this solves a few mysteries and a few questions!

    Here are the highlights of my trip:

    http://forgottenpa.blogspot.com/2009...-michters.html
    If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.

  2. #2
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    Re: Michter's in Schaefferstown, PA. New photos and info.

    It was late and I had my captions on the photos mislabeled. Thanks to BOONE on here, they are fixed!
    If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.

  3. #3
    Guru
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    Re: Michter's in Schaefferstown, PA. New photos and info.

    Quote Originally Posted by ethangsmith View Post
    It was late and I had my captions on the photos mislabeled. Thanks to BOONE on here, they are fixed!
    Very cool stuff, Ethan. Thanks for sharing! I'm sure you've been around long enough to see Dave Z's threads about the Kinsey/Continental distillery he used to work at but if you haven't, you should check them out.

    These defunct PA distilleries are in need of heroes to keep their memories alive. Dave is Kinsey's hero. I nominate you for Mitcher's!
    bibamus, moriendum est
    Sipology Blog

  4. #4
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Michter's in Schaefferstown, PA. New photos and info.

    Haha. Thank you. I haven't seen the other threads. Was he able to preserve a distillery? My wife is currently digging through some of her links she has with the PA historical and museum commission and some other sources. So far we have found some really good information just in the past 24 hours on Michter's. I am not necessarily pushing to reopen the place as a distillery. I want it preserved as it was when it was operating. If someone were to buy it to operate it, all the better!!! Let's just say that right now if no one does anything, by this time next year the lot will be subdivided for houses.
    If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Michter's in Schaefferstown, PA. New photos and info.

    Very interesting. I am surprised one (at least) of the column stills is still there, one would think the item had - has - significant value.

    If the AH Hirsch bourbon white dog was removed in 1974, where was it aged, KentuckyÉ

    Gary

  6. #6
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    Re: Michter's in Schaefferstown, PA. New photos and info.

    Not sure really, but I have had several people tell me that the Hirsch left in '74. The whiskey that was left when the place closed was not it. It was all destroyed.
    If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.

  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Michter's in Schaefferstown, PA. New photos and info.

    Thanks for that, can I ask another question? How was the whiskey packaged after 1978 (cessation of use of column stills)? Did they put out the small crocks and bottles too? The main product was apparently Michter's Original Sour Mash, which according to the 1978 World Guide To Whiskey (from the famed M. Jackson) was neither a bourbon nor a rye but a hybrid, a straight whiskey though to be sure.

    Gary

  8. #8
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    Re: Michter's in Schaefferstown, PA. New photos and info.

    That I'm not sure about. I asked the owner if he knew how the mini pot still whiskey was packaged and he said he thought it was packaged the same way as the mass produced stuff, but he had some people tell him it wasn't and it was sold separately. I am constantly doing internet searches for Michter's bottles and decanters and I have yet to see any that are different than the standard stuff.
    If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.

  9. #9
    Guru
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    Re: Michter's in Schaefferstown, PA. New photos and info.

    Great photos Ethan. The last time I was up there it looked like it was in ruins. Hard to believe that inside pretty much everything looks to be intact.
    Joe
    Colonel Joseph B. "Bourbon Joe" Koch

    "Bourbon.....It's cheaper than therapy!!"

  10. #10
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Michter's in Schaefferstown, PA. New photos and info.

    Yes, the outside needs work. 2 of the 4 warehouses have collapsed. But, everything else is pretty much still in place. Unfortunately, some items have been slightly damaged by vandalism, which is a BIG problem at the site.
    If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.

 

 

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