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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2004 and Guru
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    Frankfort Distillery

    Ask and you shall receive...I asked about the Old Taylor place and recieved some really great and much appreciated information.

    My Aunt Jo gave this picture to me. It was stapled on some records about my Greatgrandfather Joseph L. Beam. I remember her saying that she is standing in front of what is left at the Frankfort Distillery. My question is, what building is it, bottling house, flathouse? I know she probably told me. I can't remember. There's nothing written on the back of the photo. It's instances like this, I would call her, and we would talk for at least a hour or so on various subjects of Bourbon History. I miss that terribly.

    This docment was one of Aunt Jo's favorites. It's written on stationary from, The Frankfort Distillery, Thos. W. Hindle, President...S.C. Miller Vice President...Wm. Veeneman, Treasurer...Executive offices Louisville Ky...Registered Distillery No. 33...Concentration Bonded Warehouse No. 25, Permit KY p-2.

    It's a very informative piece. A few interesting facts on it...David Beam lived to be 104 years old. He was the grandfather of Joseph L. Beam present directing authority of distilling operations in Frankfort plants and the great granfather of Roy M. Beam, Frankfort cheif operating distiller and his six brothers.---It tells how Roy and his brothers , who as children heard with awe and exctitement his accounts of battles with the Indians---It specifically states, his "six brother's"---Frankfort Distilleries, had the "entire" family working at one plant or the other throughout the years----at the end of this letter--->It reads, Three of Mr. Beam's sons are now associated with him in the Frankfort disilleries, Roy, Otis and Wilmer.

    Joseph L. Beam, father of the "Boys" at the the Frankfort Distilleries began work at the age of fourteen, in the Early Times Distillery near Bardstown, founded and owned by his Uncle, the late J.H. (Jack) Beam.

    At nineteen, Joseph L. Beam had charge of a distillery for his brother, Minor Case Beam at Gethsemani Kentucky. Even at his age the fame of his skill as a distiller had spread. He worked for a number of firms. In those days the disilling plants only operated a few months of the year, and Mr. Beam made a "crop" of whiskey for two or more firms in the same year.

    Pretty awsome stuff...He was just doing what came naturally to him. A young boy, doing what his instincts directed him to do

    Bettye Jo
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Frankfort Distillery

    When the document you quote was written, after Prohibition, the Frankfort Distillery was in Louisville, but before that it was in Frankfort, at Elkhorn Fork. After Prohibition, National bought the Elkhorn Fork plant, rebuilt it and named it Old Grand-Dad, and Paul Jones moved the Frankfort name to Louisville, where they built a new distillery, the one pictured on the document you quoted. (I have a copy. It's in one of Aunt Jo's books.)

    Jim Beam acquired the Elkhorn Fork plant in 1987. They never reactivated the distillery but did use the rackhouses and bottling plant. I believe it was Aunt Jo who told me that the bottling house workers would sometimes work a couple of days at Clermont and a couple of days at Frankfort (that is, Elkhorn). In other words, Beam ran both bottling houses with the same crew.

    This is a long way of saying that I think the picture was taken at the Elkhorn Forks plant, where Aunt Jo would have been many times, and not at the Frankfort Distillery, Louisville. When she said it was "what was left," she probably meant of the original facility that had operated as Frankfort, before National rebuilt it. Another reason I believe that is that it is clearly an old building and the Frankfort Distillery in Louisville was brand new in 1937.

    People in Louisville tended to call that plant--which was in the whole Dixie Highway/7th Street Road area with all the rest of them--Four Roses rather than Frankfort. It only operated from 1937 to about 1945.

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2004 and Guru
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    Re: Frankfort Distillery

    Thanks Chuck ,

    Do you have a picture of the original Frankfort plant? I just assumed, that the distillery, drawn on the stationary, was the one in the picture. I remember discussing it with her but for the life of me, I can't remember the rest of the story. She stapled the picture to the letter.

    Bettye Jo

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Frankfort Distillery

    Do you have a picture of the original Frankfort plant?
    I don't think I've ever seen one. The Elkhorn Forks plant now looks very modern, but it wouldn't surprise me if this building is on that property somewhere. It could be in Louisville, but I'm guessing Frankfort. It was the same company, just two different sites.

 

 

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