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  1. #1
    Virtuoso
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    Jul 2002
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    Bourbon historians needed!

    My aunt was in town and came over for dinner tonight. I showed her my distillery photos from my recent trip to KY. She began to fill me in on my grandfather's jobs at various distilleries throughout his life. I am somewhat embarrased to say that I didn't know about his life in the time before I was born. Consequently, I didn't know how many distilleries in KY he worked at before my life began.

    My aunt and I called my grandmother and asked her to fill us in on the details. Here's what I got from my grandmother in the confusion in getting ready for supper. I will be sure to follow up with her later on, but I wanted to see if anyone here can provide some more info.

    My grandfather (Thomas Holman Bryant) began at the Frankfort Distillery in 1933. They sent him to Baltimore for a few years before he returned to reside in Pee Wee Valley (east of Louisville). My grandmother mentioned the brands Mattingly & Moore and Paul Jones at the Frankfort Distillery.

    After the Frankfort Distillery was bought by Seagrams, my grandfather left to work for Cummins & Collins at 15th Street in Louisville. He worked there through the death of Mr. Collins, but after the death of Mr. Cummins, he began to work at the Old Joe Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Ky. This was about 1951 or 1952.

    I remember my parents having commemorative bottles of Old Joe, but in my adult life, I have never seen anything related to Old Joe. But, tonight, I searched the Internet (thank you Google) and found that it is the Four Roses Distillery.

    My grandather worked there for a few years before moving to another distillery in Lawrenceburg. I asked my grandmother if that was Austin Nichols on US 62. She said it was something famous and that it was on Versailles Parkway. This sounds like Wild Turkey to me on US 62 between Lawrenceburg and Versailles, but, of course, I don't know if there were some other distillery in the area in the 1950s.

    In 1961, my grandfather moved to Philadelphia to work for JA Daughtery & Sons in Philadelphia. After that, he moved to Linfield, PA to work for Publicker Industries about 1966. I lived with my grandparents for a few months in Linfield in 1968. At that time, I believe my grandfather was the manager of the plant. I do remember the school bus dropping me off at the plant's guard house where my grandmother would pick me up. They lived in a house behind the plant on the Schuykill River. The house was a historic house built in 1740 and served as a post office in revolutionary days.

    My grandfather retired in 1977. He and my grandmother moved back to Louisville where she still lives. My grandfather passed away several years ago before I gained an appreciation for bourbon. However, I do remember going to the store for him to pick up some Very Old Barton. ;-)

    I will be busy in the coming days looking up details on the Internet to fill in the blanks in my grandmother's description. But, if anyone here has any details, I would be most appreciative of any info you could provide.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Guru
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    Sep 2001
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    Re: Bourbon historians needed!

    Thank you, that was truly interesting.

    Tim

  3. #3
    **DONOTDELETE**
    Guest

    Re: Bourbon historians needed!

    C.L. let me suggest that you pick up a book entitled 'The Evolution of the Bourbon Whiskey Industry in Kentucky' by Sam K, Cecil. This book has a lot of good information on the history of many distilleries. This is not the kind of book you sit down and read, but it is a great reference if you're willing to do some 'data mining'. It contains references to Cummins - Collins; Old Joe, JTS Brown and Boulevard distilleries. There is enough infomation for you to answer about half of your question. Sam is a retired master distiller from Maker's Mark and if you come to the bourbon festival you can meet him and buy an autographed copy. He's quite a character.

  4. #4
    Virtuoso
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    Re: Bourbon historians needed!

    Thanks for the tip! Amazon just got my order.

  5. #5
    Virtuoso
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    Re: Bourbon historians needed!

    You are welcome. I am glad you enjoyed it.

  6. #6
    Virtuoso
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    Re: Bourbon historians needed!

    I spoke to my Grandmother for over an hour tonite. I have some more info to add to this. I hope to get it written up tomorrow.

    One of the more interesting things is that she said she donated alot of things to the Getz after my Grandfather's death in Aug 1998. I don't expect it to be much of anything, but, still, that sounds really cool. :-)

  7. #7
    Connoisseur
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    Aug 2000
    Location
    Louisville, Kentucky
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    654

    Re: Bourbon historians needed!

    Chuck,
    This is great. Please keep us informed. If you would like, once you find out what they donated, I'll go over and shoot a couple of photos for the rest of the group.
    It's important to get history recorded before people pass away. Some of the stuff you uncover is much better than 'reality TV'...
    Bj

  8. #8
    Virtuoso
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    Re: Bourbon historians needed!

    Thanks, cool idea. I'll shoot it to you when I get it. Though, I have no idea what was donated or whether it was display worthy.

  9. #9
    Virtuoso
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    Latest and more complete information...

    Here's the latest information I have on my Grandfather who worked in the spirits industry from 1928 through 1977, much of it in KY with bourbon. The information I have here is based on two phone conversations with my Grandmother, the first in July 2002 and the second the other night, April 30, 2003. I can't claim that all of it is completely accurate. As time goes on, I will make corrections and add more details.

    My grandfather's name was Thomas Holman Bryant; he went by his middle name. He was born on 1/1/11. I remember that he had referred to his birthday as the Five Aces. In his latter childhood, up until he graduated from high school, he lived at 1945 Deerwood Avenue in L'ville. I mention this because I found out from our own Bettye Jo Boone that her grandparents, Harry Milburn Beam and Josephine Rogers Beam, lived at 1832 Deerwood, apparently for part of the same time and that they attended the same church, St. James. (Small world, huh?)

    My grandfather graduated from high school in 1928 and went to work for Frankfort Distillers. In 1933, he was sent to Baltimore, MD, to open a plant. He returned in 1936 to marry my Grandmother, Carolyn Klapheke (born 11/5/15). My Mom, Mary Barbara (aka Babs), was their first born in 1937.

    After the Frankfort Distillery was bought by Seagrams (1940 something), my Grandfather went to work for Cummins-Collins in L'ville. After the death of Mr. Collins (year?), Cummin-Collins was dissolved (?). Mr. Cummins started the Louisville Distillery on 15th Street and my Grandfather began to work there.

    After Mr. Collins died (year?), my Grandfather worked at a couple short jobs before he began to work for Old Joe Distillery (now Four Roses) in Lawrenceburg, KY. At first, my Grandfather commuted weekly to Lawrenceburg, but in the summer of 1952, he moved his family from L'ville to L'burg. If I heard my Grandmother correctly, my Grandfather was the plant manager at Old Joe.

    My Grandfather worked for Old Joe for a few years before moving over to JTS Brown on Versailles Parkway (US 62), which I believe is now the Wild Turkey Distillery (I will verify this later).

    In the summer of 1955, my Mom moved back to L'ville to work and lived with an Aunt/Uncle. She married my Dad, Donald G. Logsdon, in July 1960, in that same St. James church near Deerwood Avenue. I was their first born in April 1961.

    In November 1961, my grandfather moved to Philadelphia to work for JA Daugherty & Sons in Philadelphia. In March 1962, JA Daugherty & Sons was sold in a silent auction won by Publicker Industries. A court battle ensued for some reason and lasted 15 months, during which my Grandfather went to work each day not knowing if he would have a job or not. In 1966, Publicker moved the bottling facility to Linfield, PA. My Grandfather was the manager of this bottling plant.

    I lived with my Grandparents for a few months in Linfied in 1967 with my Dad who had just started a job with RCA in Camdem, NJ. I started 1st grade in Linfield. I do remember the school bus dropping me off at the entrance to the bottling plant at the guard house. The guards would call my grandmother to come pick me up. My grandparents lived in a house behind the plant on the Schuykill River. The house was a historic house built in 1740 and served as a post office in Revolutionary days.

    After my parents' house in Ft. Mitchell, KY, sold, my Mom and my three younger brothers moved to Linfield in December 1967. In February 1968, my family moved to Cherry Hill, NJ. Side note: Though we were in a middle class neighborhood, my next door neighbor was Big Cherry (aka Cherry Hill Fats), a semi-famous swindler (Sylvan Scolnick) who weighed over 700 lbs. and was in jail at the time. Around the corner, about three houses away, was a house built and owned by Al Martino (remember Johnny Fontane in The Godfather?). In an interview, Al said Muhammad Ali was so in love with the house that he tried to buy it away from Al.

    Ok, ok, back to my Grandfather. He continued to work at Publicker until he retired in 1977. My Grandparents moved back to Louisville to the house where my Grandmother still lives. My Grandfather passed away passed away in August 1998. But, before then, I was old enough to go to the liquor store on Hikes Lane and buy him some Very Old Barton. :-)

    After my Grandfather's death, my Grandmother donated several items to the Getz. (I just found out about this this past week.) In the coming weeks, I will get the list of donated items from her. Our own brendaj (Beej, as Bobby calls her!) has offered to see if any of them are on display at the Getz and take a photo to post here at SB.com.

  10. #10
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
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    Feb 2002
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    Re: Latest and more complete information...

    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    My Grandfather worked for Old Joe for a few years before moving over to JTS Brown on Versailles Parkway (US 62), which I believe is now the Wild Turkey Distillery (I will verify this later).



    [/QUOTE]
    It is.
    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    I was old enough to go to the liquor store on Hikes Lane and buy him some Very Old Barton. :-)



    [/QUOTE]
    Is that Skyway ? I got a couple OFBB from there, nice shop. They had OF 100 for 19.95 a 1.75 also.

 

 

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