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nysquire

Old Farmers Distillery

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boone

Well...I just got off the phone with Mr. Sims grin.gif...

This man is a wealth of information grin.gif He worked for Seagrams for 31 1/2 years and loves to talk distillery. I went to school with his daughter Kathleen.

He said the distillery was down from 1954-58...didn't operate. Geezzzzzzz...I was asking so many questions and writing so fast I didn't get the chance to ask why didn't they operate the still those two years. They fired up operations and hired him and several others (my daddy being one of them (beer runner) grin.gif my Uncle Marvin (maintenance) being another grin.gif) on Feb. 2, 1958.

Ya know...I asked his wife...I talked with both of them at length...The first call he was out calvin'...and she didn't know when he would get back in from the fields...Mrs Sims said that several distillers were there thru his employment...at a guess she said the name Waldorf...then she said...Jewel Khan? She said they moved them in and out of there quite often and could not pinpoint a direct time with the names...She said they have a stencil that reads...Cummins and Collins. They mentioned the Old Farmer...Geezzzzzzzz..it was like musical chairs...

And then the plot thickens...I just love this stuff...I gotta asking about the fire and was he there...Good Grief...was he there is a understatement...he was on the top floor when the explosion happened...

Just a amazing story from this man. The first person I thought about was Chuck Cowdery...I asked Mr. Sims would he be interested if Chuck Cowdery wanted to do a interview with him...He was stunned...

Sooo...my lips are sealed. This is a great story in this distilling dynasty of days gone by. I have pmed Chuck and hope he jumps in on this and "tells" the rest of the story like it should be told grin.gif

grin.gifgrin.gif Bettye Jo grin.gifgrin.gif

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cowdery

You're doing just fine with it, Bettye Jo.

You better explain to people what a beer runner does. It sounds like your Daddy's job was just to run up to town to get beer for everybody.

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boone

Well, Chuck, if the truth be told...I betcha he made a "run" or two in his day for them grin.gif...

In short...mash, when it's finished cooking is "beer". The beer runner is the one who takes it from the mash tubs, separates slop, then to the still...That's the simple explanation of his job grin.gif I have heard many, many operators in the distillery say that it's the best beer ever grin.gif

At Heaven Hill, there is a "extra incentive" (money) for a beer runner...A very important but not so good job.

When my grandfather (Alvah G. Hall) died, he owned stock in Cummins and Collins...Mr. Cummins was from New Haven. He sold stock in the distillery (to the area farmers)...I will havta check in with some of my family to see how much stock he owned. If I remember correct...I think they cashed it in on Seagrams or they "tried" to cash them in on Seagrams? Papa Hall died in 1981.

grin.gifgrin.gif Bettye Jo grin.gifgrin.gif

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nysquire

I hope chuck takes that opportunity to do the interview.

I think the history (and stories) that are with that gentleman and his wife would be a great asset to the bourbon community. Could even be a book there chuck....

I'll buy a copy if so....... toast.gif

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nysquire

That brings up another question.... This bottle was dated on the tax stamp fall 1952 / spring 1964.... Was there bourbon sitting in a warehouse during the shutdown period?

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bobbyc

Many thanks to Jim ( nysquire) for prodding us along on the Old Farmers question, it appears a significant bit of Seagrams history is about to be uncovered and saved.

As far as storage, Seagrams had a central warehousing facility that is owned by 4 Roses now. It was fed by several distilleries.

In the old days it was common for a distillery to distill half a year or less, but the storage went on, and depending on the rate of bottling it matched, more or less the output of the distillery.

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cowdery

Thanks, Bobby. My question about Lotus always has been "why?" but at one time Seagrams owned 14 distilleries in Kentucky. That was during the war and much of that was intended for uses other than drinking, but even after the war they probably had half a dozen, at least. Having a centralized aging and bottling facility would have made a lot of sense. I guess I never thought of this because they also had a large aging and bottling facility in Louisville, along with a distillery there, but maybe that facility was entirely self-contained while Lotus served the various country distilleries they operated.

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boone

Been working on a project...a long term project wink.gifgrin.gifwink.gif

Now that this semester is nearly done I have a little breathing room grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

I have been collecting "more" of my family of Beam's history of distilling. I have lots of information but I really don't know where alot of this stuff came from. I wanted a better 'timeline". I decided to contact my cousin's. I asked them (when they had time) to write down their daddy's work history.

Uncle Everett's work history is amazing. His daughter's records match mine and there were places he worked at that I have never heard of...

Now I have a "time line" grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

I noted a brief insert into his history...It was Cummins-Collins Distillery Athertonville, KY...Master Distiller...1942-44 grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

One more piece to "fill in" the puzzle...

Bettye Jo

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jeff

Bettye Jo,

This is slightly off-topic but, do you know anything about an "Old Cummins" distillery located in Bardstown? That bottle of "Black Gold" bourbon I picked up lists that as the distillery of origin. From what I know the bourbon was produced in the early eighties. It may be a "distillery" in label only.

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boone

The Old Seagrams that burned in the 70's and where they make barrels (now) "was" Cummins and Collins in Athertonville (about 2 miles south of my house) grin.gif...

Bettye Jo

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nysquire

Keep me posted Bettye Jo, The more info the better... laugh.gif

I still have 1 bottle that came from that distillery.

I'd still like to know who was the Master Distiller there at the time my Bourbon was made..It says on the tax stamp spring 1951/ fall 1964....It's a 12yo 100proof and dam good bourbon i must say...I look forward to visiting that Old distillery when we come down ..... toast.gif

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nysquire

Did anyone ever get the chance to interview Mr Simms?

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boone

Yep, we sure did...Here is a picture of Chuck and Mr. Sims at his home in Athertonville just a short distance from the old distillery grin.gif

Bettye Jo

post-20-14489811859159_thumb.jpg

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nysquire

Excellent!!! When do we get to read all about it?

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