Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Remembering Buffalo Springs Distillery

Stamping Ground is a small town in Kentucky's Scott County. It was so named by its first settlers, who observed herds of bison trampling the grasses around a fruitful spring. Not long after the buffalo departed, the spring was turned to the production of whiskey. There was a distillery on the site for about 100 years.

The one known as Buffalo Springs Distillery was constructed early in the 20th century. It produced several bourbon brands including Boots and Saddle. It came back and was substantially rebuilt after Prohibition. Otis Beam, one of the seven master distiller sons of Joseph L. Beam, was the distiller. Eventually purchased by Seagram, it ceased production for good in the 1960s and stood vacant for many years thereafter.

Buffalo Springs was typical of the many small town distilleries that once abounded in the region. It generally operated from late fall until early spring, employing local farmers for the period between harvest and planting. As one of the few sources of non-farm employment, it dominated the local economy and was a powerful part of the town’s consciousness.


Richnimrod said...

Small story; but, I suspect, a pretty common theme from the early days of our Nation (and before, no doubt) through many, many years.
Maybe not too many went into the 60's; but I'm sure a large number operated until the early 1900's. I wonder how many of the small, local distilleries like Buffalo Springs were operating after Prohibition???
As always thanx for posting this story, Chuck.

CWK said...

Thanks for the story Chuck. I live in Georgetown KY and had no idea there had been a distillery just down the road in Stamping Ground.

Taylor Piercefield said...

We drove out to explore this place years ago, It's such a shame seeing this history rot into the ground.

I became fascinated with these old distilleries in my early 20's.

dean griffin said...

My family is from stamping ground and my father and several of his brothers worked there I was born in 71 and played there as a kid. Great memories