Monday, October 19, 2020

They Found The Booze In The Walls!

Yesterday morning,  I came across an article about a couple living in upper New York state  made an interesting discovery in their house.  When they bought it, a neighbor shared the rumor that the house belonged to a bootlegger but it was just a rumor until.......

Just a bit of background before completing the until.....  Bootlegging referred to illegal alcohol either produced or imported and sold once it was outlawed across the country.  The prohibition ran from 1920 to 1933 in New York state.

Back to modern times.  The couple decided to renovate the house to bring it up to modern times.  In the process, they discovered bottles hidden in the walls and floor.  The bottles were wrapped in hay and placed in so many different places out of sight of anyone.  If the bootlegger had been caught, he would have paid with jail time.  This house is in northern New York, near the Canadian border.  It was not unusual for people to smuggle liquor into the United States to sell for a neat profit. 

They have found over 40 bottles of bootleg in the house so far.  The bottles have a black label indicating the liquor is high quality and the name - "Old Smugglers" Gaelic Whiskey with a date of 1923.  Old Smugglers Gaelic Whiskey was a real brand dating back to at least 1835 in Scotland so it's a Scottish Whiskey.  It has probably been shipped to the United States since late in the 1800's.  

The first bottles were found in the mud room.  They found several bundles wrapped in brown paper, tied with string, and each bundle contained six bottles.  Once they found the first set of bundles, they continued looking and found more.  Not all the bottles survived the time intact.  The bottles stored upside down so the cork stayed damp, still contained liquor but the ones that sat upright lost their liquid.  It is speculated the ones with the cork that stayed damp, didn't disintegrate allowing the alcohol to evaporate out.

So far, they've resisted trying the product but they hope to  at some point.  They also hope to create a glass window to allow visitors a chance to see the bundles in their original position and shape but in the mean time, they are working to find more about the history of the house.  At one point, someone said the bootlegger who owned the house died in mysterious circumstances so the owners want to know more.

This is not the first time that people have found bootleg alcohol in a house being remodeled.  Another time happened back in 2015 when a couple in Michigan decided to update and renovate their house originally built in 1890. The house was originally built as a boarding house for loggers to live in. These bottles were found in the foundation of the house.  The bottles, wrapped in newspaper dating back to 1921 and stashed down in the foundation.  It is thought the person responsible for leaving the booze, left it for the homeowners to enjoy. 

These bottles differed from the others in that they were marked "medicinal" which was the only allowed type of alcohol consumed during the prohibition.  Since there is a demand for older bottles of alcohol because people have the mistaken idea that liquor will continue aging if left in a bottle when it only ages as long as it is in the barrel. This couple was approached by appraisers who told them the bottles were worth at least $700 but they've decided to keep it to enjoy.  

Although most people don't find anything like this, it does happen.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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