The Harbine Distillery...

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Harbine House as seen from the south Harbine House as seen from the south

Prior to U.S. Route 35, turn left on Heller Drive and then right on Orchard Lane.  Cross U.S. Route 35 and turn right on Yellow Brick Road.

The bridge over the Beaver Creek is the approximate location of Mr. Harbine’s distillery.  The mill dam, just north of the existing highway, divided a mill race from the main creek.  With this rudimentary dam they could control the flow to the water wheels that powered the mills.  Once the mill era passed, the new leg was filled in, and is somewhat viewable in the basin on the north side of the bridge.

Construction of the US-35 highway completely altered the land as it was, but remnants of the mills can still be found just below the surface!

The Harbine Distillery was initially constructed during a time when distilling was an accepted and honored profession. Grist and saw-milling, hog raising, and pork packing were ancillary industrial concerns that made efficient use of the infrastructure and byproducts of the distilling process. Temperance and the development of a widespread and functional railroad system precipitated the decline of this industrial system by the mid-1800s. The crushing blows to rural distilling occurred during the Civil War, when federal excise taxes soared from nothing to $2.00 per proof gallon on whiskey and other distilled spirits. By 1868, when the excise taxes were finally reduced, most of the rural whiskey making ventures had either suspended production or simply ceased. The advent, operation, and demise of the Harbine Distillery parallels the once widespread rural practice of whiskey distilling, an extinct and largely forgotten feature of the American landscape.

** Below you can download a copy of 'The Distiller's Tale' - an archaeological dig at the Harbine distillery **

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Brett Williford

Re-introducing you to the Beavercreek you love... from 1803 to today!


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Phone : 937-985-3223

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