The Old Louis Hunter Distillery in Harrison County, Kentucky closed in 1974. After 40 years of abandonment, it’s still wonderfully intact.
Years ago, I came across the Old Louis Hunter Distillery in central Kentucky, but owing to the weather at the time, I did not venture out of the car to take a closer glance at the abandoned industrial building. I moved to Cincinnati shortly thereafter and forgot about the distilling relic for several years.
Several weekends ago, I rediscovered the old distillery, once part of the Old Lewis Hunter Distillery that operated from 1850 until 1974.
The first instance of a distillery at Lair came around 1850 when T.J. Megibben constructed the Megibben & Bramble Distillery and sold bourbon under the “Excelsior” brand. It went under ownership changes and the introduction of some new brands – including “Old Louis Hunter,” before being acquired by Seagrams in 1942.
The plant closed twice in its history: during Prohibition and from 1947 until 1958. After a decline in bourbon sales – part of a nationwide trend, Old Louis Hunter closed for good in 1974.
Historic Photos and Today
I stumbled upon historical photographs from Lafayette Studios, produced in the 1930’s when Old Louis Hunter was in full production.