Since 1787, there has been a working distillery of some type on the current Buffalo Trace property. What once started as a small operation has now blossomed into 119 acres and 114 buildings of sweet, Kentucky bourbon goodness!
In 1857, Daniel Swigert built the first modern distillery on the site, which was purchased in 1870 by Col. E.H. Taylor, Jr. Taylor christened the operation, O.F.C., or "Old Fire Copper," in honor of his preferred method of whisky manufacture. Taylor only owned the distillery for about eight years, when George T. Stagg purchased it in 1878 and continued the series of modern improvements initiated by Taylor. Under these improvements was the construction of an additional warehouse, Warehouse C, in 1885, which still stands today.
Unfortunately, a lightning strike and resulting fire wiped out the main distillery in 1882, but Stagg quickly rebuilt and in 1904, the name of the distillery was changed to the George T. Stagg Distillery. An interesting piece of the history of the distillery involves how it survived Prohibition. It was granted one of only FOUR permits to continue to produce and sell whiskey...for medicinal purposes, allowing the company to stay afloat until the amendment was repealed.
The year 1992 saw the facility's purchase by the Sazerac Company out of New Orleans, and under their care, the distillery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It became the Buffalo Trace Distillery during the summer of 1999, in order to honor an old buffalo trail that cut through the property in the 1700s.
With a long history such as that, no wonder the distillery has attracted numerous spirits....not including those aging in barrels in the warehouses! The most prolific haunter of the bunch is Colonel Albert Blanton. Blanton joined the distillery as an office boy in 1897 and by early 1900s had been named president. Blanton passed away in the company mansion, Stony Point, in 1959. His apparition is seen there, but also elsewhere around the property. Other manifestations include unexplained noises, cold spots and phantom footsteps in Warehouse C.
These claims attracted the attention of TAPS, so Season 7, episode 23 featured an investigation of the distillery. They were not disappointed!
Both the mansion and Warehouse C proved to be active, with Jason and Grant both getting their bottoms pinched by an unseen hand, Tango and Steve being attacked by a shadowy figure, and plenty of strange, unexplained noises.
If you'd like to try to experience the ghosts of Buffalo Trace for yourself, ghost tours are held Thursday through Saturday evenings at 7pm. These tours are complimentary, but registration is required. A product sampling is included in the tour, so all participants MUST be 21 years of age or older to participate. Check the link down below for information on how to reserve your tour.
Buffalo Trace Tour Information