Buffalo Springs

Historical Marker #2091 in Stamping Ground (Scott County) notes the location of Buffalo Springs, which provided an important supply of water for local distilleries.

Large herds of buffalo once wandered what became Kentucky. These large mammals grazed on the rich grasses and native cane in the central part of the state, and sought out salt licks and springs. One such spring was located in what is now Scott County in a town known as Stamping Ground. Thousands of buffalo would congregate at this spring, causing the ground to be plowed by their heavy bodies and sharp hooves. These buffalo also created the trails that eventually turned into many of the region's first roads.

In the nineteenth century, local industry followed the example of the buffalo and set up shop near the spring. First, as early as 1814, a tannery was located there. Then, two woolen mills were established in the area. In 1869, a firm purchased one of the woolen mill buildings and converted it into a distillery. The operation changed hands a number of times before coming into local ownership in the early twentieth century. Prohibition put a moratorium on the distillery, but it reopened in 1934, when the amendment was repealed.

Buffalo Springs Distilling Company expanded their operations and obtained rights to Buffalo Springs as a water source from the town of Stamping Ground. In 1941, the plant was sold to the George T. Stagg Company, who owned it for ten years before selling to Schenely Distilleries, Incorporated. The distillery ceased operations in 1968, and, in 1973, Stamping Ground bought the property. In 1974, a tornado damaged many of the property's buildings. The remaining distillery buildings were razed in 2007.

Images

Buffalo Springs Distillery

Buffalo Springs Distillery

This employee group photograph shows the staff of Buffalo Springs Distillery in front of the main building. Courtesy of the Georgetown and Scott County Museum. View File Details Page

Buffalo Springs Distillery

Buffalo Springs Distillery

This postcard shows the grounds of Buffalo Springs Distillery. Courtesy of the Georgetown and Scott County Museum. View File Details Page

Buffalo Springs Distillery

Buffalo Springs Distillery

A moonlit view of Buffalo Springs Distillery is provided on this postcard. Courtesy of the Georgetown and Scott County Museum. View File Details Page

Buffalo Springs Distillery

Buffalo Springs Distillery

Buffalo Springs Distillery ceased production in the late 1960s. The main building endured a tornado in 1974 and was razed in 2007. Courtesy of the Georgetown and Scott County Museum. View File Details Page

Buffalo Springs

Buffalo Springs

Fresh limestone water from this spring was used by Buffalo Springs Distillery in their production of bourbon. Photograph courtesy of Tim Talbott. View File Details Page

Buffalo Springs

Buffalo Springs

This photograph shows a gathering on the grounds of the Buffalo Springs Distillery in 1935. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Buffalo Springs Distillery

Buffalo Springs Distillery

A bottle label from the distillery is shown here. Courtesy of the Georgetown and Scott County Museum. View File Details Page

Stock Certificate

Stock Certificate

A certificate for one share of stock in the Buffalo Springs Distillery Company is pictured here. Courtesy of the Georgetown and Scott County Museum. View File Details Page

Buffalo Springs Advertisement

Buffalo Springs Advertisement

This advertisement featuring "Father Time" was used to promote Buffalo Springs bourbon. Courtesy of the Georgetown and Scott County Museum. View File Details Page

Boots and Saddle Bourbon

Boots and Saddle Bourbon

One of the most popular brands produced by Buffalo Springs Distillery was called "Boots and Saddle." Courtesy of the Georgetown and Scott County Museum. View File Details Page

Paperweight

Paperweight

This brass paperweight served as an advertising piece for Buffalo Springs Distillery. Courtesy of the Georgetown and Scott County Museum. View File Details Page

Buffalo Springs Bottle

Buffalo Springs Bottle

Shown here is an early bottle for Buffalo Springs Distillery. It features a raised image of a buffalo in the glass. Courtesy of the Georgetown and Scott County Museum. View File Details Page

Bourbon Bottle

Bourbon Bottle

This early bourbon bottle once held whiskey produced by T. S. Barkley, a Georgetown druggist. Courtesy of the Georgetown and Scott County Museum. View File Details Page

T. S. Barkley and Company Bottle

T. S. Barkley and Company Bottle

Detail of the label for the Barkley bourbon bottle. Courtesy of the Georgetown and Scott County Museum. View File Details Page

George T. Stagg Distillery

George T. Stagg Distillery

George T. Stagg at one time owned the distillery at Buffalo Springs. He also owned a distillery in Frankfort, where this picture was taken. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Tim Talbott, “Buffalo Springs,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed May 26, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/420.
Tour navigation:  Previous | Tour Info | Next

Share this Story