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 Prohibition put a moratorium on the distillery, but it reopened in 1934, when the amendment was repealed.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.