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Are you a Boardwalk Empire follower? A fan of the Great Gatsby? Or do you like old-fashioned spirits? Prepare to be excited!

A new distillery barn is being built in Pine Plains, New York, for Dutch’s Spirits. The property the distillery is being built on has a rich history from the Prohibition Era.  During this time, a lot of “bootlegging,” led by mobster Dutch Schulz, went on. We are thrilled to be part of this project and will be supplying the timber frame for the barn. Read on to learn about the history behind this new fascinating distillery!

History of the Dutch’s Spirits Property

The bootlegging operation was started during the Spring of 1932 by infamous bootlegger Dutch Schultz (aka Arthur Flegenheimer) on a turkey farm owned by former NYC police officer Patrick Ryan located on the rolling hills of Pine Plains, New York.

A massive underground operation went on where there were interconnected tunnels, bunkers, false chimneys to produce a secretive distillery operation during the prohibition era. The liquor was produced in an old cow barn and spring houses supplied water underground. Tunnels spread throughout the farm into hidden passageways. In disguise, this turkey farm became a robust operation producing thousands of gallons of moonshine led by mobster Dutch Schultz. Although Dutch and his crew tried to keep the operation a secret, the distillery was raided by the Feds on October 17th, 1932.

After the raid, the farm went back to being a turkey farm. The farm went through several more changes, and finally, in 1969 the property was purchased by Charles and Janet Adams. The property still remains the the Adams family today as Harvest Homestead Farm and now the home of Dutch’s Spirits. Uniquely, Charles was a “potato harvester” during the time when the secret distillery was in operation. For forty more years, the Adams family kept watch over the farm and its buried secrets.

dutch's spirits new barn

The site today where Dutch Schultz held his secrete operation. (photo Dutch’s Spirits)

In the Spring of 2008, Alex Adams, Charles grandson, and his close friend Ariel Schlein, learned of the passage of the New York Farm Distiller’s Law and decided it was time to write another chapter in Dutch’s history. During the summer of 2011, the site was added to the New York State Archaeological Inventory as a “Bootleg Era Bunker Complex” and the New York State Historic Preservation Office deemed it eligible for inclusion in the state and nation register or historic places.

The Dutch’s Spirits distillery barn construction is well underway. The shell of the barn is almost complete. The Dutch’s Spirits Distillery barn is anticipating to open its doors to the public in the Spring of 2014. Dutch’s Spirits is currently making Dutch’s Spirits Sugar Wash Moonshine, Dutch’s Spirits Peach Brandy, and Dutch’s Colonial Cocktail Bitter (DIY kit sold at William and Sonoma) locally in New York. Dutch’s Spirits goal is to become a self-sustaining farm operation and agritourism destination specializing in artisanal hand-made spirits. Stay tuned for more information on the progress of this unique distillery!

See the construction progress below:

dutch's spirits distillery barn

Interested in learning more about our timber frames? Give us a call today at 800.636.0993!