The story begins back in 1753 when, John Shenk, a Swiss Mennonite farmer began distilling whiskey. Whiskey, being high in carbohydrates, was used as a medicine, a food supplement and also as a means for purifying water. As a result, it became a very valuable item for trade as the currency of that time was very unstable.
The home-farm operation was passed down through various members of the Shenk family until it was acquired by my Great Grandfather, Abraham "Abe" Bomberger, (picture on left) a Pennsylvania Dutchman, who purchased the property prior to 1860 from Shenk's great-granddaughter (a family member). After Abraham died the business was carried on by his two sons, my Grandfather Horst, and his brother Samuel Bomberger until prohibition forced its closure in 1919. Pennco Distillers, Inc. PA acquired the property and made whiskey until 1978, when the distillery was sold to Michters. In June 1980, the distillery was designated a National Historic Landmark by the Department of Interior and, at that time, was the oldest distiller site still operating in the U.S. Now it is no longer a National Historic Landmark. So, the rest of the story is explained in the following newspaper clippings, etc.
Michter's distillery was quite a tourist attraction in the 1980's. This is the front page of a triple fold brochure.
Back page of Michter's tourist triple fold brochure.
Middle page of Michter's tourist triple fold brochure.
Another Michter's (1980) tourist brochure back & front page.
Michter's tourist brochure 1st & 2nd page.
Michter's brochure 3rd & 4th page.
Michter's brochure 5th & 6th page.
Michter's brochure 7th & 8th page.
Michter's brochure 9th & 10th page.
Michter's brochure 11th & 12th page.
Michter's brochure 13th & 14th page
Michter's brochure 15th & 16th page.
Michter's brochure 17th & 18th page.
My two cousins, Ray & Paul Bomberger, receiving a decanter (replica of Bomberger Distillery).
Just one lone distillery remains.
Michter's Distillery April 17, 1994
News clipping below is a continuation of the one above.
Trespassers prowl and authorities find no trace of owner.
Owner's of Michter's left one night and agreement reached on taxes.
Tax plan for Michter's.
Big-scale distilling unfeasible.
My father Paul A. Bomberger and his brother, Leon, were born and brought up in the old homestead next to the Distillery, which was torn down many years ago. It is sad to see the end of this National Historic Landmark.
So this is the end of the story…Yvonne Bomberger Fowler