Legacy Of The Bomberger's Distillery

Author Yvonne Bomberger Fowler


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.

1975 bomberger's distillery.jpg

1979 27 july older than us distillery sold.jpg

michters lrge brochure front 6-1980 half size.jpg

Michter's distillery was quite a tourist attraction in the 1980's. This is the
front page of a triple fold brochure.

michters lrge brochure inside 1st pge 6-1980 half size.jpg

Michter's triple fold tourist brochure, inside, 1st page.

michters lrge brochure inside 2nd pge 6-1980 half size.jpg

Michter's triple fold tourist brochure, inside, middle page.

michters lrge brochure inside 3rd pge 6-1980 half size.jpg

Michter's triple fold tourist brochure, inside, 3rd page.

michters lrge brochure back pge  6-1980 half size.jpg

Back page of Michter's tourist triple fold brochure.

michters lrge brochure middle back pge  6-1980 half size.jpg

Middle page of Michter's tourist triple fold brochure.

small brochure  front & back page.jpg Another Michter's (1980) tourist brochure back & front page.

small brochure 01st & 2nd page.jpg
Michter's tourist brochure 1st & 2nd page.

small brochure 03rd & 4th page.jpg
Michter's brochure 3rd & 4th page.

small brochure 05th & 6th page.jpg
Michter's brochure 5th & 6th page.

small brochure 07th & 8th page.jpg
Michter's brochure 7th & 8th page.

small brochure 09th & 10th page.jpg
Michter's brochure 9th & 10th page.

small brochure 11th & 12th page.jpg
Michter's brochure 11th & 12th page.

small brochure 13th & 14th page.jpg
Michter's brochure 13th & 14th page

small brochure 15th & 16th page.jpg
Michter's brochure 15th & 16th page.

small brochure 17th & 18th page.jpg
Michter's brochure 17th & 18th page.

1985 15 aug. decanter depicts dist. history.jpg
My two cousins, Ray & Paul Bomberger, receiving a decanter (replica of Bomberger Distillery).

1989  27 mar. one lone dist remains pa.jpg
Just one lone distillery remains.

1994 1 distillery.jpg
Michter's Distillery April 17, 1994

1994 2 historic landmark.jpg
Liquor lure...
News clipping below is a continuation of the one above.
1994 3 trespassers.jpg
Trespassers prowl and authorities find no trace of owner.

1994 4 owners left one nite.jpg
Owner's of Michter's left one night and agreement reached on taxes.

1994 5 jug on top dist.jpg
Tarnished landmark.

1994 6 spirited bidding for dist.jpg
Spirited bidding...

1994 7 tax plan for michters.jpg
Tax plan for Michter's.

Big-scale distilling unfeasible.

2000 6 Oct. de-designation of distillery.jpg
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


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