It’s not every day that you find century-old contraband whiskey within the walls of your home, but for Nick Drummond and Patrick Bakker, it was their reality earlier this month.
The couple moved into their home in Ames, New York in 2019 and had lived there as is for almost a year. They recently decided to embark on the renovation and so they discovered dozens of 1920s whiskey bottles hidden between the walls.
We were just working on removing the old finishes and everything and that’s when we found those first secret compartments, Drummond, 30, said TODAY. I was trying to remove the trim (on the outside). I was taking this stuff off and it all fell off. At first I assumed it was just insulation or something, why is there glass? “
When I saw that there was the edge of another package, it hit me, like crap, it’s contraband alcohol, “he explained.” The fact is that it wasn’t just one, so it wasn’t just two, it was the whole wall.
But while they were surprised, the treasure of contraband alcohol actually made sense. The neighbors told them part of a crazy story when they bought the house: the place was built by a bootlegger!
“I never thought that could be true,” he says.
A second place in the house, a trap in the ground», Attracted Drummond. We knew the hatch existed, but it’s an unfinished locker room, he said. It’s just access to the crawl space. We never really thought about it. Previous owners said that’s how you got to the abandoned well.
The hatch led to another secret stash for prohibited alcohol. They put boards under the joists on the floor and packed things up there, he explained. All boards were held in place with flat head screws so they could be unscrewed. “
Many of the bottles found by Drummond and Bakker appeared to date back to 1923, during Prohibition days in New York City.
Had at least one bottle to try, he explained. The voids were probably going to stay in the house. The packages in the ground for some reason, the first at least I took out, it looked like all the alcohol had dried up. So at this point it’s more sentimental. I think I was going to leave some in the ground and maybe make a pane of glass so you could see the packages underneath.
The couple didn’t find anything similar to whiskey during the renovation, but they enjoyed learning about the wild history behind the house, including the tumultuous history of man who would have built the house, Adolph Humpfner.
Drummond first took to Instagram to share the shocking and historic surprise, unwrapping the bottles from the walls hidden behind the home’s trim. He posted updates on his Instagram and a corresponding Facebook page called Bootlegger Bungalow since then, documenting both the renovation and the history of the house, including old documents and articles to uncover the history of the house and Humpfner’s personal history.
Obviously were going to continue to dig how we can in the history of what happened here and try to put everything in place, but the main reason is actually to document our home renovation, he said, adding: It feels like we are solving a problem. centenary thriller.
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