HSI Acquires Two Stills


Thanks to Dr. Pat Gibble’s excavation of the tile foundations of the twin stills in the Schaeffer House basement, farm visitors in recent years can better visualize the distilling operation conducted by the Schaeffer family in that area. The HSI Museum Committee, in cooperation with the Restoration Committee, has been working on ways to mount a display that will tell even more clearly the story of whiskey production on the Schaeffer farm.

That task has become both easier and more challenging with HSI’s recent acquisition of two period stills. Our express intent (and that of the party who sold them to us) is to use these important artifacts to tell the story of Pennsylvania German distilling, and, in particular, the operation at the Schaeffer farm. Tentative plans call for a display that includes one of the stills which will clearly show the entire 18th century distilling process to farm visitors, while the other still will be installed on the newly-excavated foundation of the Schaeffer stills. The Restoration Committee currently is investigating what will be needed to construct the period- correct masonry base and plaster sheathing to encase this still.