Saturday, March 18, 2006

Part 2 - The Rise and Fall of Market Street Brewery

A recent trip to the brewery site revealed some secrets.

First, the building designated as “B” is still standing today.


It is 315 E. 10th Street and now serves as a church. In 1886 there was storage on the first floor and the grain room on the second floor. The building dates to approximately 1875 and has been altered significantly. However, features do remain which confirm its brewing past.

The north side of the building has interesting clues. The shadow lines of the former building C are obvious. The buildings were joined where the bricks seem out of place today (note the vertical bricks). Joists from building C would have been joined here.


Two arched openings (on the first and second floor, now bricked in) would have provided access back and forth. Propped next to the first floor opening are two large metal doors that match the opening. They quite possibly could be the original doors.


There are also two smaller arched openings that have been bricked in. What was their purpose? Possibly ventilation or for water pipe entry. Building C contained a 12 horsepower steam engine. It was the heart of the brewery and would have been used to pump water as well as other mechanical purposes.

On the rear of the building, on the second floor, are two grated openings. This would have been consistent with the use of that floor as the grain room and the need for ventilation there.


This is where malt would have been made. As noted in the Ledger article (9/22/1875) in Part 1, the fire in 1875 resulted in the loss of considerable barely and malt. I think I can safely assume the brewery had the capacity to make their own malt, evidenced by the large amount of barely and malt lost in the fire. However, the 1886 map states the kiln is “not used”. It could be assumed they had ceased to make their own malt by 1886 and were purchasing it from a local malt house.

Building A (on the left below) is noted as the Ice House and Fermenting Cellar. A Part 3 post will be dedicated to that building.

I was lucky enough to visit the basement of this building recently. I am desperately seeking an old photo of the brewery site to determine if the building was original to the 1875 reconstruction after the fire. Right now, we are leaning heavily to the “yes” conclusion. There’s a lot of evidence that the building was modified in the 1920’s to its current condition but the structure itself dates to 1875. If anyone has any clues to pass on, please do.

The basement is very impressive and an obvious storage facility for large casks. One surprise in the basement is evidence of a vault below the floor. More on that in the next few days.

9 comments:

Brandon W. Smith said...

Perhaps we could have local special where we open the vault on live TV and reveal its secrets. ;-)

Fascinating research!

The New Albanian said...

Ted, I can't tell you how much this means to me. I know that Conrad Selle never was able (for whatever reason) to dig all this up, so I'm definitely going to try and get word to him about your research.

ceece said...

This has been a great read. I agree with Brandon, who knows maybe we could pull a Geraldo!

TedF said...

Goodness me, I didn't realize the connotations associated with the word "vault". I remember vividly getting suckered in to watching that moron Geraldo open an empty vault. I think of it every time I see him. Damn him.

This is an entirely different vault. It's really a hole, under the basement, where casks of beer and blocks of ice would spend a few weeks together. Nothing to awe inspiring, except that it could be one of the few left intact in the region.

Anonymous said...

Come on Ted...open that VAULT!

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