Lynchburg is famous for whiskey…Jack Daniel Whiskey. But who was this little man? And how did he come to make the finest whiskey in the world?
Here’s his story:
In the rolling hills of Moore County, Tennessee, you will find the Jack Daniel’s Distillery. It has been in existence for over 125 years. Here’s a look at my Jack Daniel Distillery Photos.
The area was originally part of Lincoln County where Jasper Newton Daniel (later called “Jack”) was born on September 5, 1846, the youngest of 10 children.
Jack’s mother died when he was just a baby. Several years later his father remarried. Jack never got along with his stepmother and left home at the age of 6 to live with a nearby uncle.
As a young boy Jack Daniel was befriended by Dan Call a local minister and storekeeper. He took Jack under his wing and trained him to work in the store.
But Jack was not happy working there. He had a keen interest in the “still house” which was located on the property. Making whiskey at that time was an acceptable practice though it was never consumed on Sundays. Dan promised Jack he could come to the still house whenever he wanted and he would teach him the art of making the world’s best whiskey…made the Lincoln County way.
In 1861, the war came to Lincoln County. Jack was too young to serve, so he remained as an apprentice to Dan Call, learning the sour mash method and perfecting the unique method known as the “Lincoln County Process.”
In 1863, after hearing a fiery sermon on the evils of alcohol, Dan Call’s wife, along with their entire congregation, called on Dan to make “a serious decision regarding being a minister and operating a distillery.” Rev. Call decided to sell his business to his young apprentice, Jack Daniel.
Upon hearing of the availability of a particular piece of land near Lynchburg, Jack moved his operation there. This area contained the perfect situation for brewing excellent quality whiskey: the pure spring water from the limestone cave and the sugar maple trees that grew in abundance nearby.
The War Between the States was over and Jack realized the Federal government would soon be taxing his products. Thinking ahead, Jack at the age of 16, took the step of being the first distillery to register with the United States government. You will see to this day the words “Oldest registered distillery in the US” on every Jack Daniel’s label.
The secret of the Lincoln County Process is based on the tedious filtering of the whiskey through charcoal produced by the sugar maple tree and, of course, the wonderful pure spring water. No chemicals are used in this natural fermentation process.
In 1904 Jack secretly entered his brew in the St. Louis World’s Fair. He completed with older, more established products from Europe. Amazingly, he won the Gold Medal for the Best Whiskey in the World.
In 1905 he won another prestigious award in Belgium. He now had customers around the world and Jack Daniel Whiskey was famous.
He continued running the successful business until a freak accident ended it all. One day, in frustration, he kicked a safe in his office, which wouldn’t open and crushed his toe. It later became gangrenous and his health declined during the next 6 years leading to his death in 1911.
Jack Daniel never married and had no children. He left the distillery to his nephew, Lem Motlow. Lem expanded the business, and it was then handed on to his sons. Though the company was sold in 1956, the Motlow Family is still majority owner and continues to operate and manage the company.
All these years the distillery has never suspended operations and to this day it is located in a “dry” county. You can’t buy whiskey for consumption in Lincoln County. However, Miss Mary BoBo’s Boarding House always serves a dish containing the local hometown “product” at every meal.
Source: Huntsville About.com