Sunday, September 27, 2009


Hundreds of Kingston residents pass the famous Wine Cave on McEntee St every day. Very few know any of the history that surrounds this iconic location. So I made a point of looking for the history.

I found a few sites online that told the detailed story of the pre-prohibition breweries in the area. It seems our little town of Kingston was littered with them. This one had it's own story.

William Bertsche and his partner, Martin Uhle had a bakery at the hillside location [pictured right] where as a result of a contract between them and Dressel & Hauck Brewery in 1864, proceded to dig a huge cave in the back of the building to store beer. Uhle went on to open his own pub on Broadway and the brewery took over the location on McEntee. [formerly Holmes St]

According to Thierry Croizer's brewery website: They were soon producing 5,000 barrels of beer a year. Hauck
and Dressel ran the brewery until Dressel died in 1884. That same year that the main brick brewery building was built near the corners of Wurts St and McEntee St. Today, there is a freshly paved parking lot at this location. [pictured below]

Hauck then ran the brewery alone until 1890, the year the brewery was incorporated as the George Hauck Brewing Co.

George's sons, Adam and John, became company officers.

Hauck's "Rock Cellar Brew" was named after the cave that the held the earlier bottling plant. By 1912, the brewery was turning out approximately 35,000 barrels of beer a year.

Shortly after George Hauck died and prohibition set in, the brewery was remodeled for the manufacture of peanut oil production. It was marketed as "Salanut", "Refined Virgin Peanut Oil". The brewery was now known as the Hauck Food Products Corporation. On December 9th 1920, John Hauck, 62 years of age, died at his home after a long illness. In early 1922, the Hauck Food Products Corporation was sold to Bankers Underwriters Syndicate of New York.

We drive through these neighborhoods not knowing the history that formed our great city. The top picture shows you what the cave looks like today and empty parking lots are all thats left of historic manufacturing facilities. Why were these buildings torn down? Will we ever build up our city streetscape again? Probably not until we alter our dual property tax structure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

did you see what the wine celler looks like now. One big rats nest!