Broad Ford Distressed Summer
Compiled & Written by K. R. Overholt Critchfield © 8-28-2009
Photographs & Commentary by cjb19772009

Summer Panorama of the A. Overholt and Company Distillery Complex
Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-12-09

~~ Summer Shots From Flickr Photographer ~~

This is the third web page of photographs taken by Flickr photographer cjb19772009, currently known as Mtnbiker09. The series, Broad Ford Distressed, includes Broad Ford Distressed Summer to remind us that the seasons still come and go, and every year of wind, rain, snow and floods contributes to the demise of these amazing buildings. Featured here are overgrown exteriors in sharp profile under bright sunlight, and some moody interior shots. Along with more familiar landmarks, cjb gives special attention to the Bonded Bottling House, for as he commented, "For reasons I still don't understand, it is my favorite building here."

~~ The Distillery Building In Summer ~~

Southern View of the A. Overholt and Company Distillery Building, Showing Addition
Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-12-09

Unless someone is willing to wade through the summer weeds, a picture like the one above will never be taken. Here cjb shows us an addition that was made to the Distillery Building, and the remains of the water tower. The addition could have made room for more fermenting tubs, but the dimensions do not appear to match the original structure, which needed depth for the tubs and related systems of pipes. Perhaps it is the "office addition built in 1907," mentioned in the 1990 National Park Service report.

Quoting the NPS again, "The distillery, built ca. 1880, is five stories tall, of stretcher-bond yellow brick on a stone foundation. The building has a steel frame structural system with a flat roof of composition paper, brick corbelling and dentil work on the fourth floor, and multipane double-hung sash windows with triple voussoirs and fanlights on the first and fourth floors. "A. OVERHOLT & CO." is carved in stone and set over the entrance between the first and second stories. On the distillery's south side there are pads from the alcohol column building."

A. OVERHOLT & CO. Carved in Stone - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-12-09

Remains of the Water Tower - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-12-09

~~ Studies In Gold ~~

Distillery Building Addition - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-12-09

Southern View of the Granary - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-12-09

Stack & Granary Buidling - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-12-09

~~ On A Bright Summer Day ~~

Railroad Ties, Grain Elevator & Granary, Stack, Distillery, with Free Warehouse A & Small Outbuilding
Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-12-09

Summer View of Granary & Grain Elevator
Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-12-09

Grain Elevator in Summer - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-12-09

Granary & Stack Showing Entry - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-12-09

~~ Distillery Road Warehouse ~~

Warehouse on Distillery Road - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-12-09

As noted by cjb, this old shed is "the first building you come to when entering the Overholt Distillery Grounds." Located on the tail end of Distillery Road, it is what remains of a much larger structure that once was the size of a large warehouse.

~~ Free Warehouse A ~~

Free Warehouse A, Flanked by the Stack & the Granary - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-12-09

Above, the structure originally named "Free Warehouse A" is seen through a gap between the Stack on the left and the Granary on the right. It may be one of the oldest structures remaining at the Broad Ford distillery complex. My guess is that the word "Free" indicated that the goods stored therein were tax free, as opposed to the taxed beverage alcohol. Inside, there are signs showing it was used as a combined Machine Shop-Fabricating Shop, but we have no information about whether it was used as such by the Overholt facility, or by other companies that used the buildings later on. This summer, the double-doors were open, allowing cjb to get more great shots.

Free Warehouse A Entry - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-24-09

Free Warehouse A Interior 1 - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-24-09

Titled "ray of light," cjb added the comment, "Some very imposing beams, toward the back of the building."

Brown Office Desk - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-24-09

"A desk holding old phone books, invoices, parts books, business documents. But nothing pertaining to the distillery."

Free Warehouse A Interior 2 - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-24-09

Given the title "darkness beyond," cjb explains, "Either door takes you to the same place. The cavernous machine shop/fabrication building. This was the back room. Many old rusted parts and equipment was around."

Free Warehouse A, Glass-Block Window - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-24-09

Called "sunspot," cjb wrote, "The exterior brick façade of the machine shop-fabrication building. The door is to the left. Notice the different color of the bricks. It gives the appearance that a different window was there before. Even if not original, the window is still nice to look at."

The inside view of this window is featured in a new web page, Inside Looking Out, which is listed under the heading Broad Ford Forsaken. The inside shot is named, "nature will find a way."

Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-24-09

~~ The Bonded Bottling House In Summer ~~

Bonded Bottling House in Summer - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-24-09

~~ Distressed Bottling House ~~

On one side of this building, a mere stone's throw away, a railroad track is still busy running modern trains. But once upon a time, another track snuggled up against the Bonded Bottling House, so that cases of aged Overholt Whiskey could be loaded directly into railroad cars. During my visit to Broad Ford in 2004, I pointed my one-time-use camera directly on what remained of that other track. Even with all the decay, to me it looked incredibly strong and durable. I wondered how long ago it had been built, and how many more years it would survive.

Railroad Track "Bumper" - Photograph by K. R. Overholt Critchfield © 2004

Take note the configuration of the large window near the center of the picture, because cjb managed to get a new and striking photograph of this Bottling House window, found on the first page of Broad Ford Forsaken, which is Inside Looking Out.

Bottling House Exterior 1 - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-24-09

Bottling House Exterior 2 - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-24-09

"rusty rolling door"

"A very sturdy-looking steel door that moved on a rail. What purpose this served I have no idea. The only thing that makes sense is a walkup window. This is the southern end of the Old Overholt Distillery former bottling building and later a cafeteria."

Karen’s Guess: Crates of bottled whiskey could have been transferred directly to rail cars by way of this secure opening, eliminating the need to open the whole building. Being "bonded" meant having all kinds of federal government-grade locks all over the distillery.

Bottling House Exterior 3 - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-24-09

Bottling House Interior 1 - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-24-09

Bottling House Interior 2 - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-24-09

"disappearing floor"

"Seen from more a stable area of floor in the Old Overholt Distillery bottling building/cafeteria. In unburned sections, the wood is still solid. If not for the fire, the place might be in much better shape."

Bottling House Interior 3 - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-24-09

Bottling House Interior 4 - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-24-09

"missing staircase" (above)

"The round opening [is] where a staircase spiraled up to a balcony overlooking the dining area. It took some looking around to figure this out."

"a balcony’s fall from grace" (below)

"Like a chain reaction, a section of roof has fallen, causing a section of the once beautiful balcony to fall."

Bottling House Interior 5 - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-24-09

Bottling House Interior 6 - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-24-09


"Shutters cover both the inside and out, besides the glass and the bars."

Bottling House Interior 7 - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-24-09

Bottling House Interior 8 - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-24-09

"charred wood"

"Here [are detail shots] of the damage from a fire on October 14, 2004, that started underneath the floor. So it had to be torn out in some places to access the fire, as you can see."

Bottling House Interior 9 - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-24-09

Bottling House Interior 10 - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-24-09

Bottling House Interior 11 - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-24-09

"the path beyond" (above)

"It is a long walk back, from the rear of the Old Overholt Distillery bottling building/cafeteria, out to the front door. This is the rear, looking towards the front."

"doorway to destruction" (below)

"Like everything in this complex, this fire door is built larger than life, like a castle-looking type of door. Behind this door is a mangled mess." (see Inside Looking Out, "Ruins of the Tax Paid Case Warehouse")

Bottling House Interior 12 - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-24-09

~~ Study Of A Bridge Support ~~

Train & Bridge Support - Photograph by cjb19772009 © 7-24-09

Last on this page but not least, we are given an image of endurance. This "empty pier" was explained by cjb as, "A pier that once carried a footbridge from the Overholt Disitllery in Broadford [sic] to employee's houses in Adelaide, across the Youghiogheny River. Before that, it was used as a railroad bridge which carried the P&LE Railroad."

Go on to the first page of Broad Ford Forsaken, Inside Looking Out, or
go on to Broad Ford Views 2, the first of several new pages in the Views series.

  End of Page . . . Return to Karen's Branches