Nick Drummond and Patrick Bakker live in a home previously owned by a bootlegger. They discovered his smuggled bottles when they began renovations.
A couple living in New York was shocked to find several dozens of alcohol bottles from the Prohibition era in their home. Nick Drummond and Patrick Bakker discovered the bottles in their home, which is about 100 years old, in early October. The home was said to have been owned by a bootlegger, but the couple passed this off as nothing but a small-town legend. While Drummond and Bakker were completing some home renovations, they found more than Prohibition-era 66 whiskey bottles hidden within the walls and floorboards of their home, CNN reports. The couple has since been documenting their journey through an Instagram account.
One of their first posts on Instagram was captioned, "OUR WALLS ARE BUILT OF BOOZE! I can’t believe the rumors are true! He was actually a bootlegger! I mean I thought it was a cute story, but the builder of our house was ACTUALLY a bootlegger!" The post was a video of one of the homeowners pulling down their walls to uncover numerous bottles of alcohol hidden behind them. The video was uploaded on October 9 and has been viewed over 150,000 times since.
The house was built in 1915 and is located in Ames, which is about three away from New York City. Drummond and Bakker had been living in the home for a year before they decided it was time for a renovation two months ago. They first made the discovery when Drummond, a designer and historic preservationist, was removing outside skirting along the bottom of the mudroom attached to the house. When he was doing so, a mysterious package fell out. "I'm like what is that? I'm very confused," he shared in an interview with CNN. "I'm looking and there's hay everywhere, there's paper, and glass... I see another package and it's this whiskey bottle. I'm like holy crap. This is like a whiskey stash. And this is like, all of a sudden, the whole story of the bootlegger."
As the couple went ahead with their renovations, they discovered more and more bottles stowed away within their home. Drummond explained, "Initially we found seven bundles of six in the wall and then at that point we found four more bundles and actually funny enough as of less than a week ago we just found more." The whiskey bottles are a brand of Scottish whiskey labeled Old Smuggler Gaelic whiskey. This liquor is still produced today. Each bottle the couple found was wrapped in tissue paper and straw and bundled in a package of six.
Originally, the home was owned by Count Adolph Humpfner, a German man. He was known as a "man of mystery" and was also part of many scandals. Unfortunately, he died a sudden death, leaving behind the smuggled liquor in addition to a heavily disputed fortune. Conducting their own research, the couple went on to discover that the only witness to Humpfner's death was the administrator of his will, Harry Barry, the recent mayor of nearby Fort Plain. His fortunes included the local bank, the school gymnasium, and 23 properties in New York City and New Jersey. As they are now the rightful owners of a part of his fortunes, Drummond and Bakker plan to sell the bottles they found full. These bottles are estimated to be worth around $1,000 each. They will, of course, keep one bottle to taste.