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Distillery License issued to Phillip Short in 1817

License to work a Still for distilling Spirits from Domestic Materials.

Whereas Phillip Short of the Town of Richmond in the County of Ontario of New York, possessor of a Still of the capacity of one hundred and eighty two gallons, including the head thereof, at this time erected and intended to be used in the Town of Richmond in the County of Ontario in the District aforesaid, hath duly applied for a License to distil Spirits from Domestic Materials, during the term of one month, to commence on the 26th day of March 1817, and to end on the 26th day of April 1817:

NOW KNOW YE, that the said Phillip Short is hereby licensed to work and employ the said still in distilling Spirits from Domestic Materials, for the said term of ONE MONTH, as above defined, in conformity with the laws of the United States. Signed: Walter B. Beal, For the Commissioner of the Revenue. Countersigned at Canandaigua in the Collection District aforesaid, this 3rd day of March 1817. Leo S. Bates, Collector of the Revenue for the 24th Collection District of New York.

Editor’s Note: The distillery that was owned and operated by Phillip Short was located south of the village of Hemlock. This distillery was in operation in 1817 under the permit shown above.

The towns about Hemlock were well supplied with distilleries. There was another one down the Canadice outlet further where Holdenville was later to be built; another one stood on Kinney Creek a short distance from the mill at the Livonia Center. Whiskey was used by nearly everyone in those days. It is related that one fellow who used it to excess was approached by a minister who asked him if he was not drinking more than was good for him. The fellow replied that it was necessary for him to drink it so that the distilleries could be busy thereby affording him a market for his grain.

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