A program earlier this year that detailed Lynchburg history was so popular that the village’s historical society has planned a second event for Saturday, March 23.
“We want people to know about the town,” said Virginia Rhonemus, treasurer for the Lynchburg Historical Society. “Small towns are going downhill, but they don’t have to die just because they don’t have many businesses anymore.”
The second “Reminiscing Lynchburg” program will be held from 2-4 p.m. at the Lynchburg fire house located at 8123 SR 135.
The upcoming program will be much like the first, Rhonemus said, where attendees ask a panel of three historical society members questions about Lynchburg, and the panel tries to answer them. She said there will also be books, pictures and other historical items that visitors can explore during a break in the program, when refreshments will be available.
Rhonemus said many current Lynchburg residents know little about the town’s history. In fact, she said, one person she spoke with didn’t know there was a distillery in Lynchburg at one time.
According to a 2017 Times-Gazette story submitted by the Highland County Historical Society: “For over 60 years Lynchburg was the home of the Freiberg and Workum (F&W) Whiskey Distillery, having been purchased from John Bowen of the Pricetown area, who had begun building the distillery in 1855. The Lynchburg distillery was one of several such facilities that the partners operated.
“When the Cincinnati-based F&W Distillery purchased the Lynchburg facility from Bowen it had a capacity to mash in only 100 barrels per day – a far cry from the 3,000 bushel capacity later at the height of its production in 1910, with a storage capacity of over 100,000 barrels. As the Lynchburg facility grew, F&W introduced several new brands such as Lynchburg Rye, Lynchburg Extra Fine Whiskey, Highland Pure Rye, and later Clinton Whiskey. The company advertised these labels vigorously with full page ads in national publications…
“The 1910 census recorded that The F&W Distillery was the largest employer in Lynchburg that year. According to the documents, 87 of the 923 residents (250 households) in Lynchburg were employed by the F&W Distillery…
“With Prohibition in full effect, in December of 1923, 400 cases of liquor from the ‘bonded’ Lynchburg warehouse were ‘transferred’ by motor trucks in a caravan to Washington officials. The transfer was later termed “Holiday Cheer Arrives” by the Cincinnati Enquirer on Dec. 12, 1923.”
Rhonemus said there are many other interesting details about the village that its residents should be aware of.
She said the second program is being held at the fire house because there is not enough space in the historical society’s new location after it traded buildings with the Lynchburg Police Department.
A third program may be held later in the year, Rhonemus said, featuring old slides of the village that were donated to the historical society.
The three historical society members answering questions at the upcoming event will be Beverly Wilkin, Ruth Carroll and Gary Hopkins.
“It’s open to anyone that would like to come and listen or ask questions,” Rhonemus said.
A freewill donation will be accepted.
For more information call Rhonemus at 937-364-6101.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.