Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Old Gebhard Brewery (Morris, IL)

As we've written here before, you never know what history lies right in your backyard.

Take, for instance, the old Gebhard Brewery building (what remains of it) here in my hometown of Morris, IL. We've lived here for almost six years, but never knew much about the "ruins" that existed few blocks from the downtown area and right off the I&M Canal trail.

In addition to the photos here in this post, you can view all my brewery photos here.

Last week, my daughter and I took a little hike to the "ruins" of the old Brewery to take some pics — then we took to the Internet to do some research.

The Gebhard Brewing company was founded by German immigrant Louis Gebhard in 1866, and the brewery was built in the late 1880s. It remained in operation until prohibition, when the company went belly-up. The brewery was then turned into a flour mill.

We found this great Facebook page about the brewery, maintained by Minooka history teacher David Belden, who writes:
The brewery’s product was known throughout the state because the finest quality of malt, grit and foreign domestic hops were used in the process. The surviving buildings include the brick bottling plant (1888) and the larger brew house (1896). With the coming of prohibition in 1919, the brewery closed, and the brew house was converted into a flour mill.
The photo below is from Belden's Facebook page, which shows the main building and brewhouse of the Gebhard Brewery, as it looked in 1896. Compare with the photos I took last week (above).

1 comment:

  1. The Gebhard Brewery is for sale ! Please call Brian Blackmore of Caton Commercial RE Group at 630-207-8292 with any questions. The building has all new roofs, windows, and most clutter and debris has been removed. This 100+ year old former brewery was more recently used for manufacturing. It hasn't been used in several years, and is in need of repair. It is a conversion or restoration opportunity. The walls are true, and the foundation is sound. Brick facade needs tuck-pointing. Could be a site for a restaurant/brewery or bed and breakfast, or an office property. Windows were replaced in 2014-15.
    The building sits on +/- 2 AC of land. Site is 1 block from the Morris Business District to the east, and just a few hundred feet from the I&M Canal Towpath to the to the south. This national parkway is a favorite of hiking and biking enthusiasts. On the west, just across a small creek is Gebhard Woods State Park.

    650 W Washington. Where Washington St ends.