Posted 4 years ago
You can see the original story and more finds (some are boxed up somewhere) in the following link:
About two years ago, I had been exploring an abandoned building separated from a neighbouring bakery by a drive between them. It turned out that both buildings were now the site of what was a major brewer and distributor until American Prohibition: Muskegon Brewing Company.
In the abandoned building I spent many hours, particularly in one dark room in the basement of what had been a three-story building until it burned in the mid 1990s.
I realised that one room down there, with a dirt floor and huge split in the poured cement wall, had been there long before the present 1930s structure, which had been built up around it (bricked up windows facing into the building and major modifications to the room).
Digging into the dirt floor, I began encountering a number of artifacts from the brewery-- a number of embossed bottle shards, a stopper with their name, china shards, a doll shard, a nesting hen dish shard, a circa. 1905 florescent lamp starter, several smoking-pipes, etc.
From the base of the crack and inside the wall, I unearthed an 1869 U.S. penny, a liniment bottle, and a mineral water bottle embossed with a Native American. Along with those, a curious wiring insulator, which later turned out to date to only 1907 or 1908-- which tells me that that room got electricity or modifications in one of those years.
I have decided to photograph my embossed bottles from the company and some of the artifacts together. A few dug artifacts are on display, some labeled as having come from the site.
While my Muskegon Brewing Company collection is not large or very diverse (there are 3 trays and advertising clock known, and many surviving labeled bottles), no other collector I know can say he has dug on the exact site of the long-gone company.
Pigeon Hill Brewing Company accessed the basement of the current commercial bakery atop the site and found a number of surviving machines from the company that bought out Musk. Brew. Co.: Grand Rapids Brewing Company, which continued the name into the 1950s (I believe.)
Muskegon Brewing Company took a hit in 1916 with Michigan Prohibition, and by National Prohibition.... it perished.