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Artifacts from Muskegon Brewing Company

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Meowman's loves16 of 32Rogers Silverplate Double Condiment Wagon/CaddyEarly 20th C. Water-Colour over Photograph
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    Posted 5 years ago

    (813 items)

    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.

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    1. SpiritBear, 5 years ago
      The original detailed story and a couple in-situ pictures:
    2. jscott0363 jscott0363, 5 years ago
      What a wonderful group of artifacts from this past brewery. Very impressive story as well.
    3. SpiritBear, 5 years ago
      Thank you, jscott0363.
    4. buckethead, 5 years ago
      Nice find! I especially like the porcelain flip tops. I collect beer cans and bottles. I have several Hamm's pre-prohibition bottles with porcelain flip tops. Thank You for posting.
    5. SpiritBear, 5 years ago
      The porcelain stopper was a nice find, though I expected to find more than I did in the floor (only one and the remains to a crown cap).
      Thanks for commenting.
    6. PoliticalPinbacks PoliticalPinbacks, 5 years ago
      Great local history and nice collection, The stoppers look to be in fantastic condition they must not have been in the dirt much or long, Another great write up too ;D
    7. Phonoboy Phonoboy, 5 years ago
      Very cool.
    8. Karenoke Karenoke, 5 years ago
      Cool stuff with a cool history!
      I bet it was exciting and hard to leave at the end of a day?
    9. SpiritBear, 5 years ago
      Political Pinbacks, the caps were not dug up. Only one porcelain stopper was, which has considerable damage and fading as ink leached through the glaze. LOL.
      The best find was the 1869 IHP.

      Phonoboy, thank you. Good to see you again.

      Karenoke, I spent 2-4 hours a week in that room for about a month. It was very dark and the ground was thick clay (exhausting with just a trench shovel).
      I always cycled there. One day I was struck by a car, ran away in confusion with a minor concussion, and still went to the building! LOL.
    10. Meowman Meowman, 5 years ago
      impressive story, and a fascinating array of stuff found where most would assume little of interest could be found
    11. SpiritBear, 5 years ago
      Thank you, Meowman. They were exciting finds for my teenage self.
    12. SpiritBear, 5 years ago
      I drove by the other day. The old building has been razed and the basement level has been filled in. A few bricks are all that remains.
    13. Xcrdr, 2 years ago
      I have a brown bottle like the one on the left. It's in good condition. Not sure what I'll do with it. It's good to know a bit about the history of the company.

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