New York couple finds greater than 66 bottles of Prohibition-era whiskey hidden within the partitions of their dwelling
However, during a recent renovation, the couple discovered something that revealed the legend might be true.
In early October, Nick Drummond and Patrick Bakker said they found more than 66 bottles of Prohibition-era whiskey on the walls and floorboards of their home, which was built in 1915.
“Our walls are filled with bundles of alcohol!” Drummond, who documented the unexpected find in a series of posts on social media, wrote on his Instagram. “I can’t believe the rumors are true! He was actually a pirate!”
The couple had lived in the house in the small village of Ames, about three hours from New York, for a little over a year before they decided to begin major renovations two months ago.
Drummond, a designer and conservationist, told CNN he was removing the exterior paneling on the floor of the mud room attached to the house when a mysterious package fell out.
“I’m like what is this? I’m very confused,” he said. “I look and there’s hay everywhere, there’s paper and glass … I see another package and it’s that whiskey bottle.”
“I’m like holy crap. It’s like a supply of whiskey. And suddenly it’s like the whole story of the pirate.”
Drummond went on to find more packets of smuggled whiskeys under the floorboards after entering the mud room through an uncovered hatch in the floor. He said the couple are still finding more bottles.
“At first we found seven bundles of six in the wall and then we found four more bundles and actually funny enough that less than a week ago we just found more,” said Drummond.
The liquor is a brand of Scottish whiskey called Old Smuggler Gaelic Whiskey that is still made today. Each bottle was wrapped in tissue paper and straw and bundled in a pack of six bottles, Drummond said.
The original owner of the house was a German man named Count Adolph Humpfner.
After researching newspaper articles and various legal websites, Drummond said he found out that Humpfner was known as a mysterious man in town and participated in many scandals. He died of a sudden death, leaving behind the smuggled liquor and a heavily disputed fortune.
The series of discoveries prompted Drummond to continue documenting his home renovation on social media. Followers have made an effort to learn new stories about the house and its pirate.
The couple plans to leave the bottles they find or evaporate empty at home – and sell the bottles they find. The full bottles are valued at around $ 1,000 each, Drummond said.
The couple said they will keep one of the full bottles of whiskey to test the taste.