Family finds whiskey from 1917 hidden in attic

Posted at 3:59 PM, Jul 07, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-07 16:00:19-04

ST. JOSEPH, MO (KQTV) - The remodel of a 100-year-old home led to an interesting find --  old bottles of whiskey.

KQTV’s William Seay reports that when Bryan Fite moved into his St. Joseph,  Missouri home in 2001, he was excited about buying an older house. 

"One of the first projects I decided to do was to put in central air and central heat and, to do that, I had to have the house rewired," said Fite.

Since he did some of the work himself, Fite found himself in the attic moving floorboards around for the new wires. That's where he made the big discovery.

"So I took them out and laying down in there were these tubes with writing on them,” said Fite. “At the time, I thought, well, the house used to have steam heat so I'm thinking these are just steam pipes with some insulation on them."

However, the tubes with writing on them were actually bottles of whiskey. There were 13 bottles of whiskey from 1917. And most of them were still sealed.

Fite thinks he knows why the bottles were stashed in the attic.

"The original owner lost the house and was put in a sanitarium for alcoholism,” said Fite. “So, perhaps that might be a story behind it too, that that was his secret stash up in the attic."

Bryan and his wife, Emily, have been married seven years and have three children. The couple said they feel the bottles are a part their antique home’s history – and that they plan on keeping them.

Fite said he is a history buff and is not worried about what the whiskey is worth. 

His wife agrees.

"It's nice to honor and appreciate history, but I always kind of think also that things need to be left alone to a certain extent,” said Emily Fite. “I think it's amazing to be able to feel a little bit energetically what's been going on in this house for its history." 

However, the Fites said they might open one of the bottles and take a drink in 2017. That's when the whiskey will turn 100 years old.