Home renovation project leads to rare find in attic


St. Joseph, Mo. - The renovation of a 100-year-old home has revealed an interesting discovery.  The Missouri homeowner found old bottles of whiskey that were bottled back in 1917.

When Bryan Fite moved into his home in 2001, he knew he was buying a house that was old and needed work.

Fite said, "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."

Doing some of the work himself, Fite found himself in the attic moving floorboards around to make space for new wiring.  That's where something caught his attention.

Fite explained, "So I took them out and laying down in there were these tubes with writing on them.  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."

The tubes with writing on them were actually bottles of whiskey. There were 13 of them, most of them still sealed with the whiskey inside.  Each bottle is nearly 100 years old. They were bottled in 1917.

Fite has some theories of his own as to how the bottles became stashed in his attic.

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

Bryan and his wife Emily have been married seven years, and have three children. The Fites consider the bottles a treasured part of their antique home and do not plan to get rid of them.

"I'm a history buff.  I like the history of it.  In my mind it's not what they're really worth monetarily, it's the fact that they're part of the history of Saint Joe and part of the history of this house," he said.

Fite continued, "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. 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."

Fite says he is thinking about opening one of the bottles and having a drink in 2017, once the whiskey is 100 years old.