Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sasquatch Update!

News Flash

Witnesses says Sasquatch is hiding in

abandoned Detroit buildings.

Check this out!
"We see this hairy arm reaching out the window. I say what the hell, he gonna get cut that dude with the broken glass, man. Then a whole body coming out the window, looked like a monkey, only big damn monkey with a stick on the hand. Maybe about 7-ft tall. It had short, reddish hair. But hold on, the face was human looking, as crazy as it sounds. My wife kept telling me to drive away, so we did. I got to see the animal’s eyes and all, big and dark, with a huge head, like a triangle shape, kinda, know what I mean?"
Seriously, how could anyone dispute an eye witness account like this? And pictures too~

OK, so if Sasquatch is being spotted in Detroit, how come there's no Theo Blauth sneaking around Sacramento?
He must exist, right?

I mean folks claim to have seen him, why, there's even photos and movies "proving" that he's real.

The other day, old pal Steve Abbott and I were tossing around the subject of lost western whiskies. You know, the ones where only pieces have been found, and then even the pieces have disappeared; like the Sutro Nevada - Old SIgnet find (don't get me goin' !). And then there's the "only the good die young" bottles like the "Palmtag & Barnhart slug plate Phoenix Bourbon" from Hollister. It made it's appearance in the early 1980's, set the western collecting world on it's ear, only to pull a humpty dumpty and end up in a pile of pieces. None have been seen since~ Back in the late 1960's I dug the first known example of the Hotaling OPS Bourbon (without the "OLD" in between Hotalings and Private Stock) in a mountain of oyster shells (spelled the consistency of concrete) in a saloon dump in the hills above Saratoga, Ca.. My OPS also pulled a humpty dumpty, flying off the bottle shelf in the living room. The score - flagstone hearth 1 - OPS 0... Fortunately, a few have surfaced since then, so it doesn't qualify for Sasquatch status.

All the above were glop tops so the lack of new finds is understandable, given both the age and the lack of numbers actually blown to begin with.
Steve chimed in and tossed a name out that I hadn't thought of before. And it's not a glop. In fact it's a somewhat late tool top, and was blown for an outfit that was in business all the way from the early 80's through to prohibition. It's a Sacramento bottle. Nuthin' to look at, but it is truly the Sasquatch of the toolies. It's embossed
It's #55 in Western Whiskey Bottles 4th edition. Now we know this isn't just an "old figment" of our imaginations because we've seen a photo of it. It's on page 37 #2 of Bill Wilsons "Spirits Bottles of the Old West". He rated it as common, with a scarcity rating of *10 in amber and *6 in clear.
Here's what we know abut the firm from archived Sacramento Cal. records;

 T.H. Blauth: 1021 4th (1882-1884), 407 K (1885-1904)

 T.H. Blauth Sons Co.: 407K (1905-1912)

 T.H. Blauth & Son: 407 K (1913-1917)

We know that he sold MELLWOOD WHISKEY based on a small advertisement that exists (the only advertisement...). The actual brand name was owned by Mellwood Distillery of Louisville, KY. As such, Blauth was just a licensed west coast wholesaler of the brand, along with Theo Gier of S.F.

He also owned California Bottling Works, dba T. Blauth or T.Blauth and Sons, which produced lots of embossed beer bottles.

During the course of conversation, Steve added the following;
"This piece of info is amazing. My wife and I were on an Alaska cruise. We stopped in Ketchican for a few hours. I went on a long and rapid walk as far through town as time would permit. I saw an "antique"/thrift store. It had a Buffalo Beer opener. I bought it and asked the owner how she got it. She said she bought the shop and inventory from a person from California. We talked about that, then she said she had the business ledger from the other party with all the inventory. She showed it to me. On the inside page in florid script was THEOBALD BLAUTH. She wouldn't sell me the page. She said that apparently the previous owner was a descendant of Blauth and that she had a couple of beer bottles at home. She told me the man's name and that he lived in X----YZ California." When I got home, I started searching and actually found the man based on the info that she'd supplied me with. "He said that I should talk to his mother who was 90+ who lived in XXXXXXXX, and gave me her phone number. I called her and talked to her for a half hour or so. Great memory. Blauth was her grandfather, but died before she was old enough to know him. I kept notes on the conversation and placed them in a loose leaf notebook titled "WHISKEY MISCELLANEOUS." I have never seen a Blauth billhead or anything else, though for a guy who sold as much beer and whiskey as he did, there must be some."

I spent quite a bit of time trying to ferret out more information via Sacramento and California State archives. I did find some family history;

Theobald and Caroline (Hack) Blauth, came to California among the sturdy pioneers of 1879

Mr. Blauth engaged in the wholesale liquor business in 1880, and lived to see the 28th of February, 1918, and to acquire considerable property, which he left in his estate. His good wife also died here.

JULIUS BLAUTH.--Julius Blauth was born in Sacramento, on April 6, 1884
associated himself with his father, in business.
But in terms of the business, talk about a dead end... This outfit just flat kept a low, low, profile. Nothing in the way of liquor advertising, no shot glasses, no back bar decanters, no back bar signs; just plain nuthin'.

I did find one interesting tidbit relating to the liquor firm, dating to 1905;

The Sacramento Bee
September 19 1905


WOODLAND (Yolo Co.), September 19 - C. BLAUTH, a Sacramento wholesale liquor dealer, who was arrested at the instance of District Attorney HUSTON for selling liquor in Washington without a county license, pleaded guilty to the charge before Justice LAMPTON yesterday. It seems that Blauth has been in the habit of retailing liquors from a wagon sent over into Yolo County. He said that he was ignorant of the fact that he was violating an ordinance, and promised it would not occur again. Upon this understanding sentence was withheld and he was allowed to go.

(Just a quick PS. I couldn't locate a town of Washington in Yolo County at first. Turns out it was later was renamed Broderick. It is now nothing more than West Sacramento. It was located where the current  Sacramento Ave. and Cal. SR 84 intersect.) Progress...

Well folks, that's pretty much the long and short of it. The
cylinder seems to have vanished under the radar, since we can't account for any intact examples that are present in a west coast collection.

C'mon now, there's got to be some out there! They're late, pretty plain, and were rated common back in the late 1960's.

Send me a current photo or two of it, just to prove that it's not a Sasquatch!


Anonymous said...

Bruce, Here's another angle. The name Theo. Blauth is a hoax. Have you ever known anyone whose name was Blauth? Has anyone? Probably some "hoaxer" a hundred years ago had a glass house make a single bottle, then made a picture of it, left the photo around with the hope that a century latter, he would eventually drive someone crazy. Did he figure out that if he could drive someone crazy, he wouldn't be around to enjoy his success? Well, he may not be around, but he has succeeded. I am definitely crazy. Hell is too good for nutsos like this. Steve Abbott

Unknown said...

I am s direct dependent of the Blauth liquors of Sacramento. Please contact me for more Blauth details.

Yours truly, Wallace Blauth Duncan

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