In 1836, Ewing Young, seeking a way to support himself, began a distilling operation. He purchased materials and constructed a still. The historical record conflicts on whether or not he actually began distilling however. Ewing Young's operation was vehemently opposed by Dr. John McLoughlin factor of Fort Vancouver for the Hudson's Bay Trading Company and by Reverend Jason Lee and others from the Methodist Mission established in the Willamette Valley.
Whether or not Ewing Young actually produced any "spiritous liquors" is unknown, but we do know that the attempt to begin the operation led to another world changing event. In an effort to dissuade Young from distilling, McLoughlin, Lee, Slacum, and others contracted with Young to form the Willamette Cattle Company, bringing cattle to the Willamette Valley, breaking a monopoly on the cattle market held by the Hudson's Bay Company.
|This is a image of a contemporary distilling operation from Sutter's Mill. Photo by Geary Linhart.|
Today the Ewing Young Distillery, on the site of Ewing Young's farm, continues the legacy of Ewing Young.