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The Canadian Club Brand Heritage has a Rich History
The Hiram Walker & Sons head office has witnessed a lot of business deals over the years. You can see an old picture in the corner of what seemed like a gangster with a cigarette in his lips. He’s being surrounded by whisky and money while holding an Uzi proudly.
“You could be sitting in Capone’s chair,” said Tish Harcus while passing a flask-shaped bottle. It is turdy and is made to fit into a jacket or boot. “They used to be called rum runners.”
With this certain bottle, Canadians began coining the term bootlegging.
The Canadian Club Brand Heritage Center is technically situated in Windsor, Ontario, in the former Walkerville town.
Tish harcus, the brand ambassador for the company, has been working in the building for approximately 28 years already. One way to describe the lady is that she’s colorful and a walking whisky-drinking encyclopedia.
According to Tish, along with the temperance movements in the United States, Hiram Walker (an American entrepreneur) had set up a shop in Windsor in 1858 as its distance is just near his home in Detroit; however, it was on the other side of the Detroit River. In this part of Canada, he could legally distill spirits.
As the 1800s concluded, Walker had already built an empire. He put up shops, schools, and homes for his 6000 employees, who were paid in Walkerville’s own currency. Their salaries, on the other hand, eventually go back to Walker because of his many business ventures in the town. He was as wealthy as the Rockefellers, having the inventor and businessman Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford (The owner of Ford Motor Company) among his friends.
What was previously the Hiram Walker & Sons head office has been transformed into the Canadian Club Brand Heritage Center. Visitors can take a 90-muute tour for whisky-tasting and absorbing the Walker saga.
The beautiful chimes of the grandfather clock emanate from downstairs. Their art gallery showcases 8 Group of Seven paintings. Each room is made of dark woods and old-world furnishings, cooperage tools, photographs, hoary ledger books, and old Canadian Club bottles. Up to this day, bottles are still dredge up the Detroit River.
The basement houses the real gems, however. The archive room is filled with history. There’s an unopened case of over a century old whisky with the original playing cards scattered about. You can also see a secret tunnel that ran between the borders of the US and Canada as well. Whether the tunnel was used to run barrels during prohibition, we don’t know; but that’s a fair assumption to make.
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