My Gin Craze

Here’s a fun Distilled History tidbit. I briefly mention in it the “About” page on this blog, but the first version of Distilled History didn’t have anything to do with history. Initially, this blog was going to tell people how to drink. No joke. After brainstorming ideas with an old friend, I came up with an idea to write…

One Hell of a Summer

On a cold and dreary evening in late February 1849, a young man with a small journal tucked into the pocket of his overcoat stepped off the steamer Thomas Jefferson and onto the St. Louis riverfront. His name was Joseph J. Mersman, and his story isn’t much different from the thousands of immigrants who poured into St Louis in the years prior…

Elmira’s Water Cure

At long last, the pen is finally moving again. I must apologize for taking a few months off. I didn’t really go anywhere, it’s just that Distilled History needed to take a breather. I needed a break so I could throw a few back with the Campbell Family, talk James Eads with fellow history pals, and enjoy the incredible…

And Finally, the Bridge (The Summer of Eads, Part IV)

Note: This is the final post in a four-part series I have written about the life and work of James B. Eads. Previous entries can be found here:  Part I, Part II, and Part III From a distance, the Eads Bridge doesn’t really look like a big deal. It is, but its physical appearance doesn’t exactly tell…

More Love for Rob & Ginny

A few months ago, I started my third year as a volunteer docent at the Campbell House Museum in downtown St. Louis. I’ve said it many times before in this blog, but I just have to say it again: I love this place. There are so many reasons why it’s special, so I decided it was…

The Great Tom Collins Hoax of 1874

One of the joys in my life is that my dear mother can take a joke. My mother is brilliant, effusive, hilarious, (and in a very lovely way), kinda nuts. She’s easy to make fun of, and badgering her about one of her many quirks (such as her inclination to chitchat with everyone who crosses her path)…

87,000 Stories to Tell

Since I started this blog, I have purposely avoided writing about certain St. Louis history topics. In the past eighteen months, people have suggested I write about various things like the InBev buyout of Anhueser-Busch, the Pope’s visit in 1999, and even the Edward Jones Dome (seriously?). Honestly, these are topics that just don’t interest…

The Joy of Irma (and a Sidecar)

Several years ago, my mother presented me with a wonderful gift. It was a cookbook titled Mom’s Cookbook: A Culinary Memoir of Family, Food, and Friends. I cherish this book and hold it dear to my heart, perhaps more than any gift she has ever given me. On the pages inside, my Mother dumped out her entire culinary…

Haunted Alton & The Corpse Reviver (No. 2)

Writing a slightly popular blog has its benefits. Maybe I shouldn’t boast that Distilled History is popular, but my Rolodex has certainly bulked up in the past several months. I’ve met new friends involved in the St. Louis history scene, and others who are into drinking. Many are into history and drinking, and that means life…

A Day in the Life of Distilled History

Here’s a useless fact to kick off this edition of Distilled History. If I had to play one of those “deserted island” games and choose only one song that I could listen to for the rest of my life, it wouldn’t be difficult. “A Day in the Life”, that magnificent opus that closes out side…

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