...what a long, strange trip it's been.
1895: Whitestown Grade School Opened
The original arched entrance to this rural community school was on Neese Street and can be seen above the malt room to the left of our event room stage. The exterior wall of this original grade school makes up the NW wall of the 1915 Room and the North wall of the brewpub.
Also in 1895...
A Bur Oak takes root on the Hutton farm in NE Boone County
1915: Whitestown High School Dedicated
A new high school was built across Neese Street, just South of the grade school. Four classrooms remained when we started renovations in May 2017. The high school is visible behind the brewery and now houses our kitchen, brewpub restrooms and offices. The old main entry to the high school is also visible and located just inside the new main entrance to the brewpub.
1939 - 1941: Whitestown Gymnasium Built
Whitestown Schools made the decision to close off Neese Street and connect the grade school + high school with a “home team” friendly gymnasium. This was covered with a barrel-vault roof that can still be seen throughout the space. Also note the red and brown glazed block walls -- these formed the exterior walls of the gym, and go up and over the walls of the original schools. The 1915 Room, brewery & brewpub are all housed in what served as this shared school gymnasium.
1963: Schools Close
Like a lot of small school districts in that era, Whitestown consolidated with Lebanon and Western Boone Schools. Since its closing over 50 years ago, the building was used for various purposes – beauty school, auction house, warehouse, t-shirt factory, and even apartments. Most recently, it had been an empty and unfortunate eyesore for downtown Whitestown.
2000s: Moontown Brewing Company Starts Home Brewing
Home brewing starts in earnest in a barn on that same Hutton Farm in NE Boone County. At some point in time all of Moontown’s owners participated in the home brewing process (working, tasting, learning how to brew, etc.) in this barn. The thought of opening a brewery and pub was discussed many times (always over a beer, of course).
2015: Home Brew Champions
Moontown Brewing Company participated in the inaugural Whitestown Beer Fest and won first place in the Home brew Competition. As promised, an “obnoxiously large” trophy was awarded to Moontown. This lead to more pondering about taking our home brewing hobby to the next level. In December 2015, we decided to go for it and made an offer to purchase the Whitestown Gym.
Also in 2015...
After 120 years of life, and growing to be over 42" in diameter, the Bur Oak falls naturally in Boone County. The wood was salvaged, cut, dried, and milled.
2017: Renovations Begin
After finalizing the re-development deal with Whitestown, renovations on the empty building began in May of 2017. Throughout the renovation and construction process, we have attempted to honor this building’s unique history, and here are a few noteworthy details:
- The gym windows on both the East and West walls are original -- the steel frames were restored and new glass was installed
- The basketball court markings in the 1915 Room have been re-painted in the original locations
- The multi-color painting on the walls behind the stage are original remnants from plays performed at the school
- The wood trim halfway up the walls was salvaged from bleacher seats (note the scratched-in initials)
- The steel material used for the brewpub entry and the bar canopy was salvaged from the home team’s bleacher supports
And the tree...
The wood from that single Bur Oak, sprouted in 1895, was used to build all of the beautiful bar tops, tables, wall shelves, tap handles, and wall caps that are now a unique part of the Moontown Brewing Company story.
2018: Moontown Brewing Company Opens
Our event space and tap room open in January, with the full brewpub grand opening coming in March of 2018 Please come check out the love we've poured back into this building as we add our own chapter to the rich narrative of this historic space.