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JPR Feature
Ashland Buries Malt Whiskey Bottle in Plaza   
Friday, September 27. 2013
By Maryann Mason

In the winter of 2012, the City of Ashland commissioned an archaeological survey of the historic downtown plaza as part of its redesign.  The new construction included placing a time capsule at the end of Lithia Park to be opened in 100 years.  

In addition to the artifacts from a Shasta Indian village once located near the plaza, the capsule contains interesting pioneer objects, including a Duffy’s Malt Whiskey bottle.  The amber bottle with its raised insignia on the front was slightly smaller than today's whiskey bottles, and probably would fetch anywhere from $5 to $30 on the antique market.  

In the 1870s, Walter Duffy inherited a cider refining business in Rochester, N.Y., from his father, and turned it into a prosperous distiller of alcohol, French spirits, malt, wheat, rye, and Bourbon whiskies.  Duffy’s advertised its "celebrated Duffy's Malt Whiskey” as the "greatest known heart tonic."   In Duffy's dictionary malt meant medicinal, and it was a period when alcohol was generously added to bitters and medicines.  

Duffy's was able to sell his beverage in both bars and pharmacies.  The Pure Food and Drug Act wasn’t passed until 1906.

Source: Darling, John. "Recent Excavation Proves Presence of Shasta Indian Village Under Plaza." Mail Tribune 7 May 2013 [Medford, Ore.] . Print.; LaLande, Jeff. "The Ashland Plaza: Report On Findings of the 2012-13 Sub-Surface Archaeological Survey." Ashland, Ore.: LaLande Archaeology and History Services, Print; "A Short Guide to the Duffy Malt Whiskey Company." ebay. Web. 16 Aug. 2013. <>. 

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