Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Old Crown/Centlivre Brewery in Fort Wayne, IN

A couple of years ago I was trying to remember the name of the brewery that used to be north of State Street between Spy Run Avenue and St. Joseph River. This photo answers that question.
Mark Deprey The old Centlivere Brewery on North Clinton st also made old Crown Beer

(Update: FortWayneBeer includes a photo of the aftermath of the July 16, 1889 fire. FortWayneBeer has a post with lots of photos on Old Crown.)

Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana posted
John Hamm commented on the above posting
 I still have one of their old heavy-heavy cardboard beer cases from the 60's. Wonder if it is a collector's item now. This has been a general tote in my garage for decades.
Update: Kenneth Childers posted 40 photos of the Centlivre and old Crown Breweries. Centilvre also had a streetcar line that went up Spy Run so he could ship his beer to the Nickle Plate and to the downtown businesses. He also had a beer garden that is now the Centilvre Apartments. [Image from Kenneth Childers' posting]

This image is of particular interest to me because it is what I remember seeing whenever we drove north on Spy Run.
Photo from Kenneth Childers' posting
The old Old Crown brewery, c. late mid-century [Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana]
Also posted by Donald Brockhaus
Bill Nimmo that was a rail spur inside that dark opening in the buiding
These two images are probably colorizations of the same photo. They demonstrate how artists had black smoke pouring out of the smokestack as a sign of prosperity.

Photo from Kenneth Childers' posting
[This postcard is old enough that the artist added black smoke coming out of the smokestack because black smoke was considered a sign of prosperity in the 1800s. The horse&wagons and streetcars are another indication of age.]

Scott T. Vakerics posted another copy of this image
Dave Jehl I see a canal boat, not on the river, would this be part of the feeder canal?Randy Harter Yes, that's the feeder canal and is exactly where it ran. It started out on the St. Joe River behind North Point Woods, and ran through Johnny Appleseed Park, down Spy Run Extended, and right behind the brewery. If you look at where the I & M power towers are between Spy Run and Clinton, behind Classic Stereo, they took the feeder canals place. The feeder canal was 6-7 miles long and joined the Wabash & Erie Canal a couple blocks behind Paula's on W. Main. Railroad tracks now sit on top of the spot where the feeder and main canal joined.
Craig Leonard Tom Castaldi pointed out to me where the feeder canal ran behind the houses opposite G I Joes. The area was platted into lots after the canal was filled in in 1897 by a group of investors that included John Bass.

Debi King also posted
Steve Tiny Michaels There was a feeder ditch built for the brewery behind the bottling buildings, and the brewery itself was butted against the river.
[I didn't have the guts to correct him that it was a feeder canal for the I&M Canal. Now that I think about it, I've never seen images of the aqueducts for the canal and the feeder down by the three rivers conjunction.]

Photo from Kenneth Childers' posting

Becky Osbun posted two images with the comment:
19th Century lithograph advertising; and an undated photo of a C.L. Centilvre Brewing Co. office interior. - photos courtesy of ACPL. Centlivre was born in France and settled in Fort Wayne, where he founded the brewing company with his brother, Frank. It was also known as the French Brewery, and much later as the Old Crown Brewery. (During Prohibition, the brewery was called Centlivre Ice & Storage Co.)
Nolan Richhart Did the canal also run up past the brewery? I’ve never heard that before, but it looks to in the picture.
Steve Ditlinger Nolan Richhart That is the "feeder canal" that brought water from St Joe River farther north to feed into the canal west of downtown.
Becky Osbun Interesting photos at this link: http://www.fortwaynebeer.com/centlivre-brewing


Becky Osbun commented on her post

The body of water on the right in the above images is the St. Joseph River. The body on the left was the feeder canal for the Wabash & Erie Canal. I doubt if it was that wide. Nor do I think it would have canal boats on it.
You can find remnants of the feeder canal because a friend taught me that Indiana & Michigan bought the right-of-way for a transmission line. In fact, it appears AEP/I&M has upgraded the line because this tower is much bigger than the ones I remember along this road. If you look north of the coliseum parking lot, you can still see the depression of the canal. I wonder if the canal began here because this is where the power line no longer follows the St. Joseph River.
One of the 41 photos posted by Kenneth Childers
One of the 41 photos posted by Kenneth Childers
Faded but lovely view of Centlivre Brewing Company [Indiana Beer]
Dennis DeBruler Even though it has faded, it retains a lot of information. Back when the "Persia building" was at the end of the line of buildings and we get a clear view of it. They are robbing land from the river. The put the "Persia building on stilts, and then they created an embankment wall and made a landfill. It looks like you can see a machine with its boom down that helped build the embankment.
One of the 41 photos posted by Kenneth ChildersRiver view of brewery no date but 1800s [hoosierbeerstory.com]



Mike Snow posted
The backside of the "C.L. Centlivre Brewing Co." had several name changes in it's 100+ year run. It started as "The French Brewery" and the last name change was to "Old Crown Brewing Corporation"
Rick Stabler shared a link that has a lot of photos in "You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember." with the comment:
Originally the French Brewery from 1861, Charles Centlivre and his family would run this brewery just north of State Street on Spy Run for nearly 90 years before a hostile takeover by eastern investors in 1958. The Centlivre Brewery then became the Old Crown Brewery before being shuttered in 1973. The brewery suffered several arsons before the last remaining buildings were razed in 1991.
Lynn Busche They had a fall out shelter in the basement carved out of solid bed rock with a deep artision well figured that's where I'd go what better place to hide then in a brewery lol
Mary Catherine Wine I love to smell the hops and the foam would come up in the street drains
Loyal Stiverson commented
I came across this picture a ways back. The gas station would be where Haffner paints is now. Old Crown in the background.
[The power line tower would be in the old (1800s) feeder canal to the Wabash and Erie Canal.]

Fort Wayne breweries

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