Couple's 'insane' discovery hidden inside walls of 105-year-old home

Ash Cant
·4-min read

A couple has found an expensive stash hidden in the walls of their home, which was rumoured to belong to a bootlegger during prohibition.

Nick Drummond, a designer and historic preservationist, and his partner Patrick Bakker, a florist, purchased a home they had admired when driving past in upstate New York.

When the home was put up for sale, the couple couldn’t resist a look inside, and they immediately fell in love with the woodwork and historic details.

The property purchased by Nick Drummond and Patrick Bakker in upstate New York was believed to be built by a bootlegger.
Nick Drummond and Patrick Bakker purchased a home in upstate New York, initially not believing it was built by a bootlegger. Source: Instagram/bootleggerbungalow

Drummond’s Instagram, called bootleggerbungalow has served as a way for him to document what they find while renovating the home.

The home came with a very intriguing legend, which Mr Drummond and Mr Bakker initially did not believe.

“We were told the home was rumoured to have been built by a childless German baron who turned to bootlegging in the 1920's,” Drummond wrote on his Instagram.

“The story is endearing, and most likely completely false, but we’re going along with it.

“After all, who doesn’t want to live in a home built by a bootlegging barren baron?”

However, a discovery from inside the wall of the home would confirm the tale of the bootlegging baron was actually true.

On October 10, Mr Drummond shared a picture of the walls stripped back, as he and Mr Bakker were stunned by their discovery.

“Our walls are filled with bundles of booze,” he said.

“We’re losing our minds over how cool this is.”

Inside the wall were bottles of whiskey from the prohibition era, which was proof enough for the two to believe their new home was built by a bootlegger.

The couple found whiskey in the walls of the house after stripping away the timber, the bottles are from the prohibition era
Whiskey bottles from the prohibition era were found hidden in the home. Source: Instagram/bootleggerbungalow

Since then, the couple has found more than 60 bottle of ‘Old Smuggler’ whiskey, though in a recent update, Mr Drummond revealed he had found more under some floorboards.

Old whiskey bottles worth around $1000

Mr Drummond told CNN the bottles are worth around $1000 each, though Mr Drummond said he and Mr Bakker were yet to try the whiskey.

“I have a weird thing where I like the anticipation of not knowing,” he said.

“I’m driving Patrick crazy.”

On Instagram followers called the find “insane” and “amazing”, while expressing how happy they are for the couple and pleased they too are able to follow along.

The ‘Mystery Man’ Adolph Humpfner

Since the bottles were discovered, the couple have been updating their followers on Instagram about what they have learned about Adolph Humpfner.

Mr Humpfner died under “possibly suspicious” circumstances in 1932, Mr Drummond revealed on Instagram and was dubbed the “mystery man of the Mohawk Valley” and “the count”.

Mr Drummond said there was no proof Humpfner was linked to royalty, though he did run away from his family from Bavaria.

His second wife, Helen Humpfner, reportedly went missing in 1912 and was then declared legally dead in 1935, though Mr Drummond warns she should not be confused with his first or third wife, the latter Humpfner was reportedly with at the same time as Helen.

After being declared legally dead, Helen was found alive at a beach in Brooklyn in 1936 and she had nothing to do with her husband since 1914.

“Mrs Humpfner's details of Humpfner's mysterious life are unveiled here,” a 1936 edition of the Fort Plain Standard found by Drummond read.

“Much of his life, after she was compelled to leave him because of cruelty, remains a grim, mysterious secret, known to but few but replete with drama and tragedy and that selfish cruelty that seems a part of the man's entire career. Some day the dark side of Humpfner's later years will be revealed.”

From what Mr Drummond and Mr Bakker could unearth, it appears how Mr Humpfner amassed his fortune was a mystery to the locals – he owned a bank, a school gymnasium and 23 properties in New York City and New Jersey.

“After his death, multiple secret compartments were found in his truck and businesses but they could never prove anything!” Drummond explained on Instagram.

“There were also papers strewn around his home with deeds to various properties, foreign bank accounts, and aliases. There was a huge drama over who got his fortune after his death.”

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