The Oscar Getz Museum of Bourbon History and the Bardstown Historical Museum are located in Spalding Hall in the heart of Bardstown, Kentucky, the Bourbon Capital of the World. The museum officially changed its name from ‘The Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History’ in 2023.
The Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History displays a 50-year collection of rare whiskey artifacts and documents concerning the American whiskey industry dating from pre-Colonial days to post-Prohibition years to today.
The museum includes exhibits on President Washington (our nation’s first President to own a distillery), Abraham Lincoln (who also owned a liquor license), authentic moonshine stills, antique bottles and jugs, medicinal whiskey bottles, unique advertising art, novelty whiskey containers, and much more.
The Bardstown Historical Museum contains items relating to 200 years of area history. You will find Indian relics, Lincoln documents, pioneer papers, John Fitch land grant, a replica of his first steamboat, Stephen Foster memorabilia, a Trappist monks’ exhibit (think Thomas Merton), gifts of Louis Phillippe and Charles X of France, Civil War artifacts and guerrilla fighter Jesse James hat and wine bottle, St. Joe Preparatory School mementos and more.
The museum is located on the first floor of Spalding Hall (circa 1826) which first served as St. Joseph College and Seminary, then as a hospital for both North and South during the Civil War. The Sisters of Charity ran an orphanage for boys around the turn of the century in the building. Finally, the Xaverian Brothers established St. Joe Preparatory School (1911-1968).
Guided tours are available. Classrooms and teachers welcome!
We are handicapped accessible, with elevator access.