The Louisville/Portland area was home to many whiskey distilleries in the years before Prohibition. The access to river transport, fertile land, and being located at a growing national trading hub made such businesses profitable. With the advent of Prohibition, many of these distilleries were unable to survive and closed their doors for good.
One such distillery was the Rugby Distillery which was located at Missouri Ave and 36th Street in Portland. The exact date of it's establishment is unknown, but we do know it was in operation in 1864 when it was bought and changed to the H.A. Theirman Co., even though was still ran under the Rugby Distillery name.
Public records show that the distillery had four warehouses that were kept at around 80 degrees. The property also included a cattle barn. The distillery distributed products under several names such as SD Holland, Joel B Frazier, and Flower of Kentucky.
Following a flood in 1913 the distillery suffered extensive damage to its warehouses. This combined with the passing of Prohibition caused the distillery to shut down in 1920. While some companies such as Jim Beam were able to survive the period and resume operation after Prohibition ended in 1933, Rugby became of many distilleries lost to the collective memory.