The steam engine

The Steam engine of the former distillery of St Geneviève des Bois ( 45 )

History of the distillery
In 1339, mister André Hemard decides to build a distillery in Ste Geneviève des Bois. His purpose, to produce some "good taste" alcohol entering the manufacturing of the aniseed drinks. In 1941, mister Hemard dies, the factory is still only on plans. To continue the work of his father, Jean Hemard realizes the construction of the 250 HP, the only steam engine reliable and economic at that time, capable of running all the factory.

In 1953, the limited company of the distilleries of Gâtinais, which exists since at least 1946, is transformed into agricutural cooperative of the distilleries of Gâtinais. The planters of beets are the only members, they avoid by their contribution the closure of the factory and allow him to work until 1988. In 1980, there is an overproduction of alcohol in France. The state don't guarante the prices anymore ; the profitability isn't insured anymore . The last beets campaign takes place in 1988, in the continuation comes the closure of the factory on May 31st 1989.

Mister Joseph Chambon, chairman of the Board of the cooperative of the distilleries of Gâtinais donated the steam engine to the municipality of Ste Geneviève. So, in 1990 the factory is demolished and the steam engine saved ! It'ss inaugurated on June 21st in the hall of the nautical stopping place.
Visit on request, information : Tourist Office of Châtillon-Coligny.