Chase Prebeck, Hospitality manager at Templeton Distillery and Son of Templeton, IA

Welcome to Templeton Sign

Templeton is a small town of 327 people. A town that would have probably faded into the background of history as so many had before if not for the legacy they built for themselves. You would be forgiven If all you knew about Templeton was that it's the home town of Templeton Distillery as it is the main driving forces of the community today. The story of this town is drowned in booze and really starts off all the back in prohibition era - the roaring 20s. 

Mass migrati0n after world war 1 would lead a lot of Germans coming to inhabit this part of Iowa. You can feel the influence to this day with traditional Oktoberfests, construction, and with the old family recipes for booze. Lovingly named "The Good Stuff" Templeton Rye was born and even though today we would consider it more a rum it was thrown quickly in a barrel and referred to as whiskey. This was the time of the great depression and people needed to feed their families so may turned to moonshining and bootlegging. Of course this would lead to the people of Templeton making their fortunes.
For an easy guide, Moonshiners were the people actually producing the good stuff as Bootleggers were the smugglers who would transport the booze out of west-central Iowa all the way to Denver in the west and Chicago in the East. This is were my times to this area come in. The Castello brothers, Charlie and Sam Castello were massive mafia players in Chicago during the gangland heydays. Sam was said to be great friends with the infamous Al Capon and lead one of the largest Sicilian gangs in Chicago's history and You see, these brothers were relatives of mine. Meaning there is a good chance that my relatives were at one time smuggling Templeton Rye.  
- Corner Station Café -
The corner Station is at the time of writing the only restaurant in Templeton. It has been owned for the past thirty years  by the same couple who operate it. Built out of an old mechanics shop it now serves the local farmers and inhabitants of this tiny town. 
The same table before and During the "Rush".
- Irlbeck Welding Shop -
A great welding shop is vital for a small farming town like Templeton. Farming equipment always needs some elbow grease and hot sparks. 

Working on the harder edges

when sparks fly

Fellow photographer Andrew Cutraro marking off a bucket list item.



- Templeton Distillery -

The Front of Templeton's main building. - This image is used for Billboards on the interstates in Iowa and at JFK International airport in New York City by Templeton Distillery.

As mentioned at the start, Templeton Rye was originally talking about a moonshined Spirit made during the Prohibition era. Templeton Distillery was originally founded by the descendants of those moonshiners and now focuses on producing a high quality Whiskey. Of course The Original formula for Templeton Rye was closer to Rum than Whiskey. The trains would come down the line with a suspicious amount of sugar for a German community and "The Good Stuff" would flow out.

The sheer amount of crazy stories I've heard about how this stuff was bootlegged would make your head spin. From a legal loophole involving fenceposts, hiding Bottles in headstones with the Fathers blessing, to the town blacksmith constructing his own airplane. The Bigger story I got from learning all of these is that the entire community came together. Nicknames are so common in this area as it made it easy to hide when only those in town know who you're talking about. The ladies who worked the switchboard would connect calls from the feds to the local sheriff and then turn around and warn the moonshiners that the feds were coming to town. But of course Even the local sheriff would play cover when possible.

Devo on the catwalks

inspecting the Fermenter Tanks

Barrel on a rail... or a Bar"rail"

Hidden stash

Testing unloaded Ten year whiskey barrels

Time to Lean

This is Kevin Boersma (Center left) and his three step children who have all come to work at the Distillery. Kevin is one of the founding members of Templeton Distillery.  Leaving his stable job with the City of Manning, Kevin chased this idea of distilling booze to it's fullest. Coming in with no knowledge he often times had to train himself, but Kevin has taken on every challenge and is incredibly proud of what he's been able to achieve. 
as of 2022 Kevin passed his fifteen year mark with the company being the real heart of the distillery and seeing it through some of it's toughest times. Now His stepchildren have come to follow in his footsteps, building off the legacy he has made for them. 

Shown in photo
(Devo, Left - Kevin, Center Left - Chloe, Center Right - Natalie, Right)

Filling bottles on the line

Employee meeting

Unloading fresh barrels

The good stuff

Perfect light

Summer concert party

This Is Chase Prebeck, a young guy at twenty-eight (As of 2022) who chose to move back to the small town he grew up in. Bucking the trend of younger people leaving their home towns in their tail lights.
 The Prebeck name is highly respected in this area and goes back many, many years. Both his mother and father's side of the family conducted moonshining in the Templeton area. Chase Carries the legacy of his family with him as he works with Templeton Distillery.

Moving back when the Distillery opened it's main building Chase has nothing but pride for this tiny town, the stories it holds, and the people who he's known all of his life.

Nicknamed Fermenter tanks

Tour through the town museum

Holiday Barrel Tree lighting

- Aged Spirits band -

The officially sponsored band of Templeton Distillery - Aged Spirits.
Apart from a clever name they rock out and are always good to hear. Sticking with that faded sound of classic rock and a select few classic countries songs, Their covers are always filled with their own unique spin.

The band are all friends who enjoy spending time jamming out and telling tales, never really taking their act much past the surrounding counties. You'd just have to show up at the right place at the right time, somehow word will always get around town about where they'll be though. Such is a small town.
If you catch them at the right time like I have been able to you might even be able to try some alleged authentic modern day bootlegged whiskey. Allegedly.
- Templeton volunteer Fire Department -

Hauling tarps under a hazed out sun

Emptying the water tank

A group shot of the volunteer Fire Department

Templeton relies on these men who volunteer their time, willingly jump into fires and help their neighbors. For a town of roughly 327 people having a volunteer force of a little over twenty people is astonishing. and - in my opinion, shows what they are willing to do for the people they consider theirs.

Loading up

Fire hall

Geared up

Old Brick

- Fishing Trip -
A side track now, a fishing trip down to the Whiterock Conservancy with a few of Chase's clan 
Even in our little trip out of town I can still easily tie this place to Templeton. You see this barn here was a special one, During prohibition people would come out to the middle of the woods and have dance parties in the barn. Of course come later in the night the men would all go downstairs where a bar was set up and open for service. and As far as I am aware no one ever found them out and the parties flowed all the way till the day prohibition ended. You can be sure they were drinking Templeton Rye too.
- baseball game -
The last baseball game of the season. Played between the Templeton Hometown team and the Carroll team that Chase Plays for.
Not being from Iowa it can be hard to see but the Movie "Field of dreams" means a lot to the people of Iowa. The Templeton Home team really wanted to have their own moment and I'm glad we could give them this.
- The GraveYard -
Might seem like an odd thing to highlight I know but hear me out because this was one of the main spots used for bootlegging Templeton Rye back in the day.
 These headstones were built in quite a unique way. Or at least I've not seen many like them, even around the surrounding area. They have these metal plates that can be removed by little hand screws. Why they were originally made this way? Beyond me. However the moonshiners knew exactly what to do with them.

Somebody would come looking to buy some Templeton Rye and be given a name and a time. Later that day after the time they were given they would head to the graveyard and open up a headstone. Your fresh bottle of Templeton Rye would be waiting their for you.
- Century Farm -
I've thrown a good amount of information at you already to we'll end it here. A Century Farm, owned an operated by a family for over a hundred years.
Thank you all for your time! I hope I could show you a little of this rural area I've spent the last two years in.
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