Farmers of the Catoctin Mountain area were faced with a number of problems in marketing the crops they produced. The most profitable market for their goods were in the more populated areas of cities and towns. In the days before good highways and before rails had been laid, the rugged mountains presented a barrier for horse-drawn transportation. Products such as grain, meat and lumber were too heavy to be transported to the more profitable markets in the larger cities. Corn and rye were also very bulky to transport but when converted to whiskey, they became more profitable.
While the average horse was capable of hauling only 4 bushels of corn at a time, the same horse could haul the equivalent of 24 bushels if the grain was manufactured into whiskey. The liquid whiskey occupied less space and was easier to carry to market. The price of whiskey depended on a number of other factors, as well. The better the grade of corn, the better the whiskey. The more plentiful the spring water happened to be, the better the whiskey produced with it. Finally the more skilled the distiller, the finer the blend of whiskey he could manufacture.