Independent Stave Company (ISC) of Lebanon, Mo., has purchased 57.27 acres of land off Cranston Road (KY 377) near Morehead for its recently announced stave mill.

According to deeds recorded of late, ISC purchased one tract of 32.27 acres from Mary Egan for $217,500 and three tracts totaling 25 acres from Alma Dailey for $210,000.

The Morehead News has learned that at least one local firm has been hired to begin site development.

ISC is a major supplier to Kentucky’s bourbon whiskey industry and the largest barrel manufacturer in the world. The company says it will invest $7.2 million in Rowan County.

The new stave mill will be the company’s fifth for the purpose of supplying white oak staves to barrel-making plants (cooperages) on five continents.

A stave is a wooden slat that is fitted with others to create a barrel.

The operation will start with a log buying yard and add the specialty lumber mill over the next several months, according to last month’s announcement.

The facility actually will be operated by American Stave Company, an ISC subsidiary, which says it intends to purchase and process white oak timber from Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia.

In its application for state tax incentives, ISC told the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) that its Rowan County mill would have a workforce of 45 jobs after activation and reach a target of 70 about two years later.

KEDFA approved just over $1 million in tax breaks for the project. The company said its average hourly wage target, including benefits, would be $19.

In addition to providing staves to its own five cooperages, the oak will be exported to ISC’s subsidiary, Stave Associates International, which sells staves to other cooperages in Europe, South America, Africa and Australia.

The company’s website describes ISC as “a dynamic, global company reaching customers in 40 countries and cooperages around the world. Every day, millions of people enjoy beverages in our wine and whiskey barrels.”

Founded by T. W. Boswell in 1912, ISC initially focused on white oak staves and headers. J. E. Boswell expanded into the bourbon barrel business in 1951 and John Boswell later added the wine barrel division.

Now led by President Brad Boswell, the company has subsidiary cooperages in Napa, Calif.; Bordeaux, France; Santiago, Chile; Paarl, South Africa; and Adelaide, Australia.