Springbank is one of only three distilleries established in the nineteenth century which is still in the ownership of its founding family. In all likelihood it was originally called Longrow Street Distillery and it said to have been founded in 1828 by one William Reid. He was related by marriage to the Mitchells, a well-known local family who had arrived to Kintyre from the Lowlands around 1600. Archibald Mitchell may well have been distilling illegally on the side begore Reid built his distillery.
He soon ran into financial difficulties and ownership passed to his son in – laws, John and William Mitchell, in 1837. In 1872, John and William parted ways, with William leaving to carry on the family tradition of distilling by founding the neighbouring Glengyle distillery. In 1897, the J & A Distillery Company was founded in order to administer the running of the distillery, and John Mitchell continued to operate the site alongside his son, Archibald.