How many moonshine stills were destroyed during Prohibition?
- It’s hard to estimate just how much moonshine was being produced in the first half of the 20th century, but the numbers were big. The ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) agents destroyed 3,909 moonshine stills and made 1,669 arrests during the 13 years of Prohibition in just a single Virginia county.
- 1 Did Mike from Moonshiners get busted?
- 2 What happened Lance Waldrop?
- 3 What happened to Patti on Moonshiners?
- 4 How much does Discovery Channel pay the cast of Moonshiners?
- 5 Who went to jail on moonshiners?
- 6 Is Digger from moonshiners married?
- 7 What is Tim Smith’s net worth?
- 8 What happened to moonshiners Josh 2021?
- 9 How old is mark on moonshiners?
- 10 Is Jeff still on moonshiners?
- 11 Who is the richest moonshiner?
- 12 Who owns Sugarland distilling?
- 13 Moonshine Factory In Plain Sight
- 14 The Saloon and Anarchy: Prohibition in Tennessee, Moonshine
- 15 That ‘hooch’ can make you blind, SC cops say after breaking up a moonshine operation
- 16 White Lightning: 26 Vintage Photos From The Heyday Of Moonshiners In The South
- 17 Alabama moonshine raids through the decades: 81 years of lawmen battling bootleggers
- 18 Authorities seize 1,200+ gallons of moonshine
- 19 Local History: Franklin County – The Moonshine Capital
- 20 Investigation Leads to Moonshine Bust in Lowndes County
Did Mike from Moonshiners get busted?
There are no reports of Mike and Jerry from ‘Moonshiners’ getting busted. Some moonshiners have gotten busted in the past — most famously, Popcorn Sutton, who took his own life a few years before Moonshiners was produced, though his legacy lives on.
What happened Lance Waldrop?
Lance Waldroup passed away on 25th February 2021 in Robbinsville, North Carolina, aged 30. Discovery announced Lance’s death via Moonshiners’ social media accounts on 2nd March 2021. Lance left Moonshiners to take care of his mother after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
What happened to Patti on Moonshiners?
Now, Patti, alongside her dad, is still running her distillery. Although the profits are unknown, the company seems to have survived the pandemic so far and has avoided having to shut down.
How much does Discovery Channel pay the cast of Moonshiners?
“[The show] just brought it to national attention, so it’s growing every day.” Their income plus the $30,000 they are reportedly paid per episode is guaranteed to ensure that they won’t be going out of business anytime soon.
Who went to jail on moonshiners?
Back in 2015, Tickle was arrested and charged for possessing a sawed-off shotgun. To make matters worse, Tickle was driving with a suspended license. In 2016, he was found guilty and given to a three-year suspended penitentiary sentence.
Is Digger from moonshiners married?
While Mark and Digger have no problem putting their illegal business in front of cameras, the same can’t be said for their personal life. It is well-known that Mark is married – his wife has been spotted by fans at moonshine-related events — but very little is known about his real-life partner.
What is Tim Smith’s net worth?
Tim Smith net worth: Tim Smith is an American moonshiner and reality television personality who has a net worth of $300 thousand. Tim Smith is based in Southwestern Virginia, and grew up in a family of moonshiners and bootleggers.
What happened to moonshiners Josh 2021?
His diagnosis was a grim one: Josh tore his rotator cuff, broke his left collarbone shoulder blade and nearly all of his ribs — only one was spared. Additionally, he punctured a lung and the skin on one of his fingers was stripped down to the bone.
How old is mark on moonshiners?
How old is Mark Rogers from Moonshiners? Per Celebrity Family, Mark Rogers is 45 years of age and has over 35 years of experience when it comes to making moonshine. Rogers has been making moonshine for most of his life, and once said: “Once you’ve had some good liquor, you’ll know it.”
Is Jeff still on moonshiners?
Jeff and his son Lance disappeared from the show after a 2019 episode called “Secret Backwoods Recipes.”
Who is the richest moonshiner?
Moonshiners Tim Smith net worth: Tim Smith is an American moonshiner and reality television personality who has a net worth of $150 thousand dollars.
Who owns Sugarland distilling?
Sugarlands Distilling Co. – President, Owner and Founder Ned Vickers, Owner Kent Woods, Master Distiller Greg Eidam – Distillery Trail.
Moonshine Factory In Plain Sight
“This is the best moonshine you’ve ever had.” That’s how Charles describes himself. Mike In Townsend, Tennessee, the name “Chuck” Williams is used to refer to the illegal but popular product that his father, the late Charlie Williams, produced in an underground moonshine still on Carr’s Creek in his hometown. Chuck Williams, a resident of Venice, Fla., gave the 450-gallon still to the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center as a gift to the community. The museum, which will be located in Townsend, near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, will open its doors for the first time on February 12th and will focus on local culture – including that of the Indian tribes who lived in East Tennessee long before European settlers arrived.
“They’re going to have to completely redo the installation.
The operation carried out by Charlie Williams provides a glimpse into the past.
Even though corn wasn’t always available for sale because everyone grew it, whiskey was always available for purchase “Chuck Williams expressed himself.
- The ATF’s revenue officers were constantly on the lookout for illegal stills in order to demolish them.
- The ATF agents were primarily concerned with how moonshiners were disposing of the mash when they apprehended them.
- My father kept it in a large tank that was located beneath the stillhouse.
- The operation of Charlie Williams did not attract an excessive amount of attention.
- He worked in the wholesale distribution industry.
- He was selling it by the case full.
- In the beginning, he said, “glass canning jars were used,” but “the ATF people cracked down on individuals who purchased large quantities of fruit jars,” he recalled later.
The majority of the time, they were recycled jugs.
In the underground room, which measured 20 by 40 feet and was built beneath a utility shed near Charlie Williams’ home, the still had to be removed.
The elevator was used to transport the whiskey and supplies to the warehouse.
It also had running water.
There was a spring-fed reservoir that fed the house and the stillhouse.
He detailed how the still operated.
“You had to use very clean corn.
The corn was ground into meal and then put into boiling water in the pot to cook.
Then it was allowed to ferment.
“At this point it is called mash.
From the copper pot the product goes to barrels (called a thump keg because it makes a large thumping, rumbling noise) containing water.
It then goes from the thump keg to a copper condenser in a tank of about 5,000 gallons of water.
At the beginning it is vapor and when it hits the cold metal, it condenses.
At the last stage, Williams could adjust the proof he wanted and then decant the moonshine into jugs or jars.
When it comes out the bottom of the condenser, you have the best moonshine you ever tasted,” Chuck Williams recalled.
Chuck Williams said the amount of alcohol that could be produced from a 450-gallon pot varied, but “my father was very good at what he did.
Charlie Williams, who died in his mid-80s, is buried on the property on which he operated the still.
He didn’t graduate but volunteered for the U.S.
Army during the Vietnam War, where he served for almost a year. He then traveled a lot, lived on a sailboat for 15 years and sailed around the South Pacific. He resided for five years in Mexico and another five in Australia. Currently, Chuck Williams works casting bronze sculptures. By Iva Butler
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The Saloon and Anarchy: Prohibition in Tennessee, Moonshine
Dixie Highway (Introduction) Daniel Duesst (pronounced “due east”), armed with a rifle, a dog, and a jug of moonshine, sets off on his journey. Approximately 1900, Sequatchie County, Tennessee Reviewing the Tennessee Collection in the Past “Moonshine” is a general phrase used to refer to high-proof distilled spirits that are often produced in an unlawful manner (often in an attempt to avoid taxation). Making moonshine was a favorite pastime in Tennessee even before prohibition was instituted.
- They changed their focus away from the quality of their booze and toward the quantity of it, resulting in a significant increase in profits.
- The first run of any batch of moonshine was frequently toxic, as was the second run.
- New York City officials collected approximately 480,000 liters of booze in 1927, and they discovered that the majority of it was laced with poison.
- The moonshine-tasting duo of Charlie Reecer and Dewey Smith in Clay County, Tennessee, sometime between 1920 and 1925 Reviewing the Tennessee Collection in the Past In Tennessee, the tradition of moonshining has been continued on.
- There are state and local regulations prohibiting the manufacture of alcoholic beverages, as well as a variety of levies levied on the production of alcoholic beverages.
- The Ole Smoky Distillery in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, was the state’s first permitted moonshine distillery when it opened its doors in 2010.
- Some well-known brands from North Carolina include Catdaddy Caroline Moonshine and Tory and Sons 80 Proof, both of which are available in stores.
Reviewing the Tennessee Collection in the Past Moonshine has also had a cultural effect through famous films and television shows such as the 1973 film “White Lightning,” starring Burt Reynolds, and the television series “Dukes of Hazzard.” When discussing the cultural effect of moonshine, it is impossible to avoid addressing Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton, one of the most well-known moonshiners in the southern United States.
- In addition to self-publishing an autobiographical guide to making moonshine and self-producing a home film recording his moonshining, Popcorn acquired popularity as a result of his moonshining exploits.
- After an ATF raid in 2009, he was convicted of illicit distilling spirits and possession of a pistol while a convicted criminal, and sentenced to eighteen months in federal prison.
- He was put to rest at the town of Parrottsville in the state of Tennessee.
- For many years, the Dixie Highway (which ran from Michigan to Florida) served as a key distribution route for moonshine.
- Stock car racing and NASCAR were born as a result of these modified automobiles.
Reviewing the Tennessee Collection in the Past Sheriff Mike Boatright and others with confiscated stills, circa 1940s, Elizabethton, Tennessee Reviewing the Tennessee Collection in the Past Jonesborough, Tennessee, 1920: A sheriff and deputies surround broken stills alongside the Presbyterian Church.
1918, “In the muck near Daus,” Daus, Tennessee, Dixie Highway Photograph Album, Archives Photograph Collection
That ‘hooch’ can make you blind, SC cops say after breaking up a moonshine operation
An illicit liquor still used in the production of moonshine has been uncovered by law officials in South [email protected] The Florence County Sheriff’s Office stated that it had shut down a moonshine operation on Wednesday, in what seems to be a felony from the 1920s. According to a news release, deputies from the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office arrested William Allen Kimmy after locating “an illegal liquor still” in the town. Kimmy has been the subject of several complaints.
- According to the Sheriff’s Office, it was used to produce an illicit whiskey known as “hooch, homebrew, or moonshine,” according to a news release.
- In according with Dawson News, moonshine is “usually prepared with maize mashas as its primary component.” According to the press release, deputies also discovered “specially built copper cooling equipment” as well as other materials that were utilized in the distillation of the liquor.
- “It is unlawful for a person to manufacture, sell, give, or have in his possession a distillery or any integral part thereof,” the release stated.
- According to CNN, one of its co-owners, Trey Boggs, claimed that the only difference between his lawful operation and distilleries like the one uncovered in Florence County is that he and his brother “pay taxes.” Another distinction is the level of regulation.
- If found guilty of running an illegal still for the first time, first-time offenders may be sentenced to at least six months in prison and a minimum $600 fine, according to the press release.
- A real-time reporter for The State, Noah Feit covers breaking news, public safety, and current news stories.
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White Lightning: 26 Vintage Photos From The Heyday Of Moonshiners In The South
1 of a total of 27 In Clay County, Tennessee, two guys enjoy a batch of moonshine they made themselves. Tennessee State Library, ca. 1920 A group of bystanders attempts to catch moonshine being spilled out of a second-story window by federal authorities during a raid on an illegal still on July 2. It was around 1925. Getty Images/American Stock Images An employee sips from his product before handing it out to clients. 3 of 27 Joe Clark/University of North Texas Library, about 1940. 4 out of 27 In Newport, Kentucky, a tank from the National Guard destroys equipment from moonshine stills using explosives.
- courtesy of Bettmann/Getty Images 5 of 27Atlanta agents bust a massive moonshine operation, seizing 75 1/2 gallons of unlawful whiskey in total.
- They were alerted when a neighbor saw that a tree stump in their property had been relocated.
- It was about the 1940s.
- It was about the 1950s.
- The date was November 16, 1922.
- 9 of 27Authorities stand in front of a massive copper kettle still used in the production of moonshine, with boxes of bottles and funnels laid out in front of them, which were utilized in the production process of the liquor.
- courtesy of Getty Images/Buyenlarge In this photo taken during a moonshine raid, law enforcement officers stand beside an illicit alcohol still that has been seized.
Photograph courtesy of the Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images While Prohibition was in effect in the 1920s, authorities sent a warning to illicit liquor producers by posting barrels of illegal booze and the words “moonshine raid” on a wall.
The date is not mentioned.
14 out of 27 In this photo, Colleton County Sheriff’s Deputy H.C.
The date was October 17, 1954.
Photograph by Bettmann/Getty Images A hidden storage compartment in bootlegger Charley Birger’s automobile was discovered to contain illegal alcoholic beverages.
Commons image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons 16 of 27During a moonshine cook in Virginia, a moonshiner adds another wood to the fire in his still to keep it burning.
Virginia Tech Library, courtesy of Earl Palmer The automobile, which was transporting illegally manufactured alcohol for sales, is flanked by two police officers on the 17th of 27th.
Commons image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Joe Clark, a photographer, poses by a moonshine still that was constructed within a cave.
Joe Clark courtesy of the University of North Texas (UNT) Library Authorities in Johnston County, North Carolina, smile as they stand in front of a massive moonshine bust.
The twenty-seventh photograph shows a state trooper standing next to a car with a trunk full of illicit moonshine.
Tennessee State Library (Tennessee State Library) Agents in Birmingham, Alabama, stand by their raid on an illicit moonshine distillery.
The moonshine would be packaged in recovered empty bottles of well-known brands, on which taxes had already been paid, to provide the appearance of legitimacy.
It was around 1950.
It was made in the middle of the twentieth century.
Grundy County is located in the state of Tennessee.
The Tennessee State Library is located in Nashville.
It was around 1950.
26 of 27 A bottle of moonshine was discovered within a tree trunk and is now on display.
Joe Clark courtesy of the University of North Texas (UNT) Library White Lightning: 26 Vintage Photographs From the Golden Age of Moonshining in the Southern United States For many people, the phrase “moonshine still” brings up pictures of mountain men in overalls, crowded around rudimentary metal tanks beneath a full moon, sipping booze from jugs with the letters “XXX” written on the side of them.
Because a significant amount of the moonshine produced in the United States throughout the first part of this century was truly manufactured deep in the Appalachian Mountains, this depiction isn’t wholly without validity.
This manufacturing of illegal booze, often a cheap whiskey produced from maize mash, was popular even before the days of Prohibition (which only served to increase commerce even more), and it was brought to the American South by Scotch-Irish immigrants in the late 18th century, according to historians.
- With few and few between good roads in the South, a farmer might make significantly more money from his corn crop by distilling it into whiskey rather than loading up bushels of corn and lugging it off to the nearest town.
- There were no regulations in place when this illicit booze was manufactured, and it was not unusual for batches of moonshine to be contaminated with poisonous liquid poison generated in stills constructed from reused automobile components.
- A faulty batch of moonshine can cause severe illness that can end in blindness, paralysis, or even death if consumed in large quantities.
- Of course, a large number of jugs of moonshine were put up for sale, regardless of whether they were safe to drink or unsafe.
- Even though it’s difficult to quantify how much moonshine was created throughout the first half of the twentieth century, the figures were significant.
In the decades following the repeal of Prohibition, the demand for moonshine decreased, and while there are still illegal moonshine operations operating, people can now legally purchase a bottle of “white lightning” without having to worry about ingesting potentially poisonous substances like alcohol.
In the photographs above, you can see some of the most spectacular photos taken during the illicit days of moonshine stills. Look back at the conclusion of the Prohibition era once you’ve finished looking at these photographs of moonshine stills.
Alabama moonshine raids through the decades: 81 years of lawmen battling bootleggers
Bootlegging has been a part of Alabama’s history for generations, and in recent years, photographers were frequently on the scene when law enforcement officers broke stills where moonshine was produced. Alabama became the first state to enact statewide prohibition in 1915, five years before the rest of the country did, and remained dry for another four years after the federal prohibition era ended in 1933. In the years after Prohibition, a “unholy partnership between the lawbreakers and the preachers” kept many of Alabama’s 67 counties dry, according to Hardy Jackson, Eminent Scholar in History and Professor of History at Jacksonville State University.
- They sought to keep alcohol out of the mainstream, even if they couldn’t halt the flow of illegal booze from coming into the country.
- An examination of still raids in counties across Alabama over the course of several decades is presented here.
- The descriptions that accompany the file photographs do not always give a date or a place for the photograph.
- Patrolman When Joe Cottrell dumps a bottle of liquor, the patrol officer discovers a cargo of whiskey.
- That’s exactly what occurred yesterday night when a Highway Patrol officer got suspicious of a vehicle that was driving slowly along the road.
- Whiskey, Raids, and more Whiskey Tom Crowder is an American football player who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers.
- The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board confiscated a 4000-gallon tub-shaped aluminum still in a raid conducted yesterday about four miles northeast of Moundville, according to a statement from the agency.
Three thousand and one pounds of sugar, three hundred and thirty pounds of shorts, and twenty gallons of motor oil were discovered aboard the vehicle.
Patrick, Charley Griffith, and R.E.
Original caption for a photograph taken by Tom Lankford in 1960: ‘Mash continues to flow at “Snuffy Smith.”‘ The original caption read: “An police uses a pick to smash whiskey-making tanks.” Whiskey Still 577 South 64th Street Birmingham, Alabama, has a 3600 gallon still.
The original caption read: “A whiskey raid in 1937.” The exact location is unknown.
(Photo courtesy of the ABC Board) Fairfield, Alabama, police chief Fred DeMorritte and city councilman Wilson Moore conducted raids on liquor stores that resulted in the confiscation of alcoholic beverages.
Original caption: Birmingham Police Department – Birmingham, Alabama Major, a Birmingham police canine, discovered this batch of moonshine whiskey stashed in a residence at 2909 Sixth Avenue South on Saturday night, according to authorities.
Police Officer C.R.
Thrasher, and E.J.
Thrasher and Hurst are not depicted in the image.
This is according to the Birmingham News.
1957 was the year of the original caption.
The original caption read: “A smaller yet nonetheless demolished in the woods.” Officers R.R.
Garrett pour moonshine into a glass.
Jerry Ayres is a musician from the United Kingdom.
“Preacher” Boyd was taken into custody, along with agents Kenneth Wooten and Jim Gulledge, and 14 gallons of moonshine was recovered from his car trunk, according to Daniel Hill of ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Boyd, of Brookwood, was charged with smuggling liquor that had not been taxed, according to Hill.
- Five black males were apprehended and compelled to assist in the destruction of the still, which was capable of generating $250,000 worth of illicit whiskey and 4,500 gallons of mash every year.
- Left to right in the foreground are Alabama Beverage Control agents C.
- Richardson and J.C.
- In the background, from left to right, are Alabama Beverage Control agents C.
- Richardson and J.C.
- Four of the five Negroes that were arrested are seen in the background.
- The location of the ambush on ABC agents was a moonshine distillery.
(Author’s note: The name of the assassinated agent has been withheld from publication.) However, according to The Tuscaloosa News, ABC inspector William Norvin Palmer was slain in Bibb County in 1964, and another liquor agent, Forrest Ed Murphy Jr., was injured.) 1964 was the year of the original caption.
- Clair County, there was a whiskey still raid.
- According to the original description, hundreds of empty gallon jugs were ready to be filled with lethal moonshine.
- Whiskey – Raids was the original caption.
- 240 litres of gasoline were discovered in the grass beside a rural road.
- According to Third District Constable Earl Richardson, the liquor was discovered in five distinct caches that were between 30 and 50 yards apart.
- In the “Nashville Ferry” region, some eight miles south-east of Columbus, he claimed to have discovered the liquor buried in dense grass.
- White lightning flowed down a gutter in front of the Russell County Courthouse Wednesday, according to National Guardsmen stationed there.
Geo Panker is a Sergeant in the United States Army.
(This photograph was shot at a period when Phenix City was referred to be the ‘wickedest city in America.’) Officers discovered this small, but effective, moonshine whisky still generating homemade joy juice in an Irondale apartment on Tuesday.
Vapor was channeled through a tin pipe to coils in a rusted barrel to the right, and whisky was dispensed from a spout at the barrel’s bottom (arrow).
Deputy Sheriff Harry Freeman, Irondale Police Chief R.O.
Byars were among those who participated in the seizure, seen from left.
Mihelic waited for them by the concealed whiskey until they returned to get their prize.
Phenix City is a city in the state of Alabama.
Gene Young, DeKalb County chief deputy; W.S.
Haywood, Alabama Beverage Control agent; E.L.
Coulter, Huntsville Alabama Beverage Control officer; and Lawrence Sebring, Jackson sheriff are shown with the whiskey and equipment.
1964 was the year of the original caption.
Clair County, there was a whiskey still raid.
Moonshine agents from Jefferson County stack whisky-making gear atop a 1,200-gallon still that was located near the Forestdale Bend Road late Sunday night.
Neither was the operator in this case.
Charles Stamps, are shown from left to right.
“Our is unique for Alabama since large quantities of sugar are difficult to come by in this state,” Doss explained.
Original caption: Frank Farris (left), a federal tax unit agent, and Harlan Bence, Tallapoosa County’s chief deputy sheriff, stand next to an 1800-gallon moonshine whiskey still that was busted last week a few miles outside of Cowpens, Alabama.
Whiskey Stills was the original caption.
Clair county, large quantities of moonshine whiskey are still being seized.
1957 was the year of the original caption.
Hudson is a fictional character created by author A.D.
Wilson is a fictional character created by J.C.
In the original caption, two vats carrying 4500 gallons of moonshine liquor were discovered near Odenville by ABC agents C.W.
Owen, who were on the scene during a raid there.
Whiskey – Raids was the original caption.
Agents from the Arizona Bureau of Investigation examine 4000 gallons of moonshine seized in a raid on Friday.
A raid on a moonshine still at lock 17 on the Warrior River resulted in the explosion of four thousand gallons of whiskey mash, which was blasted to great heights.
This is according to the Birmingham News.
Clair County, Illinois, according to the original caption.
(Source: Spider Martin of the Birmingham News) Agents from the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board’s Moonshine Task Force confiscated this still, according to the original caption. (Photo courtesy of the ABC Board) In 2013, or 2014, this photo was most likely shot.
Authorities seize 1,200+ gallons of moonshine
Bernard Phinizee’s full name is Bernard Phinizee. The discovery and destruction of an illegal moonshine operation in southern Lowndes County was made by law enforcement officials on Monday. Officials with the Alabama Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control had been investigating the case in the Plum Grove community and had requested assistance from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office in carrying out the warrant at a Plum Nellie Road residence, according to Lowndes County Sheriff Mike Arledge.
- Officers on the scene, including ABC agents, who investigate cases more frequently than county deputies, agreed that it was one of the largest such operations they’d ever seen, according to Arledge.
- He also claimed that they discovered approximately 1,200 gallons of unfinished moonshine.
- Arledge said that, while illegal moonshine production is not as common as it was during Prohibition, it is still not unheard of.
- In his opinion, “there are a couple of families around here — I believe in any county — that did some moonshining.” I don’t believe there is much of it left anymore,” she says.
- ABC did not respond to a phone call from The Dispatch by the time of publication.
- By the time of publication, the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center had not provided a photograph of the suspect.
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Local History: Franklin County – The Moonshine Capital
The era of illicit moonshine production is long gone. Are they, or aren’t they? If you travel to Franklin County, you will be visiting “the moonshine capital of the world” as well as “the wettest county on the planet.” Virginia now allows for the production of distilled spirits, although this requires the acquisition of a license and the payment of taxes. Follow along and learn a little something about bootlegging’shine as we go across the highlands and valleys of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
- Distilleries in Franklin County, including Twin Creeks Distillery, the Blue Ridge Institute Museum, and the Franklin County Historical Society
Legal Now and Legal Then
Like a broken relationship, the legalization of alcoholic beverages has been on and off for a long time. Actually, distillation is more about tax avoidance than it is about being against the law. According to the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum, “The United States collected an excise tax on alcoholic beverages from 1791 to 1802, and then again from 1813 to 1817.” The tax on alcoholic beverages was collected from 1791 to 1802 and again from 1813 to 1817. During the following 45 years, alcohol was exempt from taxation, but in the midst of the Civil War, Congress approved yet another whisky tax.” In that period (1861-1865), the liquor tax reached $2 per gallon, which was “up to 12 times the real cost of producing a gallon of whiskey,” according to historians.
There was a time when the taxes were lessened and more people were ready to practice their profession officially, as “by the 1880s, hundreds of Blue Ridge distillers were operating with state licenses… There were 77 licensed distilleries in Franklin County alone in 1893-94.”
But Then, Prohibition
Virginia became the first state to prohibit alcohol three years before the 18th Amendment made nationwide prohibition a reality. That occurred on November 1, 1916. The attempt to curb crime while also protecting the family flopped miserably. Instead, unlawful drinking and the production of illegal alcoholic beverages soared. It has been believed that binge drinking originated during the prohibition era, and chemicals like as creosote and embalming fluid were known to have been put into some batches to enhance the color and strength of the alcohol during that time period.
When you combine that with an increase in crime, it became clear that repeal was coming.
A new department was established in Virginia in March 1934, known as the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
The Great Moonshine Conspiracy of 1935
During Prohibition, it is said that more sugar was supplied to Boones Mill, Virginia, than was delivered to New York City. So, what’s the deal? As a result, sugar is an essential element in the production of hooch. Firewater. White Lightning is a kind of lightning that appears white. Moonshine. Red flags drew revenuers to southwest Virginia, and sugar was eventually purchased by genuine enterprises such as bakeries to serve as a cover for the true activities in the area. Indeed, a significant section of the Franklin County population was engaged with moonshine, even if they were not active in the distillation or distribution of the liquor.
- By the 1930s, Franklin County had become so entwined with the moonshine industry that the county was thrust into the national limelight.
- It was a protracted trial, both in terms of time and number of defendants.
- Twenty of the accused were found guilty out of a total of 23.
- In its defense, the government claimed that officials had received “protection money” from still operators, and that Commonwealth’s Attorney Charles Carter Lee was the one who sparked the investigation.
- Hopkins, Lee was unfairly targeted since he was only obeying orders that came straight from Virginia Governor John Garland Pollard at the time of the incident.
- The scope of bootlegging in Franklin County was revealed by the testimony of 176 witnesses during the 1935 trial, which was held at the county courthouse.
- It was estimated that authorities in Floyd County alone destroyed 3,909 stills, made 1,669 arrests, and seized more than 716 automobiles containing a total of 130.717 gallons of alcohol during Prohibition, according to the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum.
- Since then, there have been several large, prominent busts, the most recent of which happened in 2001.
“Operation Lightning Strike” was responsible for the destruction of two Franklin County stills. During a seven-year period in the 1990s, one of them had generated more than 213,780 gallons of product. The owner-operator of the business was sentenced to five years and ten months in prison.
The Bondurant Boys
The Bondurant Boys, who were depicted in the film “Lawless,” in which Shia LaBeouf portrays Jack Bondurant, were “rumrunners” in Franklin County during the 1930s. The television series “Lawless” is based on the bookThe Wettest County in the Worldby Matt Bondurant, who is the grandson of Jack Bondurant. When asked about his grandpa, the younger Bondurant characterizes him as “an intimidating guy” in a 2012Newsweek piece, adding that he once took stock of a pair of brass knuckles that hung on the wall of his grandfather’s storage room, which he later discovered.
Two of the three were shot, although none of them was seriously injured.
In response to Jack’s interrogation, “he just raised his shirt to reveal the gunshot hole.”
Today’s Franklin County Moonshine
Franklin County Distilleries became the first legally recognized distillery in Franklin County since Prohibition when it opened its doors in 2015. Their tasting location in Boones Mill is the best spot to try their white label corn whiskey, which is made from maize. A referendum that authorized liquor sales by the drink was passed in 2017, but only after gaining the backing of the local community during that year’s election campaign. FCD distills today’s booze using family recipes that have been passed down through generations.
- Twin Creeks Distillery, which started in 2015, was part of a veritable competition to be the first.
- If you’re going to a music at the nearbyHarvester Performance Center, their tasting room in downtown Rocky Mount is a nice place to stop for a beverage before the show.
- More information may be found at: Twin Creeks Distillery produces handcrafted spirits.
- ‘Capital of the World,’ according to Blue Ridge Outdoors Vimeo.
Explore the area around Rocky Mount, and consider taking a trip along The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail to have a better understanding of the culture of the region. For further information, please see our Franklin County section.
Author:Casey L. Higgins
Travel and small business are two of Casey L. Higgins’ areas of expertise as a writer, editor, content consultant, and social media strategist, all of which she combines in her work. She’s also a mother and wife who enjoys the mountains and valleys of Virginia, where she lives with her family. She previously contributed to Virginia is for Lovers and is delighted to share her excitement for family activities, the outdoors, and the culinary pleasures that can be found in Virginia’s Blue Ridge region.
Investigation Leads to Moonshine Bust in Lowndes County
LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) — LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. One of the largest moonshining operations ever examined was busted by law enforcement officials. It was enormous, both in terms of size and scent, and there were many batches in operation when we arrived. Gas and water lines had been torn up in rural Lowndes County, and after tracking the lines to where they went, agents from the Alcohol and Beverage Control and the Columbus-Lowndes Narcotics Task Force discovered what they’d been looking for for over a week: a moonshine still.
Because the still is hidden out in the middle of nowhere, it took some time for agent Counts to track it down, he claims.
His relief that it has been closed down comes from the size of this enterprise.
“Because we’re in a pretty remote area, they probably felt confident that they wouldn’t be apprehended,” said Sheriff Mike Arledge of the incident.
Someone searching for a fast fix may find himself in the hospital as a result of the way it is being manufactured.
Then Arledge continued, “…and we might be dealing with deaths on our hands.” “The most dangerous part about it is the possibility of getting your hands on some terrible moonshine,” says the author.
Lonnie Bernard Phinizee, the distiller, has been identified as the perpetrator.
Charges are pending against the defendant.