Tag Archives: moonshining

The bootleg capital of Ohio

New Straitsville, OH was considered the Bootleg Capital of Ohio during the Depression. Its population of enterprising ex-coalminers concealed dozens of illegal moonshine stills in the area’s hollows and abandoned mineshafts, selling it to a nation desperate for a stiff drink. Today, New Straitsville’s bootlegging tradition is honored with an annual Memorial Day weekend Moonshine […]

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Seems like me and Calvin ain’t never done a thing ever but work hard

“Some boys git it in their heads that they can make a sight of money selling liquor. The law cracks down on them almost as soon as they git a start. We see it happen every day around here. You’ve got to keep the law paid off a good and plenty or else the penitentiary […]

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Sipping free whiskey and acting like they’re in hog heaven

Daddy got caught the first time in about 1916 or ’17. The law was paying informers to tell on people. They put his bail bond at fifty dollars. That was on a Friday, and we didn’t have any money, so the next morning Mama gets me to hitch up the mule and we loaded up […]

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Al Capone comes to Appalachia

Did Chicago mobster Al Capone ever set foot in Johnson City, TN? During the 1920s the town was nicknamed Little Chicago. A reference acknowledging crime ties to the north? Or nothing more than an expression of local pride in the railroads, three of which ran through town? Big Chicago was known as a railroad center […]

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Revenuers or spies

Kephart: “People up North, and in the lowlands of the South as well, have a notion that there is little or nothing going on in these mountains except feuds and moonshining. They think that a stranger traveling here alone is in danger of being potted by a bullet from almost any laurel thicket that he […]

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