Archive for July, 2010

Short Mountain Distillery reaches petition signature goal

Cannon County residents helped us reach our petition signature goal at Saturday’s Celebration on the Square in Woodbury, TN. Hundreds of county residents weathered the brutal heat to celebrate the completion of renovations to the county’s historic courthouse.

A couple of days after the August elections, we’ll turn in the signatures we’ve gathered to place the ballot question before Cannon County voters in November. The referendum results will decide whether or not voters will allow an American brand of distilled spirits to operate on Short Mountain and bring  jobs, tourism, and revenue to the local economy.

With your support in November, Short Mountain Distillery will honor and preserve a long history of distilled craft spirits from the hills of Cannon County that at one time was said to be the finest in the country. Over the next few months we hope to give you a taste of our rich agricultural heritage here in Cannon County and help honor a way of life we hope to share with tourists from across the nation and around the world.

If you didn’t get a chance to sign our petition, you can catch us election day August 5th gathering more signatures than we need to make certain the good people of Cannon County can vote for their future in November.

The Short Mountain shiners

July 21st, 2010 1 comment

Every now and then, as folks sign our November referendum petition, someone shares with us a wonderful family story of a time when it was said that illegal moonshine from Short Mountain was considered the finest in the country.

They were stories of neighbors, family and friends. They were also stories of outlaws like Cooper Melton as shared with us by Melanie Garrett Nistad, the great granddaughter of Cooper Melton.

Cooper vs. Capone
Story Told by Joe Underwood
Mechanicsville History Meeting December 1, 2002

“Here’s one for you… Jim Dearman and my dad were pretty close in age. They both told me that the best moonshine in the country was made at Short Mountain. They were very particular they really wanted to make good whiskey, and they did- like a cook would want to make a good cake, they came from everywhere. Al Capone was running big guns in Chicago and he sent two cars to Short Mountain, to get whiskey that Cooper Melton made.

They all will tell you, that the cooler the water is for the condensing coil in the process of making whiskey, the quicker it will condense.  Now, the coldest water anywhere around the mountain is running out the north side of the mountain and Cooper Melton’s big spring ran water out of the north side of the mountain. He had a fabulous still up there. He had super big boiler. Ruth Hale Barrett confirms that she has been to that spring (but confirms that she has not taken part of the whiskey!) It was one of the most modern stills for the time.

Capone came here to get a load of whiskey and he had a pretty bad name. The old timers’ told me this, they said the locals were really scared that he would come and load up, shoot them and go away and not pay. So, what they did was these locals got them a plan. They said they hid behind rocks and holes in the ground and up in trees and everywhere with their firearms. They said “they’ll drive up to the still and they will load up”.

They brought a carload of thugs with him with guns, which would scare anybody. “If you hear a shot fired, don’t let them come out of that holler from that still”. So, they were laying for them in case they tried to rob them, and they wouldn’t have gotten away. So they came, got their load of whiskey, paid for it, and them ol’ boys let them drive right on back to Chicago!”

Tell us your stories about Short Mountain moonshine. We’d love to share them with the world.

Early voting begins in Cannon County

gathering signaturesCannon County has one of its largest ballots in recent memory. The Election Commission expects a pretty high voter turn out and early voting started today.

Outside the polls, we gathered enough signatures to bring us to our half way mark goal.

Here’s a couple of places you’ll see us collecting signatures of registered voters to allow voters to decide in November whether or not they want a distillery in Cannon County. If you’d like one of us to come out and visit you, send us your phone number and address.

  • Early Voting – Monday July 19, Wednesday July 21 and Friday July 23 – 9am – 12pm.
  • Courthouse Square, Woodbury, TN – Tuesday July 19 – 9am – 12pm.
  • Celebration On The Square: Saturday July 24 at 10 am – sponsored by the Cannon County Chamber of Commerce: arts & crafts, entertainment, food and fun.
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Collecting signatures on the square in Cannon County

If you were in town today, you probably wondered who that was on the square with the little table, sign and an American flag. That was Billy Kaufman with John Whittemore and me. We were collecting signatures we need so the voters can decide in November whether they want a distillery in Cannon County.

In about 3 hours, we got about 20 signatures. It wasn’t what we needed, but there weren’t a lot of people out today. The square has been closed off under renovation for some time now, but it’s now open and looks pretty nice.

The Cannon Courier stopped by and took our picture and wrote up something on their website if you’d like to check that out.

If you’re in town Tuesday and Wednesday, stop by the table at the courthouse and say hi to Billy and sign our petition. If you check the thermometer to the right, we’re now 30% of the way there. We’ve got about 19 days to go, and every valid signature counts.

Cannon Courier poll shows majority support distillery

July 9th, 2010 1 comment

An unscientific poll of registered users of the Cannon Courier website shows a majority supports the idea of allowing a distillery in Cannon County. Below is a screen shot of the results to date. The poll was started on July 3 and shows 72% of 209 votes support it. Click the poll below to take you to the Courier.

If you would like to help us gather signatures needed to allow voters to decide whether they want the opportunity a distillery would bring to Cannon County, send us your name and phone number and Billy or John will get in touch with you.

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We’re 16 percent of the way there

If you check out the thermometer to the right, you can see we are now at roughly 16% of the total signatures we need to turn into the Cannon County Election Commission by the end of the month. The blue line indicates where we should be today, and that means we’re behind.

As of today, we should have little over 200 signatures to be on track, but we now have over 100 signatures.

If you’ve already signed our petition to let the voters decide in November if they want to allow a distillery in Cannon County, thank you! If you would like to help us reach our goal, shoot us your name and phone number and Billy or John will give you a shout.

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