Archive for the ‘architecture’ Category

An old barn gets new life on Short Mountain

September 2nd, 2011 1 comment

turning a page

We didn’t have to look far for spare barn wood for Stillhouse #1. Billy remembered there was a damaged barn just around the corner on Pea Ridge.

The owner, Robert Bogle, was home and said we could help ourselves to whatever we needed. He had been following our progress in the newspaper and was happy to hear we got our federal permit. He said the state should be easier.

Robert knew a thing or two about moonshine and the revenuers and took us inside his home where his wife Louise directed him to a small stack of scrap books she had kept throughout his time as Cannon County Sheriff. She reminded us they were lucky the books survived a fire that took their home a couple of years ago.

Scattered throughout the pages were stories from the local newspaper of moonshine and whiskey busts across the county in the late 70s and early 80s. It was clear by the headlines many locals had moved on to growing marijuana and did a lousy job hiding it from Sheriff Robert Bogle. The few old-timers, who weren’t the least bit tempted by the new cash crop, quietly stuck to a 100+ year old folk tradition of whiskey making on Short Mountain.

Sheriff Robert Bogle

STILL CAPTURED (1982) – Sheriff Robert Bogle displays a 50 gallon moonshine still that was captured by state Alcoholic Beverage Commission agents and deputies from his department late Friday, Sept 4 in the Pea Ridge section of the county on a farm known as the Keith place. Confiscated in the raid was the still, four barrels of mash and a 1967 Ford pickup truck.

Construction begins on stillhouse #1

stillhouse #1 stillhouse #1

We’ve got an awesome local crew working on this 1,900 square feet building that will soon become the distillery’s stillhouse #1.

This stillhouse will allow us to test formulas and processes, train people, host meetings and workshops and serve as transition space for the main facility. Stillhouse #1 should be complete in April. Right about when it’s as uncomfortable as it can get to cook a batch of moonshine should be about when we’re ready.

Sometime before the stillhouse is built it’s planting time on Short Mountain. It takes a farmer’s instinct to know just the right time to plant and good old American muscle to get it done. We’re 19 days away from Spring, and there’s about 7 acres of organic corn we’ve got to get planted if we’re going to cook it this year.  Wait until you see the mule team we’re fueling up to plant our corn.