Posts Tagged ‘history’

Making our story shine to the world

August 10th, 2011 No comments

Sheriff Robert Goodwin (left) of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department makes a moonshine bust September 30, 1950 in Murfreesboro, TN

We know our history, and we know you are a part of it. Short Mountain Distillery is looking for family stories and moonshine recipes to share with the world in a book to be published in conjunction with our grand opening.

One thing we learned from talking with our neighbors over the past year is that nearly everyone we know has an amazing story about a relative or friend who made moonshine. The secrets families once kept for generations by Tennesseans are treasured stories of a hidden craft that defines the ingenious American spirit in the face of trying times.

Maybe your grandmother made a special cough medicine or your uncle had the perfect mixed drink recipe. Maybe your family had a special plan that kept the revenuers at bay. No matter how long or short, we’re looking for everything from stories of survival and close calls to cherished memories of times gone by.

Bringing history full circle

December 31st, 2010 No comments

Billy and JohnBe sure to pick up the January / February edition of Wilson Living Magazine, and check out this wonderful story written by Chris Tramel who recently paid us a visit on the farm.

Here’s an excerpt from the article online:

Kaufman says Short Mountain Distillery is a chance to bring history full circle. “This is part of the culture of the area. We can take what my great-grandfather did in getting started in this area, and now use it to keep people in this area.”

According to Kaufman it will be at least a year before even a drop of whiskey is produced, but with a building only in the planning stages, the first fields have been plowed for next year’s corn crop. “We’re going to make aged whiskey, and that will take a while. To start out we’ll probably employ less than a dozen people directly, but we hope to see it grow into something bigger.”

However, Kaufman says his company will also have a commitment to the community by growing organically and using local resources as part of their operation. That commitment will mean more jobs not directly related to the distillery.

“We’ll only be buying local corn. It’s all going to be coming out of this area. We don’t want to put a single thing in our whiskey that’s not local. I feel more strongly about buying local than growing organically.

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.