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Popcorn Sutton’s Home

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Popcorn Sutton is the most famous of modern moonshiners. Because of the nature of the business, moonshiners are not typically renowned. Popcorn, on the other hand, was a larger than life character who was a master of self promotion. He was the author of Me and My Likker, an autobiography and textbook on how to make moonshine. He was also the feature of many documentaries like . Unlike every other moonshiner in the world, he chose to live in his little self created spotlight. Ultimately it led to his arrest and conviction in 2009. Facing cancer and an 18 month prison sentence, Popcorn chose to take his own life instead of dying in jail.

Last fall my travels brought me through the mountains of North Carolina. I was on a month long sabbatical, exploring the Smokies and the Blue Ridge. The leaves were changing and the air had a slight crispness – it’s an awesome time of year to visit the area. I happened to be traveling through Maggie Valley and as I glanced at the map, a street name jumped out at me – Hemphill Road. I remembered that Popcorn Sutton had mentioned that road in the documentary .

I decided to take a trip down Hemphill Road, just to check it out. I wasn’t really expecting to find Popcorn Sutton’s home. I just wanted to see the area that he lived in and get a sense of the land and culture that produced this infamous moonshiner.

The area around Hemphill Road is actually quite beautiful and surprisingly affluent. Though rural, it’s far from being a backwoods Deliverance type setting. It’s not the type of place you’d expect to find a moonshine icon.

As I was driving along I saw a sign on the side of the road: Homeplace Marvin Popcorn Sutton. I stopped to take a picture and as I walked back to my truck, an old feller was standing in the road. He looked a lot like Popcorn with a bushy gray beard and clad in Liberty overalls. Turns out it was Popcorn’s brother in law. He lived next door to where Popcorn used to live and he came out to see who I was. We chatted a little about Popcorn, but mainly just made small talk for a while. It seems there are quite a few people that stop and take a picture of Popcorn’s roadside memorial.

Popcorn Sutton’s Documentary – The Last One

If you are reading this blog, and you haven’t seen , you are seriously missing out on a great video. The Last One is the best documentary on moonshine – ever. It is so well made and the production value is so high. Check out the Youtube clip above for a sample of the movie. The filmmakers followed Popcorn Sutton around as he made his last run of moonshine – cooked in a traditional copper moonshine still. If you are interested in the history of moonshine or if you want some general information on how to make moonshine, this DVD belongs in your library.

Appalachian Life, Moonshine History

56 Comments to “Popcorn Sutton’s Home”

  1. […] It’s actually from the DVD bonus features included on The Last One, the documentary about Popcorn Sutton and Appalachian moonshine. This video is a great introduction to the history of moonshine in […]

    • Don’t like likker but loved to hear your stories and your laugh. In simpler times bet you had a hell of a life. What a live wire. ~ RIP Popcorn ~

    • I lived in East Tennessee and the name popcorn was more popular than McDonald ,the stories about him would make any one laugh it’s so sad to see sky make a profit off his name she writes books about him like she knew him she uses his name to make her life sound important. I i think it’s degrading and sick ,popcorn left the mountains to soon his name will live on and I hope that those who know him continue to tell stories about him so those who hear of him years down the road will hear true stories about the real popcorn and how smart and funny he was , I don’t want people to meet him thru books that have been wrote by someone who knew nothing about him .she may of been a kid of his but he didn’t know his kids she only writes to line her deep pockets with money I wish she realized that she will never make enough money To buy memories she never had .
      RIP popcorn Sutton.

  2. Popcorn Sutton. Rest in peace brother. Shine forever

  3. Wish I could have met you Popcorn. You were one of a kind and left us much too soon. Some day I will visit your town and sip your likker.

  4. Ali Randolph and The Outta Luck Band have now posted the tribute song to Popcorn on YouTube.

    Moonshiners – Popcorn Sutton – Ali Randolph & The Outta Luck Band – Music Video – Moonshine


  5. popcorn was an will always be the best dam moonshiner that ever lived wished i could of met him

  6. Ya’ll should look up:

    Hank Williams III – Moonshiner’s Life

    It’s on the video sharing sites… good uptempo song about makin’ liquor… and mentions popcorn at the end.


  7. I will post this on my blog.

  8. gary j williams

    I have seen all the vidios and i think they are great, he is realy part of our american history, everyone who was involved in helping with these vidios I commend you.

  9. I want to say Popcorn was a hero to all the shiner’s! Its said that he his gone he was a hero of mine. If the dam cops would worry more about the drugs and the dealers he would still be around!!! R.I.P Popcorn

  10. Had the pleasure of sampling his product. Still have a gallon of corn for safe keeping. Hes great and liquor is great! I really don’t drink a whole lot but when I do…..its moonshine!

  11. 1900- 1.6 Billion People,
    2012- 7.0 Billion People,
    112 years- 5.4 Billion People,
    Solution- Stop Creating Children,
    The life you save just might be the one you don’t create. If Popcorn Sutton was never created then he wouldn’t have died the way he did.

    • dont hate on a legend and hometown man who did the american dream make a product sold that to make his livin in america he didnt support other countrys by buyin there drugs but made his own peace of life

    • that post by jesus christ is done by a fucking idiot definitely the load his mom should have swallowed

    • fuck u asshole rot in hell with Ur false fucking profit there is no god only what u believe in Ur heart that man raised me like his own son u piece of shit hope Ur kids die horrible deaths by believing in a false story book profit asshole

      • Brother the best part of that feller ran across his mothers shitty asshole.
        Uncle popcorn was alot of man and when he talked you listened. AB look over stupid and to that ignorant douche bag
        I say just how popcorn wud have FUCK YOU

  12. That sign on HempHill Road is about 1/4 mile from my house. Beautiful place and GREAT product comes from that area!

  13. I knew popcorn very well. Best product ever. Sweet man. Swore like a sailor but boy was he funny. It’s a shame people just didn’t leave him alone. You are missed popcorn.

  14. been to maggie valley and through that area popcorn and his shine were just another part of beauty that place produces.i would of loved to been a part of his family,as they say we may not have it all together,but together we have it all,thanks popcorn and family.im not able to go there any more but your shows of your life will make me feel home.

  15. I wish I could have met him. I was at maggie valley last week, and bought a video of him.he shoudnt have killed his self.it was t worth it.

  16. We Love You Popcorn, Not because you knew us or ever got to shake your hand and cut a rug with you, but because you filled our hearts and soul with happiness and joy, We laugh when you say funny things, we drink your likker and bullshit with the best. You are still the man “POPCORN” now and forever. Rest in Peace Jack…………………

  17. Was Paul and Evelyn sutton of Erwin TN related to the man ?

  18. Rachel Grasty-Sheehan

    The area was very rural, and poor up until the 80’s. The retiree’s from Florida started buying up land and building big houses. My dad’s mother, Ella Mae Caldwell Grasty, is from near here, and I grew up driving down Hemphill to Potleg Road, and up to the top of the mountain where at one time my great grandfather cooked moonshine. This was before Popcorn’s time. Popcorn is 10 yrs older than my dad, and 10 yrs younger than my grandma. However my grandma had many siblings, and they knew the Suttons. There are still a bunch Sutton’s in Haywood County.

  19. he made some goood shine there will never be another one like him and i wish the family the best
    i wish i was there again i feel home sick for bumcombe county i miss my familys there

  20. pleaselook down on me and keep me safe as i brew my last bach of shine for the year

  21. i met popcorn about 20 yrs ago i got a gallon of his shine it was the best shine i ever had still have half the gallon i guess i well always keep it to remember him by

  22. This site is a bunch of crap….

  23. My grandpa was a shiner back in the day.

  24. There will never be another popcorn sutton they broke the mole with him. RIP & I know you are making your likker in heaven & hope to meet you on the other side save me a drink

  25. I felt a kinship with him and I think any one from the south would. Many moonshiners made the licker to sell to help raise their families. My dad made whiskey and also home brew. He made it for his own use. many people this was the only way to make a living. there was not a lot of jobs around and most worked in the coal or spar mines, and there wasn’t a lot able to work at this. God bless popcorn and all the other men and women who had the no how to make a living and take care of their families. well fare was not avalible to everone and poor people has pore ways to make a living. Moonshiners didn’t have an easy life, it was hard and dangerous work. He was a hard working man who lived a simple life and was a credit to his fellow man. Agin I say God bless you and keep you in his loving arms R.I.P. Popcorn you deserve it.

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  27. how did he get the name popcorn?

  28. please can anyone tell me where I can order the videos that Popcorn only seen part od the last run.
    thank you

  29. sure wish I had a drink of popcorns liker

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  31. […] Popcorn sutton’s home – appalachian life moonshine […]

  32. […] Popcorn sutton’s home – appalachian life moonshine […]

  33. They need to make a movie of his life

  34. […] Popcorn sutton’s home – appalachian life moonshine […]

  35. its hard to belive that he is my great great grandfather I was 11 yrs old when he died if anyone can tell me more about him or the family plz let me know I want to know how I am relative to some of the people I am on his side of the family I really got to meet him but that’s my dads great grandfather

  36. I adore your wordpress web template, where did you get a hold of it from?

  37. What a GREAT HUMAN!

    He sure showed the GOVERNMENT, FUCK YOU!

  38. Really no matter if someone doesn’t understand afterward its up to other people that they will help, so here it takes place.

  39. Used to stop at his shop all the time. He was quite the character- me and my girl always hated to leave. Bought a book and he signed it for me. Also bought a pair of loaded dice he told me he never used- and I believe he was an honest fella and I’m a good judge of character. I will always cherish both products. The book has the funniest stories ever , but hearing him tell them were priceless! He told us the drunk frog story and I near pissed my pant. He was truly a legend. RIP

  40. Funny thing is after I wrote about those loaded dice I bought from old Popcorn Sutton’s shop, I dug them out of my closet because I heard if you drop them in a glass of water they will land a certain way every time. Well, these do not. Guess he was not so honest after all! Anyway have a funny picture with him and an autographed book.

  41. michael free spirit

    will always remember you wish I still had some of that good old liker rip

  42. F*ckin’ remarkable issues here. I’m very satisfied to peer your article. Thanks so much and i’m looking forward to contact you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  43. I have always wondered if I was related to popcorn Sutton because I’m a Sutton also… My husband says my dad looks like popcorn Sutton… But thanks… Carmen S. Cagle…

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  47. Met him way to many years ago.(1983?) My first wife and I were very young newlyweds from florida. We wanted to go on an extended campout for our honeymoon. We saved up money and quit our jobs to do this. My wife chose Maggie Valley because her parents took her there and to Cherokee when she was a kid. We were in a mom and pop breakfast joint in maggie valley talking to each other about finding a cool camp spot as we planned on a month or more camp trip. All we had was money, an old car and rattiy camp gear. An older gent overheard our conversation. His name was Conally Sutton. He was caretaking some property for some guy and he said he could take us up in the mountains and camp there where nobody would bother us. Yeah, we were nervous at first and I made sure my pistol was close. memories of the movie “the deliverance” were fresh in my mind lol. Anyway he had us follow him up black camp gap road to an awesome spot. There was a nice area that someone actually drove a pipe into a hill close to the road into a seep spring. We had all the fresh water we needed and the pool of water kept our food cold and there was endless wild srtawberries. Conally would sneak extra food up to us from his house from time to time. He taught me some wild foods like poke salat and ramps and morel mushrooms. He taught me how to poach trout in a way the game dept.guys couldnt touch you(ill never tell). Conally was an awesome guy. one day we went with him in his pickup to meet popcorn who was probably stilling because we met him in the hills near nothing. I do remember Conally saying his relative made shine but, it was no big deal to me because i grew up in Bunell florida and my stepdad ran shine a few times for pocket money. I can barely remember Conally calling him popcorn, i think he used his real name more. I think they were cousins, cant remember for sure. Popcorn was a goofy dude for sure but he made me laugh a lot. Casting for “the deliverance” missed out not knowing they need this nut in the movie. I live in WA state now but God willing im gonna visit that spot again.
    Here’s a more awesome guy I met there so I gotta throw his name out there because he passed a few years ago. John Keswick, near Franklin N.C.Finest Christian man i ever knew.See you soon enough john.PEACE

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