Today was a beautiful, unseasonably warm February day in Southwestern Virginia. I decided to get out of the house and walk the woods to hunt for old moonshine stills. I drove back to Turkeycock Mountain in Franklin County to try to locate more old still sites. Instead of continuing down the creek where I had found the stills during my last visit, I decided to find another creek to see if it was as productive.
I found a different creek crossing the road, so I parked and started walking up stream.
I literally walked 100 feet from the car and found a still. I thought to myself, “You have got to be kidding me. This is just too easy.” I suppose this is the reason Franklin County, Virginia is known as the moonshine capital of the world.
The furnace box wasn’t very distinct, but the boiler next to it certainly was. It was constructed exactly like the others that I had seen - a sheet metal barrel with wooden sides nailed in place. The site had a few other random scraps of metal and a pipe buried under the leaves.
This still was very close to the road. Like I said, it was only about 100 feet from the road and I could easily see my car from the still. Did this operation pre-date the road I was parked on? The operators couldn’t have been so bold as to build a still that close to the road.
Continuing up the same creek, I found a second still about a hundred yards from the first. There were two boilers of the same construction as all of the rest I’ve seen. The difference between this site and the others is that the operators used concrete block to build the still furnace.
I’m amazed at how easy it is to find stills around here. It really makes me wonder how many old moonshine stills are on this mountain.