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The Moonshine Stills of Turkeycock Mountain Pt.3

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Turkeycock Mountain lies on the eastern border of Franklin and Henry County, Virginia and the ridgeline of the mountain marks the county line. The mountain has a long history of moonshining. I’ve been hunting for stills two other times on the mountain and both times I’ve easily found the remains of old moonshine stills (Pt.1 and Pt.2.) My previous hunting was along Machine Creek and during this trip I wanted to check the area past where I had found the stills back in winter.

I parked, walked down the hill and almost immediately found the remains of an old groundhog still. Most of the moonshine in this area was produced in submarine stills. This is the first groundhog still that I’ve found in the area. Groundhog stills are circular, with a wooden top and bottom. They sit on the ground and the fire is built around them. You can see one being built and run in the Hamper McBee video. This particular still had been repaired at some point in its history by being patched and riveted on the sides. This still was probably cut down by the revenuers, and then repaired and put back into service.

After snapping a few photos of the still, I continued up Machine Creek. A lot had changed since my last visit in February. The woods in June are an impenetrable mass of mountain laurel and thorny vines. Walking in the creek in winter was easy, but in summer it’s a complete bushwhack. I walked way up the creek, but if there were any stills I wouldn’t have seen them. The woods were so overgrown that I couldn’t see anything at all. I snapped a photo of the “trail” that you can see in the gallery below.

I’m going to have to re-think my summertime still hunting technique. Walking up the creeks will work in the winter and spring, but doesn’t work in the summertime.

Franklin County, Old Still Sites, Virginia Moonshine

2 Comments to “The Moonshine Stills of Turkeycock Mountain Pt.3”

  1. The Appalachians are generally thought of as a place that doesn’t have much technology, but someone knows how to put together a professional site. An odd search brought me here. Nice pics of the region.

  2. I grew up riding dirt bikes through those mountains. My daddy taught me that when you run up on a moonshine still you just keep on keeping on.

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