Where the Devil Don’t Stay: The Role of Moonshine Production in the Mountains of North Carolina
Since the mid-nineteenth century, the vast majority of local whisky production has been unregulated and illegal. Both production and distribution of illicit liquor moved underground with the passing of the 18th Amendment – known as the Prohibition – in 1919. This economic shift occurred in tight-knit mountain communities where knowledge has been vigilantly guarded. This continuous whisky production cycle has resulted in the deep social, economic, and cultural ties that persist in the Cataloochee region of Haywood County, North Carolina. The objective of this project is to chronicle this intimate economy through the medium of videography. This is examined through interviews of both current and former "moonshiners," as well as people who have spent their entire lives in the region. From these oral histories we can begin to extrapolate the impacts – both beneficial and destructive – of illicit alcohol production. The past and present socioeconomic climates share a common denominator in the moonshine production, commercialization, and consumption that is so deeply rooted in western North Carolina.
Cite this Record
Where the Devil Don’t Stay: The Role of Moonshine Production in the Mountains of North Carolina. Elijah J. Hermitt, Kirk D. French, Carly Hunter, Cayt Holzman, Caitlin Donahue. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443029)
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min long: -93.735; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -73.389; max lat: 39.572 ;
Abstract Id(s): 20901