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Posts Tagged ‘bootlegging’

Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, December 28, 1923

Giant booze plant found by raiders

Government agents destroy King County liquor plant with capacity of 150 gallons a day

Huge moonshine plant seized by U.S. agents: Building housing the largest distillery plant ever seized in the state was burned by federal officers yesterday on a ranch midway between Auburn and Enumclaw. The distillery was so constructed, with its many vats, pipes, and oil burner, that it couldn’t be dismantled without destroying the building it was in. The upper photograph shows an interior corner and four vats which held various kinds of mash for the 800-gallon cooker or still. The lower one shows the building in flames.

Huge moonshine plant seized by U.S. agents: Building housing the largest distillery plant ever seized in the state was burned by federal officers yesterday on a ranch midway between Auburn and Enumclaw. The distillery was so constructed, with its many vats, pipes, and oil burner, that it couldn’t be dismantled without destroying the building it was in. The upper photograph shows an interior corner and four vats which held various kinds of mash for the 800-gallon cooker or still. The lower one shows the building in flames.

After an ambush of many hours and a spectacular raid in which nearly a score of shots were fired, federal prohibition agents sent up in smoke yesterday, in a secluded valley about three miles from Black Diamond, a distillery, which, they believe, has been one of the largest sources of moonshine in the Northwest.

The distillery, complete from top to bottom, and boasting an oil burner, occupied an entire building—a former combination barn and hop kiln—and had, it is estimated, a capacity to produce from its several vats and its 800-gallon cooker, or still, about 150 gallons a day, which would bring its daily net earnings, considering the bootleggers’ quoted wholesale price, to approximately $900.

Nothing had been overlooked by the moonshiners in their apparent effort to manufacturer a good grade of liquor in great quantities and in varieties in the quickest possible time. There were vats for corn mash, for rye, for prune and for sugar mash, and a piping and valve system which made it possible for one man to operate the plant at top production. The value of the plant was estimated at about $10,000, including contents. (more…)

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Originally published in the Valley Daily News, October 20, 1989

By Peggy Ziebarth
Valley Living Editor

Diane and Corey Olson, who edited the history, are shown near the Black Diamond Museum. (Staff photo by Duane Hamamura.)

Diane and Corey Olson, who edited the history, are shown near the Black Diamond Museum. (Staff photo by Duane Hamamura.)

Voices out of Black Diamond’s past tell the story of mine disasters, whispered scandals, sports shenanigans and colorful characters in Black Diamond: Mining the Memories.

Tales spun by the Welsh, Italian, Slavic and other settlers of the town—dependent on the mines for its lifeblood—weave a lively pattern of poignant portraits of hard life and high times in Black Diamond. (more…)

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Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, February 1992

By Ann Steiert

booze roomIn the museum we have taken one small room and converted it into our “Booze Room.” In it we have a restored cider press, assorted bottles and glasses along with a whiskey still.

On the wall is a sign telling everyone that during National Prohibition Days bootlegging was our No. 2 industry. Many people get a charge out of that. We tell them a bit of how it was in those days when the country was dry.

At that time many people made and sold liquor. The county sheriff was the famous Matt Starwich. He was a many faceted person. He was a fearless officer and did his duty but he was not averse to taking some extra money if it were offered to him. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, December 24, 1985

By Elizabeth Pullam

museum_snowCarl Steiert remembers Christmas in Black Diamond 70 years ago. There was always a foot of snow on the ground in those days, and a bobsledder who started at the top of Lawson Hill could skid through icy streets, past rows of miners’ houses, defying death and the shaking fists of threatened pedestrians.

“The tricky part was making that right-angle turn up there, where the tracks used to be,” says Steiert, 74, as he points beyond the false-fronted buildings that were once drugstores, saloons and stables. “If you could make that, you could ride clear to the cemetery, over half a mile away.” (more…)

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