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.
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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