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those years of hardship and depression the community was working just
hard to get ahead, but the money just wasn't to be had. In the early
a new industry had begun growing up in these woodlands, though no one
supposed to 'know about it1. . .Moonshine ! At any given time there
probably 8 to 10 of these stills in operation, their locations can be
in various places throughout this area.
from Chicago set up one of these stills on the old Melum farm a few
north of the town, to be hidden inside the barn. Three wooden vats, 7
high and 10 to 12 feet across, were used to produce the mash which was
then distilled into alcohol. Trucks came from Chicago every week
the supplies needed at the site, such as grain, sugar and coke, and
returned to Chicago with the finished product. One gallon metal
served for storing the moonshine, no one was the wiser.
the spring of 1931 the 'Feds1 appeared here in Mountain, they came in
numbers bearing the adequate tools in which to 'raid' this still and
the operation. They hired some local men to do much of the work that
to be done, and then headed north out of town, their goal to be soon
that 'good against evil' was about to prevail, a group of boys from
quickly gathered to walk up to the farm in order to watch the
about to happen ! I was one in that group who was not about to miss out
on this event.
the barn, the men chopped holes in the vats and smashed a few boards
of the sides of the barn wall. The mash poured out into the barnyard
several pigs were kept, and soon the pigs gathered at the opening to
themselves on the potent brew. Before long they staggered off and fell
to the ground to lay in a drunken stupor ! About twenty chickens also
to avail themselves of this elixir; they ran around cackling and
in a ridiculous manner, until they too, fell asleep, victims of their
men were busy hauling out bags of sugar, coke, and grain which they
outside. The bags of grain and sugar were split open, their contents
ground to spread where they may. The cans containing the 'evil
poured their liquids onto the . ground as the men split them open with
the ensuing confusion some townspeople found the time to cart some of
metal containers away from the premises to a safe place, and it was
a~ bout that much of the confiscated supplies were salvaged during the
night to be put back into good use by the local moonshiners.
still, located on Old 64 east of the town near Farr Lake, was raided by
the Feds a year later. This still was put to an end for good by
one of the culprits responsible for these illegal operations were ever
apprehended, Prohibition coming to an end in 1933 with the Repeal of
Prohibition Amendment, our Twenty First Amendment to the Constitution
the United States.
U.S.A. has a new President
election of 1932 changed the whole scenario of this area. A feeling of
hope was beginning to erase the despair that had gripped Mountain and
entire nation for the past three years.
Federal Government commenced to buy up the tax delinquent lands in
Oconto County as well as in other counties and states that had suffered
this dilemna and helped to get the nation 'back on their
idea, born in the nation's capital under the guidance of President
Delano Roosevelt, was to bring new birth and prosperity to all. It was
called the New Deal, the foundation for new job opportunities and
which would begin to ease the burden of a depressed economy.
Roosevelt tackled financial problems, problems that had hampered
and agriculture, unemployment, education, business administration.
Security, the list is endless. So many new governmental agencies and
were created during these years that we refer to them as the
June 13 in 1933 the passenger train pulled into the station at Mountain
with 5 or 6 coaches brimming with passengers. Everybody from town was