THE DUNAGANS!

And so the story of one particular moonshiner goes... 

(Actual family picture below)

In the 1860s there lived a thirsty man named Ezekiel Dunagan who had a vision. He owned a fair amount of farmland in Hall County, Georgia with his second wife Sarah and their seven children (we won't go into names here). From the get-go Ezekiel had his palate set on one thing so and planted a large apple orchard. These were apples that were used for making cider of course. And, since he had several helping hands scurrying about the property, he was also able to farm corn and grain.

 

So then the family-owned Dunagan Distillery was created. Ezekiel, along with his wife and miniature minions, got the operation up on its feet and started manufacturing brandy and whiskey for the masses. Aside from child labor laws that wouldn't go into effect for another fifty years or so, the Dunagans did everything legally. With a license from the federal government, they had a successful business and sold their products wholesale for several years.

 

Yep, everything was pretty hunky-dory down at the Dunagan farm until one day, for reasons unknown (Prohibition), the government denied Ezekiel's license and he had to halt his entire production. But after all he had built and worked for, he couldn't let a little thing like a license stop him from creating  that sweet, golden nectar which he had grown to love. So Ezekiel decided to take matters into his own hands and go above the law...or should we say "under"?

 

Fortunately for Ezekiel, there was a cold spring at the bottom of the hill about a hundred yards from their house. Once again enlisting the services of his diminutive Dunagan offspring, he dug a pit around the spring large enough for a smaller distillery to operate. He also dug a passageway leading from new headquarters up the hill to the house. To further conceal his work he covered it all with logs, spread some dirt on top and then grew plants so that it appeared to be just more nondescript land just in case anyone nosy came poking around the farm. Ezekiel also needed to devise a way for the distillery exhaust to release without being noticed. A smokestack sticking right out of the ground disguised as a tree would still have been fairly obvious. So to remedy this minor hitch Ezekiel used flint rock and built a flue that also traveled underground up the hill. At the end he connected it to the chimney in the house so the exhaust went out with the other smoke from the fireplace. This was a genius idea, though Sarah had to keep a fire going 24/7.

 

Ezekiel had both figuratively and literally taken his whiskey business underground. His efforts to stay in operation in secret had paid off and for thirty years he avoided the regular snoopers who searched his property for the suspected distillery high and low...but not low enough apparently.

 

Eventually, with the aid of a once trusted family friend and employee, the subterranean distillery was discovered and destroyed by persistent law officers. With Ezekiel's moon-shining days' last drop evaporated forever, he figured, "Heck, maybe he'd be a congressman."

Small Batch, Local, Handmade, Independent.