Page 13: Moonshine in Hancock County - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Page 13: Moonshine in Hancock County

According to Saucier, that Hancock County whiskey ended up in the hands of major mobsters like Al Capone. (Photo source: WLOX) According to Saucier, that Hancock County whiskey ended up in the hands of major mobsters like Al Capone. (Photo source: WLOX)
Why Kiln, MS? The Jourdan River had a lot to do with it, giving bootleggers a means of shipping product by boat. (Photo source: WLOX) Why Kiln, MS? The Jourdan River had a lot to do with it, giving bootleggers a means of shipping product by boat. (Photo source: WLOX)
The railroad was another way of transporting moonshine to places like Chicago. (Photo source: WLOX) The railroad was another way of transporting moonshine to places like Chicago. (Photo source: WLOX)
HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

In the early 1900s, bootleggers worked in the woods around Hancock County. The Kiln was a hot spot for illegal whiskey stills.

"Around 1915, it was big. Prohibition was getting ready to kick in. It was really cooking," said author Al Saucier.

Saucier brings those stories from the past into the 21st century with his book, “Moonshine Wilderness Kiln Wild Stories.”

"They walked into this wilderness and created wealth," Saucier said.

Why Kiln, MS? The Jourdan River had a lot to do with it, giving bootleggers a means of shipping product by boat. The railroad was another way of transporting moonshine to places like Chicago.

According to Saucier, that Hancock County whiskey ended up in the hands of major mobsters like Al Capone.

Saucier writes about how the illegal moonshine continued to be made in the woods around the Kiln decades after prohibition ended.

Stills were still operating into the 1950s. The guys making the moonshine had quite a battle going with the federal government. They called them Revenuers. They flew helicopters over the woods, looking for whiskey stills.

Saucier had a run in or two with the law. He said as a young man, he worked on stills and was caught by Treasury Department officers.

"They gave us a choice. They said you can join the military, and we'll forget about it. If you come back in the county with moon shining on your mind, you are going to jail. We left town," according to Saucier.

You can read all about it in “Moonshine Wilderness Kiln Wild Stories.”

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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