Appalachian Thursday – Moonshiners!
I love it when I describe something in one of my novels that I can clearly picture and THEN find that what I described actually exists. In Miracle in a Dry Season Casewell cleans out an old spring with a catch basin. Guess what my husband found in the woods on the mountain behind our house?
Just such a spring with basin.
It’s a steep hike to get to the place where water flows from the side of the mountain, but clearly someone had been there before us. They dug out a spot and shored up the edges with stones set in place. It’s lovely.
And, of course, we wondered why someone would create such a spot so far from any sign of a house. Our answer was further down the mountain, near a neighbor’s house, in the form of a cast concrete cistern with an outflow pipe.
The spring flows there to fill the cistern. We asked a local fellow who’s lived in this valley all his life about our discovery. He gave us the name of the fella who used to live in that house. The fella who kept his still close so that the smoke could be mistaken for smoke from his own chimney.
You need good water to make good moonshine . . . or so I hear.
Casewell didn’t make moonshine, but his son, Henry got mixed up in that business. Guess I didn’t need to look too far for inspiration for either story!
I love living in a part of the world where such discoveries are waiting in my own backyard. Where an afternoon hike can turn into research. Or maybe verification of a past tale . . .