Local Residents Relive History of Moonshiners in NWA


People across the Ozarks gathered today to relive the history of moonshiners in our region. Local historians date moonshining in Northwest Arkansas back to the mid 1800’s. Though some say it’s a dying art, others claim it’s still alive and well here in the Ozarks.

For five generations, Susan Young’s family has lived in the Ozarks. For years, she’s researched the history of moonshiners in Northwest Arkansas. 

“We have so many people moving here today from all over the world and there’s still even today a pretty strong image of the Ozarks.” said Young. 

On Sunday, Northwest Arkansans gathered to hear the back story of moonshine in our region. Some even shared their own personal stories.

“We had a still, of course inoperable, on display on the third floor of the mill that we bought that was in Arkansas still.” said Zoe Caywood who lives in Rogers.

According to Young, some used to make moonshine just to satisfy their drinking habits. But most, used it as a source of income throughout the great depression.

“It was fairly common in rural areas. Not in large quantities or large production but enough to help put cash money into a family’s economy.” said Young.

According to Young, moonshiners operated throughout every part of Northwest Arkansas. And what was once illegal, now fills the shelves and taps of local breweries. Thereby preserving Northwest Arkansas history in a mason jar.

“We all have stories to share, maybe not about moonshining but we all have family and community stories that are so important to preserve.”

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