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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Moonshine raid comes up dry

 (Spokesman-Review archives)
(Spokesman-Review archives)

From our archive, 100 years ago

Spokane deputy sheriff S.A. Easlick had heard rumors about a moonshine operation somewhere around the border between Spokane County and Stevens County. So he made a trip to Deer Park and made inquiries.

Sure enough, he learned that about 40 gallons of homemade whiskey had been distributed to the area’s lumber camps during the last two months.

He also learned that John Ison, a transplant from Virginia, had recently put in an order for 900 pounds of cornmeal. That seemed to be more cornmeal than anybody, except someone operating a still, might need. So the deputy secured a warrant for Ison and organized a search party to find the still, believed to be in a cabin in the hills seven miles north of Deer Park.

Three deputies set off by auto, and then by sleigh, and finally on foot through hip-deep snow. They searched several abandoned cabins and found nothing.

But then, at one cabin, they hit the jackpot. They found a moonshine operation with a furnace and about 75 gallons of sour mash, ready for distillation.

They did not, however, find Ison or any other moonshiners. Tracks outside the cabin indicated that the moonshiners had left several days earlier, leaving their mash behind.

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