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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Posse discovers evidence of huge moonshine still near Post Falls

From the April 27, 1921 Spokane Daily Chronicle.  (S-R archives)
From the April 27, 1921 Spokane Daily Chronicle. (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

A posse scouring Hauser Lake did not find the Post Falls bank robbers they were searching for – but they did find evidence of what they called “the biggest still in the United States.”

The huge moonshine still had apparently been broken up and moved recently, but officers found dozens of empty malt syrup bottles, corn syrup cans, jugs and other paraphernalia. They also found a nine-foot crater, lined with stones, where the still had been sitting.

“For over a year I have frequently been told that the largest still in the United States was being operated in the Idaho hills, but we had been unable to get its location,” according to a Prohibition agent. “Men who claim to have been told of it say it measured nine or 10 feet across and was guarded by five men armed with Winchesters.”

The purpose of the search was twofold. The posse was not only looking for the still, they were looking for the bank robbery suspects thought to be hiding in the hills and possibly associating with the bootleggers. Authorities arrested three men the day before, one of whom appeared to be a lookout for the bootlegging operation.

Officers believed the bootleggers would probably move it a long distance and try to set it up again.

From the court beat: When asked by the judge why she knocked Mrs. A.A. Sharpe to the sidewalk, Mrs. Hattie Francis gave this reply.

“When I stopped the truck and got off I did not intend to strike her. I was going to ask her what she meant by slandering me, but when I got up to her I guess I changed my mind and decided to hit her.”

The judge was not impressed.

He fined her $35, plus costs.

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