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  • Writer's pictureCheré Dastugue Coen

Reliving an Alabama Distillery Raid

Updated: Feb 28

The South loves a good reenactment, whether it’s the Civil War, the American Revolution or living history.

And then there’s the Alabama reenactment of a law enforcement raid on a moonshine still.

On Saturday, May 4, 2024, “Recall LaGrange’s Distillery Raid on the Mountain” will include a period-correct living history of a Prohibition-era raid on a suspected moonshine still. The event reenacts a group of lawmen who once descended on the village of LaGrange, Ala., to engage in a brief skirmish with locals. Folks can watch it happen — again — at 2 p.m. at the LaGrange College Site Park, 1491 LaGrange College Road in Leighton in northwest Alabama, 8 miles southeast of Muscle Shoals, off Highway 157.

The event also commemorates the 194th anniversary of the LaGrange College and Military Institute, Alabama’s first college.

While the highlight is the prohibition era raid on a moonshine still, the day-long event offers other important historical accounts, Civil War collections and fun activities for the family.

The Alabama Bicentennial Table once owned by Senator Charles Tait, who prepared the bill that was used for Alabama statehood, will be on display and there will be arts and crafts demonstrations, a fundraiser bake sale, food trucks and displays of antiques and fragments of period moonshine stills.

The observatory, featuring a new telescope, and pioneer and log buildings located in the park will be open for tours, living history presentations will be ongoing and there will be tours of Dawson Distillery located near the park during the festival.  

There will be wagon rides to historic LaGrange Cemetery, an antebellum Civil War cemetery listed on the Register of Landmarks and Heritage within walking distance of the LaGrange College Site. Of particular interest is the marker for the Petrified Lady, Annie Vinson Ford, who was discovered petrified after being removed from her burial plot to another plot in the cemetery.

Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Donations will be accepted at the gate for upkeep of the historic park and cemetery. 

For more information, call (256) 702-6953 or Colbert County Tourism at (256) 383-0783. 

This story was written from a press release from Visit North Alabama.

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