• Cheré Dastugue Coen

Reliving an Alabama Distillery Raid

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


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

This Saturday (May 7, 2022), “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, Alabama, to engage in a brief skirmish with locals. Folks can watch it happen — again — at 2 p.m. at the LaGrange College Site Park located in Leighton in northwest Alabama, 8 miles southeast of Muscle Shoals, off Highway 157.


In addition, throughout the day there will be living history presentations and tours of Dawson Distillery located near the park, the first legal moonshine distillery in northwest Alabama since Prohibition.


There will also be displays of antiques and fragments of period moonshine stills, arts and crafts, Civil War demonstrations, musical entertainment, wagon rides to historic LaGrange Cemetery and food vendors.


While the highlight of the event is the prohibition-era raid on a moonshine still, the day-long event offers other important historical accounts, such as the 192nd anniversary of the LaGrange College and Military Institute, Alabama’s first chartered college established in 1830. The college and village were destroyed during the Civil War and today offer a Pioneer Village, antebellum cemetery, welcome center and wedding chapel.


Also on display will be the Alabama Bicentennial Table once owned by Senator Charles Tait who prepared the bill for Alabama statehood. The pioneer and log buildings located in the park will also be open for tours.


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 Louise Lenz with the LaGrange Living Historical Association at (256) 446-9324 or visit the LaGrange College Site Park on Facebook.

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

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