Friday, June 15, 2012

Magnolia Moonshiner

On our trip to Magnolia, West Virginia, Mom, Brother and Sis-in-Law and I drove along as Mom read to us from a wonderful book she has entitled, "Magnolia's Historical Past". (See below for the full scoop on our recent trip to Magnolia, a place that now only exists in memory and imagination.)

In the 1990s Ralph Shambaugh, no longer with us, helped organize reunions of family and friends of old Magnolia. Mom knew Ralph. After the reunion in 1996, those who wished wrote down their memories and turned in photos or copies of merchant's registers or school house attendance records.

"Magnolia's Historical Past" starts off with a good history of Magnolia after which it rambles gently much as the Potomac River rambles past the old site of Magnolia on a summer day. There's even a couple of recipes for Buns, Chocolate Loaf Cake, and Roll Jelly Cake. The reader can browse it for hours on end.

As we drove along Mom read about a store purchase by one of our relatives. (Don't ask me who and how they are related. Shhh!) Mom was reading aloud as we bumped down the old gravel rail road track bed, now a "road" of sorts for vehicles.

"From a Kesler store record book belonging to ____________ dated June 1882, the following items are shown:

"10 yards calico, .85
3 yards cotton, .30
1/4 gallon molasses, .11
1/2 pound peppers, .20
2 pounds prunes, .24
1 set cups and saucers, .25

100 pounds sugar 1.00

2 pounds tobacco 1.00
1 bar soap, .30

20 pounds sugar, .20"

My Brother's fast and sharp legal mind, always aware of "evidence" immediately said with confidence, "He was a moonshiner! Who else would buy 100 pounds of sugar and then turn right around and purchase 20 more pounds in the same order. I bet that that 20 pounds was for the home and the 100 pounds was for the still!"

Sounds about right to me. It is after all West Virginia:) Ya gotta love it!!

Our House ancestors' burial plot in the
Cherry Orchard Cemetery in Magnolia.

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