Dark moon treasure
Ever since the advent of laws and community ordinances prohibiting the natural inclinations of man, there have been those who have sought out a living in the underground economy. In specific I am pointing out the activities in the countryside where moral citizens have worked to establish a dry county or outlaw illegal gambling only to witness a flurry of underground activity working hard to provide these things.
Times were often hard and as the sawmills and workplaces went out of business the people who could not find work to provide a meal to their family, would often create a new sideline job even if it ‘was’ a little shady. Since most treasure hunters seek out places for older coins and artifacts I bring this to your attention There were considerably more stills and whisky traders than the law admitted and the new pastime for poorer young people turned out to be drinking and gambling. Most of this was done after dark and coins were scattered everywhere when they were dropped and you could not show a light. The stills were situated near a flowing creek where water could be found for the mash. The mash required some kind of meal mostly corn and lots of sugar so there was always a lot of activity in just supplying the stills. At night customers would approach and whistle or signal so they would not be shot at, and money would change hands by moonlight. There was of course the enemy of the bootleggers, the revenuers, or sheriff could show up at any time and the night would turn into a frenzy of wild shots and cries while everyone ran into trees and tried to get away or fought their way to break up the still. Needless to say the still was cut up by axes and whisky spilled on the ground. These sites (and there were plenty of them) can often be located because by now the old timers just laugh about those times and don’t mind telling where some of them were located.
There was also the shady practice of selling whisky in the dry counties. A trip to a wet county would spread the buying over several liquor shops where no one could tell on them. and after dark on a moonless night the booze would be buried all around the yard of the individual who would sell to the rest of the community. Customers would pull up in the drive and blink their lights to signal a buyer and the seller would collect a hand full of money (much more than the retail price) and proceed to dig a hole behind the tree in the yard where he would find a bottle of whisky. One problem with this practice is that the busier the seller the more demand to remember where he buried the whisky! So countless bottles of the stuff are buried to this day. This was general knowledge to everyone in the town but proving it was something else since the sheriff would challenge the seller but unless he could spot a trade going on or find the booze in the yard he didn’t have a case. The seller always kept a large number of dogs around who could spot sheriff or thief sneaking up at night and the practice continued for years.
Then there was the practice of gathering on weekend nights to gamble in the woods. After dark the gamblers and tricksters slipped through the woods to a remote location where no one could see a fire from the road. Whisky was sold also and after a while these little get together’s would breakup in a fight and probably a shooting. This was a normal night and not to mention that someone would try to stick them up for all of that money every now and then. After the eventual fights and shots in the dark money flew everywhere as everybody tried to grab a handful before they were shot. The floor of the woods would yield a treasure in coins that quickly fell through the piles of leafs laying everywhere. These sites go back for so many years in the small towns before legalized gambling that almost every town had one. It may be possible to talk to older folks in the park and ask about these. Most older folks enjoy talking about the crazy things they did when they were younger and may show you the best site that you have ever known!