Monday, January 19, 2015

Still Cave and Chester's secret legacy

     In a very secluded draw in a very secluded spot in the mysterious area around Sun City in Barber County, there's a small hole in the gypsum rock.  It leads to a history of intrigue, disaster, mystery and profit.  Decades ago, Chester (full name withheld to protect any possible need)  invested in a fair amount of time, energy and financial expense to hide his secret--a whiskey still. Back in a day when moonshining was a business which had to be hidden from authorities, it wasn't unusual for certain entrepeneurs to use caves to hide their operations. There are other accounts of Gypsum Hills caves being used in this fashion.  But this is a pictorial account of a very special and aptly named, Still Cave. 

As for most caves in the Red (Gyp) Hills of Kansas and Oklahoma, the way in is often a crawl or squeeze for a normal- sized human.  Still Cave offers a bit of a wider opening, big  enough for distilling equipment.

A copper tub probably held corn or oats for the first step in the fermentation process.

Lee Ann stands next to the natural shelf holding the parts of  the legend of Still Cave.
The author shows the head of the distiller that was the heart of the operation.

A pressure gauge.  Was this one that malfunctioned causing an explosion that gave Chester some very serious burns?  

What do these old jugs contain?  Hmmmmm don't think I'll sample them!

Still Cave--just one intriguing story of thousands from the enchanting land of the Kansas Outback--the Red Hills.

                                                                                                Some photos by Lee Ann Brunson

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