Friday, June 20, 2008

Moonshiners' Caught

New York, 1895


A Dairy Stable as a Cover for the Manufacture of Whisky Which was Carted Away in Milk Cans — Located on Sheriff Doht's Land at Melvina.

Acting Revenue Collector McKinney of Brooklyn and half a dozen of his deputies early on Sunday morning raided the illicit distillery from which the three Italian moonshiners hailed who were captured in Brooklyn on Saturday night with 100 gallons of whiskey tucked away in milk cans. It was located in a two story frame building which stands all alone on an acre plot of ground at Melvina, a short distance from the Fresh Pond crematory. The property is owned by Sheriff Doht.

When Mr. McKinuey and his men broke into the place only three persons were there. They were the three daughters, aged 3, 5 and 10 years, of Hyman Rubin, the lessee, who with his wife was off visiting some friends. The children were asleep on the second floor and were not disturbed.

Rubin and his wife came back at 1 o'clock, and the former was scared almost out of his wits when one of the officers seized him by the neck as he entered the dark hallway.

There was a fine still in the cellar and a full rectifying plant on the second floor, and the stock included two barrels of spirits, twenty-eight barrels of molasses, and a quantity of mash and yeast. In addition to this there were in the outhouses 104 head of cattle, three horses, over 200 chickens and geese, and 150 milk cans all of which, together with the buildings, are liable to confiscation. The cellar was covered to the depth of a foot with sawdust, and other precautions were taken to carry on the business in the slickest possible manner. The moonshiners are supposed to have been at work for three or four months.

There is no suspicion that Sheriff Doht had any knowledge of the business carried on there.

—The Long Island Farmer, Jamaica, NY, March 29, 1895, p. 1.

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