Exploding Mason Jars

My Great Uncle was a moonshiner. And anyone who knew him, knew this to be true.


He was constantly harassed by the “revenuers”, as he called them.

But was never caught, that I know of.

I remember as a child wondering what was in all those various sized mason jars that sat on shelves, in cupboards, on the t.v….in other words placed here and there all over the house.

It looked like water to me. Perfectly clear.

He was well known in the small town he lived near. Not only for his moonshine, but for being mean. I’ve heard of him being referred to as being the meanest man that walked Elk River, in his day.

He sold his moonshine in town in broad daylight or in the cover of darkness. Didn’t make no never mind to him.


He painted empty milk jugs white, up to about where the milk would be if it had been filled, and filled them with moonshine. Then when he needed a little money, he’d make a trip to town.

When he passed away, one of his granddaughters inherited his farm. They began cleaning a lifetime of collections belonging to him.

They cleaned out the cellar and various outbuildings. Burning what was capable of being burnt and hauling off the rest.

That left the chore of tearing down the old dilapidated sheds. Instead, they decided to burn them down. With the old wood it would be quicker to just burn it where it stood than to tear down, haul off and burn.

One building in particular was completely cleaned out, then set on fire.

With water hoses handy, they watched it burn as they worked in other areas.

Within minutes of setting this “empty” shed on fire…

It exploded!

Luckily, no one was standing nearby. And no explaination could be given.


But those who knew him, knew exactly what he had hidden somewhere inside that “empty” shed.