Bill Monroe homeplace and resting place

July 17, 2007

Allow me one more trip into Kentucky and then I’ll get back to Tennessee.

Bill Monroe is one of the few people who created a musical genre, and visitors to Rosine, Kentucky can see his birthplace and his grave. The 1994 documentary, High Lonesome, depicted him walking around the house in which he was born and reminiscing about Uncle Pen and family life on Jerusalem Ridge. The house at that time was an abandoned wreck. Monroe died in 1996, and the Bill Monroe Foundation has restored the house and opened it for visitors.

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The perfect Christmas gift: your own copper moonshine still

July 17, 2007

It’s not too early to make plans for Christmas, and here’s the item for the person who wants to celebrate Tennessee heritage and culture–or just celebrate: a copper moonshine still.

I called Colonel Vaughn Wilson in Mulberry, Arkansas, to chat about his unusual products. They are fully functional, 99.9 percent pure copper vessels capable of distilling alcohol in amounts from 10 gallons on up. The Colonel says he shipped one 60-gallon model to a customer in Tennessee, but his best customers (in descending order) live in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee. He claims to have shipped his wares to every state in the country.

Even if you never intend to fire up one of his products, they are works of art. Prices? The 20-gallon model pictured below is $1,200. There is a 16-week waiting list, which means if you order one today, you could plan on a very merry Christmas for everyone on your list this year.

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This blog is part of a much larger website, also entitled Tennessee Guy, that contains travel and cultural information about Tennessee. Visit it here.