Georgia Moonshine Still in 1929
Moonshine Still in Georgia
Central House in 1885
Central House in 1885
Highlands House in 1885
Highlands House in 1885
H. M. Bascom, Mayor in 1885
H. M. Bascom, Mayor in 1885
Moonshine Still at the HHS Museum
Moonshine Still
at the HHS Museum
Home Event Calendar Start Exhibit Table of Contents

THE MOCCASIN WAR OF 1885

    In 1885 Highlands, a Southern town founded mostly by sober, God-fearing, temperate Yankees, is dry, without saloons or open sale of whiskey. However, the immediate neighborhood is rife with moonshiners, who manufacture and peddle their merchandise from across the Georgia border.

    One day a U.S. revenuer arrests two bootleggers from Moccasin Township in Georgia and brings them to Highlands. Because there is no jail in town, he confines them in Highlands House (later Highlands Inn) to await trial.

    The Moccasin Township, hearing of the arrest, issues a formal declaration of war on Highlands and dispatches an army of eighteen volunteers. They gather at Central House, directly across the street from Highlands House, and lay siege. Recruiting local guards, Mayor Bascom declares a state of martial law, and for three days and nights war rages on Main Street.

    How this war ends and what happens in between are described in the book, Heart of the Blue Ridge: Highlands, North Carolina (© 2001, 2004), and portrayed in the forthcoming Ballad of the Mocassin War: A Street Play in Three Acts.




This website is constantly under construction. For more information about the Highlands Historical Society, please contact us at highlandshistory@nctv.com; (828) 787-1050; or P. O. Box 670, Highlands, NC 28741-0670.
Last modified on June 27, 2007.