White Liquor Exhibit Opens Friday

A chain gang working on Galilee Road near Smithfield in the 1920’s during prohibition years.

The Johnston County Heritage Center in Smithfield will host authors Perry Sullivan of St. Louis and Scott Mason of Raleigh as it opens a new exhibit, “White Liquor and White Lies,” during the weekend of March 23-24.

At 11 am this Friday, March 23, Sullivan will speak at the formal opening of the exhibit. He is author of Lost Flowers (2013), a book about his father, famed moonshiner J. Percy Flowers. Sullivan will be on hand to greet visitors and sign books in the afternoon between 1 and 4 pm and again from 6 to 8 pm as the Heritage Center offers extended hours for the exhibit.

A confiscated moonshine still being hauled on a wagon from a remote location in Bentonville township around 1910.

“The story of moonshine in Johnston County is multi-faceted and certainly not devoid of controversy and tragedy,” says Heritage Center Director Todd Johnson. “Those who risked their lives to enforce the laws of our state and nation are an important part of that story, and they will be acknowledged during our opening ceremony.” There will be a special tribute to Johnston County Deputy Sheriff J. Alf Wall, who was shot and killed during a still raid near Micro in 1919.

J. Alf Wall was a deputy from Wilders Township. He was killed during a moonshine raid near Micro in 1919. He was the county’s only deputy killed in the line of duty in the 20th Century until Deputy Paul West in 1995.

On Saturday, March 24, WRAL’s Tar Heel Traveler Scott Mason will be at the Center from 1 to 4 pm to sign copies of two books he has written about his television adventures—Tar Heel Traveler: Journeys across North Carolina (2010) and Tar Heel Traveler Eats: Food Journeys across North Carolina (2014)—as well as a third book, Faith and Air: The Miracle List (2017), a creative nonfiction account of people he has profiled during his career who say they have experienced miracles.

Both events will take place in the Heritage Center’s Holding-Richardson Exhibit Hall and are open to the public free of charge. For more information, contact the Center at 919-934-2836, or visit www.jcheritagecenter.org.