The public is invited to “Moonshine Memories” — a free community history discussion program — on Saturday, May 20, 2023, from 2:00 – 4:00 PM, at the Canaan Valley State Park Main Lodge in Tucker County.
Expert speakers and local citizens will discuss an exciting 1970 legal battle that was waged – and won! — by Albert “Ab” Crossland (1884-1973), a legendary Canaan Valley “moonshiner.” Crossland’s victory was publicized around the world. Featured speakers include scholars Robert Bastress, Esq., West Virginia University Professor of Law; and Dr. William Hal Gorby, WVU Professor of History. A reception will follow the program.
The late Justice Larry Starcher of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals was Crossland’s Legal Aid lawyer. State officials wanted to evict Crossland (and Crossland’s pet skunks) from a rough cabin on the grounds of the new Canaan Valley State Park.
Also speaking will be attorneys Pat Nichols, Jr. and Daniel Hedges, and Canaan Valley resident Ronnie Beall. The program is organized by Friends of Blackwater, partnering with the Tucker County Historical Society; ArtSpring; the Tucker County Highlands History and Education Project; Cottrill’s Opera House; and the Aurora Project; with financial support from the Tucker Community Foundation and the West Virginia Humanities Council.
RSVPs are requested at https://saveblackwater.org/moonshine-memories/ or 304-345-7663.
To follow up on the May 20 programs, there will be “Moonshine Memories” courtroom drama re-creation programs (also free), with live music and a community cast, on Sunday July 23, 2023, 2:00 – 3:30 PM at the Canaan Valley State Park Main Lodge; and on Sunday, July 30, 2023, 2-00 – 3:30 PM at the Old Parsons Courthouse, Mark your calendar!