A Maine Cache

Liquor Hide Located by Deputies in Woods

It looked like a storied scene in the Kentucky mountains with revenue officers raiding a moonshiner's joint, out in Joseph La Lumiere's forest near the Cobb road in the town of Falmouth, Maine.

There, when the Portland Express-Advertiser photographer and reporters arrived, they found Sheriff Graham, Deputies Bisbee, Hunt, Bragdon, and Welch gathered around a pile of whisky kegs and carboys of gin as they had been thrown out of a carefully constructed hole in the ground where they had been supposed to be secure from official interference. There were 11 five gallon kegs of whisky, three five gallon carboys of gin and some receptacles holding other kinds of liquors.

The story of the discovery of the hide is an interesting one. The sheriffs have been aware that some one was depositing liquor in that vicinity, and one night Deputy Sheriff Bisbee, who was watching nearby, saw an automobile with four men leave the road and rattle through the pasture to the edge the woods, apparently making a deposit of liquors in some hide there. The deputy sheriff was alone and deemed it wiser to keep the knowledge of his presence to himself for that time. On the following night, the sheriff himself, accompanied by the deputies who formed his squad, were watching out in that immediate vicinity for pretty much all night.

Toward morning they were rewarded by the arrival of three men in an automobile.

The occupants of the automobile left the machine in the road and proceeded into the woods, returning each laden with a five gallon keg. As they neared the machine, the sheriff and his deputies made their presence known. There was a wild scramble for liberty One of the men who afterward gave his name as Michael McCoy was arrested; the others disappeared in the darkness. Sheriff Graham brought McCoy to Portland and the deputies instituted a search for the hidden liquors which they were sure were somewhere in that immediate vicinity.

A photo of men digging kegs out of the ground.
A Maine Cache

Hide Is Unearthed

For a long time the search was unrewarded and the men were getting discouraged about locating it when Deputy Sheriff Bisbee happened to notice that the place where he was standing seemed to be somewhat insecure under his feet. He tested it by jumping up and down, and then called to his, companions that there certainly was a hollow place there and for them to get shovels and further investigate. The tools were readily secured from a nearby farm house and the hide unearthed.

It was a hole in the ground four feet deep and six by eight feet inside measurements. It was covered with a platform in which a trap door was inserted and the hole was covered over with forest debris, making it look like the surrounding country. The kegs and frames for the carboys bore signs of seas and indicating that the liquors had been brought by boat and landed on some beach, hauled to place of deposit, and the men who had been disturbed in their occupation, were taking their Sunday supply.

The confiscated liquors were brought to town and the automobile held awaiting its owner.


From the December 1914 issue of The American Patriot

Mon - Thurs

9 a.m. - 9 p.m.


9 a.m. - 6 p.m.


9 a.m. - 6 p.m.


1 p.m. - 6 p.m.