Park Hensley seemed to have had a vigorous trade in moonshine. He says, "when I made whiskey, I sold it to just anybody that would come along about that want it. But I bootlegged here at Page. I'd bring a load off on my mule bout once every week. I sold to Sherman Lawson. I'd bring him about six gallons every week and sell him down there. He'd buy about six gallons every week from me." Park Hensley only got "two dollars a gallon" for his liquor. He would "contract with him [Lawson], you know. . .and he'd buy mine. Now I done that for I'd say a year or so." The other man would resell the liquor, "no doubt he sold it in pints. . .got maybe five or six dollars a gallon and maybe more than that out of it by pinting it out. . . but he sold it in littles."
While the contractor made most of the money, the residents of the settlement did the hard work. Park Hensley found that, while moonshine might be lucrative, "it's hard work. You had to pack and tote, get your wood and everything you know. It was hard work."
Earl Palmer, known as the "Roaming Cameraman of the Blue Ridge" was a prolific photographer of the southern Appalachians in the 1920s-1940s and took many iconic photographs of the residents of Hensley.
One of his favorite subjects was Thomas Jefferson Cupp, a moonshiner who lived about one mile from the settlement near Martin's Fork. These three photos are Palmer's work, along with his original captions and descriptions.
Last updated: June 17, 2015