Old Roller Mill will be home to Bondurant distillery

Old Roller Mill will be home to Bondurant distillery

In the 1920s and 1930s, if you lived in Franklin County, most likely you were in involved in the county's biggest industry — making illegal whiskey or moonshine. The proliferation of stills prompted then-Deputy Prohibition Commissioner N.C. Alexander to note that of the 30,000 people living in Franklin County at the time, 29,999 were "mixed up directly or indirectly in the whiskey business."

Franklin County was known during Prohibition as "the wettest county in America."

Eighty years later, the grandson of one Franklin County's moonshiners, Robert Bondurant of Chase City, is carrying on the family legacy by making moonshine in a still pot handed down through the family. That's where Robert's ties to the past ends.

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TV’s American Pickers visit roller mill

TV’s American Pickers visit roller mill

Residents in Chase City were buzzing with Hollywood fever last week when they learned that scouts from the television show "American Pickers" were in town.

The men were at the Southside Roller Mill on East 3rd Street in downtown Chase City.

They weren't visiting to look at the Mill, which was recently named to Preservation Virginia's list of most endangered sites. Instead, the scouts came to sort through the treasures that Mill owner Harry Click has collected and assembled over the years, only some of which are housed at the Mill.

For those who are unfamiliar with the show that airs on the History Channel, it is about two expert antique hunters, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, who travel the country looking for what the show's website calls "hidden gems."

It is also about the quirky characters with amazing stories to tell who the two men meet as they travel around in their pickup truck.

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