West Virginia Moonshine

December 11, 1905: Filmmaker Pare Lorentz Born

Dec 11, 2018
During World War II, Lorentz made hundreds of training films for pilots who were flying previously uncharted routes around the world.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / e-WV

Filmmaker “Pare” Lorentz was born in Clarksburg on December 11, 1905. After attending West Virginia Wesleyan College for a year, he transferred to West Virginia University, where he wrote stories for West Virginia Moonshine magazine. At the age of 20, he moved to New York City and began writing for some of the nation’s most popular magazines.

Courtesy Dalton Distillery

In post-Depression-era Appalachia, moonshining was a way of life. It was a respected, although technically illegal, profession. It kept food on the table for the Butler family for over 100 years. Raymond Butler recalls his first job in the family business: “I was about six. My dad put me down in one still to clean it. If there’s any green or blue, that’s got to come out of copper — it’s poisonous. When I came out of the still, it had to look like a new penny.”