Moonshine—this is not a post about the beverage, although I did have a taste back in 1973, and my throat is still burning! This post is about a town called Moonshine.
Moonshine is located in Clark County, Illinois. Population 2. It has been featured on the CBS Sunday Morning Show. So around here, it is famous.
There is only one building in the entire town (not including the outhouse) and this is a grocery store built in 1912. The wind was frightfully cold or I would have ventured out to take a picture of the outhouse. I hurried back to the car instead.
The store was later sold to Helen and Roy Tuttle in 1982, who created a restaurant that serves their famous Moonburger.
The store has a guest book signed by visitors from all 50 states and from around the world. During the 2011 Terry Hammond Memorial Moonshine Lunchrun (has to do with motorcycle riders raising money for a cause) on April 9, 2011, a new record of 2,068 burgers were served.
Moonshine is a dry town, no alcoholic beverages sold.
There are two theories on the origin of the town's name. One version attributes its name to the moon shining on swampy land near the store, while another is attributed to a long time local resident who states a family from Philadelphia named it in the 1850s to honor locations in Pennsylvania. Wonder if those locations were known for their stills. Hmm.
Customers place their order in the back of the store at what looks to have been a meat counter at one time. Tell the cooks what you want and give them your name. There are no tables, just wooden benches and a few folding chairs. In nice weather, there are several picnic tables outside.
Once your name is called, you go to the back and pick up your order, which is served on a paper plate. Next stop, the condiment table. Add thick slices of onions, pickles, mustard or ketchup to taste and pull a cold drink out of the cooler. Pay when you leave.
There is a lot to look at while enjoying that famous, thick, juicy burger. The walls and counters are lined with antiques and pictures.
If you so desire, you can take home a souvenier such as a t-shirt, coffee cup, or shot glass—all emblazened with the town's name.
So, if you are ever in middle-of-nowhere Illinois and develope a hunger for a tasty burger, Moonshine is the perfect place to stop.