Tag Archives: cow shoes

Did The Bootleggers in Lanark County Wear Cow Shoes?

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My friend Winston Smith on Twitter loves bugs– He does not have to tell me this I can see it plainly– but he also puts on some great links.

 

Yesterday he put on a photo from Rare Historical Photos. Cow shoes used by Moonshiners in the Prohibition days to disguise their footprints, 1922.

A 1922 article from a now-defunct St. Petersburg, Florida newspaper called the Evening Independent carried a story about moonshiners wearing “cow shoes” to trick revenuers – rather than leaving suspicious footprints leading up to their secret stills, they’d leave innocent-looking hoofprints in the dirt and grass.

A new method of evading prohibition agents was revealed here today by A.L. Allen, state prohibition enforcement director, who displayed what he called a “cow shoe” as the latest thing front the haunts of moonshiners.

The cow shoe is a strip of metal to which is tacked a wooden block carved to resemble the hoof of a cow, which may be strapped to the human foot. A man shod with a pair of them would leave a trail resembling that of a cow.

The shoe found was picked up near Port Tampa where a still was located some time ago. It will be sent to the prohibition department at Washington. Officers believe the inventor got his idea from a Sherlock Holmes story in which the villain shod his horse with shoes the imprint of which resembled those of a cow’s hoof.

The Sherlock Holmes’s story where this idea is taken was “The Adventure of the Priory School.” The villain in this story outfitted his horse with faux cow hooves in order to avoid detection. Vintage News

 

Lanark County Genealogical Society Website

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