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Culture 0

Moonshine and Memories: the Matthews-Clauson-McCullough House



According to Rachel Silva, an historian with the Arkansas History Preservation Program,

Revenue agents found out about it and raided the house. (A neighbor) followed the revenuers to Miller Road and watched as they poured barrels of liquor out into the yard through the windows on the western side of the house. The moonshiners kept hogs in pens to the northwest of the house to eat the corn mash after it was used in the liquor-making process. After the moonshiners were arrested, authorities released the hogs. The pigs got drunk off the swill that had been poured out and went staggering down the hill toward the old Kellogg Mine.



Silva hasn’t been able to confirm or deny the veracity of the tale, but it’s a great story with a perfectly plausible setting. Built in 1927, the stately 5,000 square foot house is seated high on a country hillside, at 10226 Miller Road, in what is now Sherwood, Arkansas. The hulk of an early twentieth century mail truck is rusting picturesquely in the neighboring woods. Rustic stone walls enclose the grounds. A faded red barn appears to sink into tall meadow grass behind the house. It’s a bootlegger hideaway straight out of central casting.


Apart from that brief misadventure, the house has enjoyed a respectable history as a home to several families, most recently Murray and Martha McCullough, remembered by neighbors for their social grace and love of horses. They bought the house in 1950, and raised seven children there, one of whom was the last occupant until his death in 2014.


Matthews-Clauson-McCullough House was built in the Tudor Revival style of architecture, with elements of Craftsman style, also popular at the time. Diamond-shaped window panes, an arched front door, and a prominent chimney on the east side of the house are characteristic of the Tudor Revival, while the casement windows and use of natural stone in the entrance, walls, and fireplace are hallmarks of Craftsman style.


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Arkansas Women Blogger member Kyran Pittman has been chronicling her "big, little life" online and in print since 2006. Along the way, she became a contributing editor to Good Housekeeping magazine, where her work frequently appears; and the author of a memoir, "Planting Dandelions: Field Notes from a Semi-Domesticated Life," published in 2010 to critical acclaim (including a 4/4 star review in People magazine). A Canadian ex-pat, she lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with her husband and three sons, where she continues to tell her "story of us" at PlantingDandelions.com, a Babble Top 100 Mom Blog.

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