Yes, In My Backyard



Brushy Mountain State Prison, a maximum-security facility in rural Tennessee, was closed in July 2009 after 113 years of operation. Originally, there were many wide-ranging ideas of how to reuse the property.  These included turning the shuttered prison into a bed and breakfast, museum or a location to house Guantanamo Bay inmates.  Ultimately, Morgan County residents voted by a 2-1 margin to permit the manufacture of intoxicating drinks paving the way for construction of a moonshine distillery and tourist attraction owned by the Brushy Mountain Group from Chattanooga.  The distillery will also include an RV park, restaurant, gift shop and riding stables at a cost of $10-12 million.  Morgan County issued bonds to the Brushy Mountain Group to pay for the property and infrastructure.  Senate Bill 1708 will redirect a portion of state and local taxes from profits made on items sold at the distillery for 20 years to help pay off the bonds.


STATE: Tennessee

PRISON: Brushy Mountain State Prison

ADDRESS:  P.O Box 1000, Petros, Tennessee 37845

COUNTY: Morgan


PROPERTY HISTORY:  Coalmines that were turned into the prison.

MOST RECENT USE:  Maximum-security prison opened in 1896 and closed in 2009.

INTENDED REUSE: Moonshine distillery and accompanying tourist attractions, including a museum, restaurants, RV park, and riding stables.

OWNER/DEVELOPER:  Brushy Mountain Group, Chattanooga, TN


CAPITAL FINANCING:  Bonds issued by Morgan County.

STATUS AS OF April 2014: Final approval was given for the distillery project.


Brushy Mountain Group

Facebook Page on Brushy Mountain prison conversion project

Econ. board takes control of Brushy Mt.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014



  1. betty rapier
    May 13, 2016

    Can’t be soon enough. Petros needs this to grow and become a desired place to live. I think it’s fantastic

  2. Kate Russell
    May 15, 2016

    Well, that’s interesting. My grandfather and great uncle were both wardens at Brushy. My father and aunts pretty much grew up there. My grandmother died there. All the years they had to battle to keep moonshine out of the prison. Never mind the number of prisoners who ended up in Brushy because of moonshine. It’s rather sadly ironic that you couldn’t think of anything better to do with it. Legal moonshine at Brushy. Who’d have thought?

  3. Richard smith
    August 22, 2016

    When will it be open for tours