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.
PRISON: Brushy Mountain State Prison
ADDRESS: P.O Box 1000, Petros, Tennessee 37845
WHEN BUILT: 1896
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
PROJECTED COMPLETION OF BUILDING RENOVATION: 2015
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