Tag Archives: Rum Running

Rum Running During the Prohibition

by Mary Beth Baker

The Stonington Historical Society offers a talk and slide show about the days of Prohibition in Eastern CT on Friday evening, July 25, at the Richard W. Woolworth Library. The talk begins at 5 p.m., and there will be time for questions. Refreshments, including rum brought in legally, will be offered afterward outdoors, if weather permits.

The speakers are Steve Jones and Bob McKenna, proprietors of Flat Hammock Press in Mystic, who published six recent books on rum-running. Steve and Bob will sell three of their books concerned with Prohibition: “The Real McCoy” by Frederic Van de Water, about a bootlegger named Bill McCoy who often hung out on the local Rum Row, just outside federal jurisdiction; “The Bahama Queen,” an autobiography by Gertrude Lythgoe, and “The Diary of a Rum-Runner” by Alastair Moray.

An exhibition of artifacts from this wild era will be on view in the library during the talk. It will include a list of places raided for selling liquor, and a new acquisition of the society, a beautifully preserved hand-painted door from a stylish speakeasy in Stonington. Information about where in town one went to say “Joe sent me” will be part of the exhibition.

Admission is $10. The library is at 40 Palmer Street, between North Water Street and North Main Street (Route 1A) in Stonington. Space is limited, and reservations are recommended. Call 860.535.8445.