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4. Site of a Prohibition Still Explosion

IofAW 74tButton - ListenIn 1920, Congress passed the 18th Amendment and Prohibition began.  The Temperance Movement pushed this amendment through believing that by removing alcohol from the U.S., families would be reunited, unemployment would end, and money spent in saloons rather than for food would stop.  Instead, the age of bootleggers and speakeasies began.  Organized crime flourished because people were willing to do almost anything for a drink during the Great Depression.

The local newspapers are riddled with articles about the discovery and confiscation of stills and bootlegging supplies found all around Winslow.  It’s interesting to note that many of those illicit sites were found with easy access to the railroad tracks.  One newspaper article mentions a double arrest in Winslow and Holbrook.  Law officers stated that “large quantities” of alcohol were confiscated and poured down the sewer but no one was ever named in the arrests which led locals to gossip about which powerful players were not being named and why.

240785315_5989051697833982_1033121437347469156_nIn January of 1992, a late night explosion shook the town of Winslow.  The responding firefighters were shocked to find an old still and porcelain bathtub in the basement of the exploded building.  A leaking gas line had exposed one of Winslow’s Prohibition secrets.  The local railroad old-timers were the only people in town who were not surprised by the find.  It turns out, that used to be the spot you stopped by on the way home from your train to pick up a bottle of the local special.  The whiskey purchased was known to be 104 proof.

In the evenings right as the sun goes down, local legend says you can hear glasses clinking and drunken laughter in the area.  People have even seen a staggering figure wearing an old fashioned engineer’s cap and overalls shuffling down the sidewalk before disappearing into the night.


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