Here’s a Friendly Reminder That Alcohol Used to be Banned in Maine
There was once a time when grabbing a beer at a bar in Maine was illegal. According to MaineMemory.net's exhibit Prohibition in Maine in the 1920s, Maine's dry era started nearly 70 years before the federal government banned the sale and consumption of alcohol in 1920.
"Neal Dow, war general and two-time mayor of Portland, Maine, was the spearhead of the temperance movement that took hold in 1851."
-MaineMemory.net, Prohibition in Maine in the 1920s
Alcohol was sold and consumed in secret for many years. Many saloons opened during the period of prohibition with blatant disregard for the law. Rum runners smuggled alcohol into our ports. Mainers still found a way to drink their drinks while the state and federal governments fought to uphold the laws of Prohibition until 1933.
Confiscated Alcohol Bottles in Portland
Piles of confiscated liquor were stored in each county's "Rum Room". City officials would host parties monthly to pour the contraband into the sewer pipes and into the ocean.
Pouring Out Contraband Liquor in Bath
It is estimated that over 500 gallons of liquor and other alcohol was emptied into the sewers at these dumping events.
Portland City Hall's 'Rum Room'
From the time Maine went dry in 1851 until the repeal of Prohibition in 1934, each town in Maine had a Rum Room where seized liquor was stored, then dumped into sewers, rivers, or the ocean.
This Genius Converted a Victrola Into a Hidden Liquor Cabinet
Mainers went to great lengths to preserve their private stash of booze. This genius converted his Victrola into a hidden cabinet for his stash. Prohibition or not, this is a great way to hide your liquor from grabby roommates.
No Thank You, Neal Dow
The home of the man responsible for Maine's alcohol ban still stands at 714 Congress Street in Portland.