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Allegany County
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Cumberland, Maryland (Prohibition Era)

Prohibition Era Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


not in use, was covered by several loose boards which matched the rest of the floor in the room. Prohibition agents who were called to the scene declared that, but for the explosion of the oil stove which was used to heat the still, the outfit probably never would have been discovered. In the secret room the officers said they found a twenty-five gallon still, nine barrels of mash, and some home brew. Smith was placed under arrest and taken to the police station where he was held for a hearing before Commissioner Anderson.

During the 1920’s and early 1930’s, so many arrests and convictions were made by dry agents that the Allegany County Jail could not hold all of the prisoners, so some were housed in the Garrett County Jail at Oakland, Maryland.

One bootlegger on North Mechanic Street had a box-like platform built out of a second story window over Wills Creek. If a raid should occur, the operator would just pull a rope and the bottom would drop out and the contents would drop down to the rocks below, for this is where he kept his whiskey. When the glass bottles hit the rocks, the bottles would shatter, and thus, no evidence.

One bootlegger I knew wore and overcoat all the time. People who didn’t know him thought he was an eccentric, but he had a half dozen pockets inside the coat in which he carried his stock of whiskey for sale. One of the favorite places for good moonshine, to the ones that you got in, if they knew you, got your drink, and got out. Some were fixed up like club rooms, with chairs, tables and some with slot machines. People referred to the quality of liquor bought in the prohibition era, calling two dollar whiskey “long life” and


Page #:

Miller, Herman J.

Mayor and Council, City of Cumberland


Collection Location:

Original Size:
27 x 20 cms

Stegmaier, Harry

Cumberland (Md.), history

Cumberland (Md.), 1700-1976

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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