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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


the one dollar whiskey, “early grave.” While some bootleggers sold only whiskey, mostly their places sold both whiskey and home brew. Most fraternal clubs were for members only, but had both whiskey and beer for sale. Some speakeasies stole the idea from the strictly private clubs and had membership cards made for the patrons of their places. As an example of how many wanted to sell liquor when the country went dry, there were thirty-six licenses issued for 1921 for soft drink establishments. Not all sold liquor, but most did. Some bootleggers would deliver to your home. You would use a code over the telephone. If you wanted three pints, you would ask for three pounds.

On April 7, 1933, 3.2 beer became legal. Baltimore, Hagerstown and others parts of the state were selling the brew. Cumberland and Allegany County could not because a bill that had been passed in the General Assembly pertaining to county beer licenses stipulated that the applications became available on the day beer came back, but permits became effective only seven days later. You could buy beer on the first day of repel in Pennsylvania. A store just over the state line on the Bedford Road was selling beer on the first day. A steady stream of Cumberlanders took advantage of the beer sale.

On Friday, April 14, 1933, beer could be bought in Allegany County. Those who could sell beer reported a good business. There were almost as many women as men customers. With the return of beer, many speakeasies came out in the open, applied for licenses and operated under regulations. It is worth noting that it has been only about two years since beer and liquor could be sold legally on Sunday in Allegany County. Many people of the area would go to Ridgeley, West Virginia, to buy beer on Sundays. Now, restaurants


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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