Retro Charlotte

1929: Illegal whiskey poured down Charlotte's storm drain

Standing on the contraband before pouring it down the sewer, Nov 1929
Standing on the contraband before pouring it down the sewer, Nov 1929 The Charlotte Observer

(This story ran with the first two slides; the rest are about other raids.)

Excerpts from a November 19, 1929 Observer story:

Thirsty Crowd Gets Liquor By Hatsful Until Police Run Them Away; Then They Go To Mouth Of Drain

Hilarity reigned supreme at the Mecklenburg courthouse yesterday noon as the biggest liquor party of the year was “pulled” by rural police when more than 1,000 gallons of corn whiskey went “down the old sewer.”

Hundreds of men, women and children that attended the festivities yelled with glee as jar after jar of the mountain dew was smashed by policemen, and the booze began gurgling down the sewer. Cries soon came from a nearby drain where someone had discovered the liquor was flowing and in a flash a crowd had gathered.

At first they stuck their fingers down the grate and licked the booze off. Then someone dipped a tobacco can in there and passed drinks around. With a howl someone tore off the grate and dipped himself a hatful and then the party was on. The screaming mass of humanity battling for drinks finally was dispersed when Chief Vic Fesperman rushed to the group and stood over the hole.

A moment later the fun began again when the Chief went hurriedly to summon a policeman to guard the place. Off came the grate again and hat after hat was dipped into the sewer to be brought forth for greedy mouths to guzzle the liquid in.

Their party broken up at the courthouse, some made off for Sugaw Creek, three blocks away, and there caught liquor by the bucketfuls as it poured out of the storm drain from the courthouse.

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