Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Bootlegging In Malone

Mary Riley Road--top left, in pink
Lost Nation Road--to the right, in blue
Bootlegging was not considered a big deal--thus when Dutch Schultz arrived in Malone, NY for his second tax-evasion trial, no one thought of him as a gangster. Grandpa and Dad both made hooch in the barn.
English: Dutch Schultz 1935
English: Dutch Schultz 1935
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

However Malone saw its share of crime from bootlegging--mostly gangsters from the city, but then, as now, our proximity to the border makes this area an ideal spot for smuggling.

Tales gleaned from The Malone Sesquicentennial by a renowned local reporter, Del Forkey, talk about death rides and bootleggers swerving to avoid rabbits but aiming their hulking cars at the feds. Two roads infamous for this are: the Mary Riley Road in Franklin County and Lost Nation Road in Churubusco, Clinton County. Also ill-famed is the Poke-O-Moonshine Road. To the best of my knowledge, that road is in Essex county near Elizabeth town and the popular hiking mountain of the same name.

(My map, with apologies, doesn't show in great detail the location of the roads as my skill with Photoshop is limited, but you can see their locations).

According to Forkey, We were part of a "bottleline" use to stem the illegal flow of liquor from Canada. Our area had seen bootlegging, high-jacking and gun fights. "Malone became occupied by a colorful garrison of prohibition enforcement officers and, in flush years, the community was accustomed to seeing long fleets of seized booze cars brought in almost daily."

Prohibition was enacted with the Eighteenth Amendment in 1919 and repealed with the Twenty-first Amendment in 1933. Never popular, and largely ignored, by the end little was done to enforce prohibition.

Glossary of terms:
A revenuer--the federal agent in charge of stopping bootlegging
Booze, hooch, giggle juice, mule--whiskey
Cadillac--one ounce packet of cocaine or heroin
Micky, Micky Finn-a drink spiked with a knock-out drug
Rot gut, bathtub gin--prohibition alcohol
Speakeasy--an illegal bar disguised as something else

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment