– W.C. Fields, American comedian and actor
Prohibition marked a 13 year period in history between 1920 and 1933 when the production and consumption of alcohol was outlawed in the United States. The needs of society during the Roaring 1920s brought about the birth of Bootleggers, Rum Runners, speakeasies and gangsters.
Long Island played a major role with secret stills producing “bathtub gin” “white lightening” and other forbidden libations. Enterprising rum runners transported large quantities of illegal beverages from Canada and the Caribbean using high speed boats and cars. The Vanderbilt Motor Parkway, a private highway, served as Rum Runners Road as did The Kings Highway. Now called Route 25A, General George Washington’s spies and President Washington rode that same route, first to deliver secret messages to the General and then the President came by horse and carriage to Long Island to thank his spies. Mansions of the wealthy, secret coves along the North Shore and local speakeasies dot the area.
Travel the route! Use your imagination and “detective” skills. Where are the coves and landings? How can you avoid the Federal Revenuers? Where are the speakeasies?