Prohibition in the North Country — ‘Adirondack menace’

Heavy-handed enforcement of Prohibition was becoming “an Adirondack menace,” The Post-Star editorialized on May 15, 1922.

The editorial responded to concerns that were raised at the May 6 meeting of the Adirondack Resorts Association at the Rockwell House hotel in Glens Falls.

“The hotelmen expressed the opinion that the methods would in time tend to drive (tourism) business from the Adirondacks because innocent parties resented having their machines stopped and searched,” the editorial stated. “In some sections it is said that drivers of machines have been forced to stand in the road while their machines were being searched for liquor.”

Those who had been forced to stand by the road during lengthy frivolous searches included a banker from Westport and his family, an Episcopal pastor from Lake Placid and his family on the way to a church conference in Albany, and officers of the Port Henry Knights of Columbus.

“There have been instances, according to tourists, of unnecessary flourishing of firearms on the part the officers, and that is being resented.”

Post-Star editors said hotel men were justified in their concern.

“If the officers engaged in enforcing the prohibition law are performing as reports from the northern section of the state indicate, then there is every reason why the hotel proprietors and those interested in the development of the Adirondack country should voice their protest.”

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Maury Thompson

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY