Bootlegging on the Point: Point Pelee and Prohibition
Publication Type:Conference Paper
'Rum running', 'blind pigs', 'speakeasies', and 'gangsters', these are not words that come to mind when thinking of Point Pelee National Park. Indeed, the park, which has produced one of the largest Riviere au Vase phase ceramic collections in Ontario, is associated more with the Western Basin Tradition of the Late Woodland Period. However, during the 2007 installation of a 7 km waterline, it was Point Pelee's more recent past that was brought into focus. Five sherry bottles, 3 still corked and full, were discovered buried under an asphalt road. Analysis of the bottles, their contents, and archival research seems to suggest that this find may be part of a Prohibition era (1920-1933) bootleg shipment, stashed underground for later retrieval. And although nearby Middle Island, which is part of Point Pelee National Park, has a direct connection with the Prohibition era, these bottles could be the first evidence to directly link Point Pelee to rum running.