Urban archeologist Brad Holden will cover the Prohibition era in the Greater Seattle area during a presentation illustrated with photos, on Saturday, March 16, at Brightwater Education Center, 10-11:30 am.
“The level of vice after the turn of the 20th century in this area may surprise some people,” Holden promised. His program will cover the proliferation of saloons in the early 1900s and subsequent rise of the Temperance movement, including its effect on rural communities like Woodinville, where the Women’s Christian Temperance Union was an active organization.
Washington state voted to go “dry” in 1915, nearly five years before the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution made alcohol illegal nationwide. The U.S. ban on production, importation, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages ran from 1920 to 1933.
Locally, Woodinville’s only saloon at the turn of the century was Vic Anderson’s 1889 Rainier Saloon which was popular with local citizens as well as railroad employees who could easily access it from the railroad depot. The saloon stood on pilings near the river, topped by the Junction Hotel and a restaurant, both on the second floor of the building. (see page 14 in Images of America: Woodinville,” a book published by the Heritage Society in 2015 and available for sale after the program and at the museum).
The Rainier Saloon was a popular watering hole ion the area but closed about 1912 as a result of a citizen petition during the era of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). But it was said that several moonshine stills operated in hidden locations in the woods and hillsides around Woodinville throughout the Prohibition years. Federal agents succeeded in raiding the stills, including one occasion when federal agents engaged in a gun battle with illicit distillers near the Hollywood Farm. A Seattle Times account dramatically headlined the event, “Hail of Bullets Reveals Two Stills.”