Prohibition | St. Louis Public Radio

Prohibition

The Lone Wolf Club, shown here, was a speakeasy during Prohibition. The club, which stood at the edge of what is now Castlewood State Park, later became a private tavern.
Castlewood State Park

The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution established the prohibition of alcohol in the U.S. Enforcement of the new law started on Jan. 17, 1920.

In this episode of St. Louis on the Air, we recognize the 100th anniversary of Prohibition by diving into St. Louis’ rich Prohibition-era history.

A group of summertime visitors take a break from swimming in the Meramec River to pose for a photo. The area now home to Castlewood State Park was once a bustling summer resort destination in the early 1900s.
Castlewood State Park

If you look closely, you’ll notice something odd tucked into the hills of Castlewood State Park: crumbling concrete ruins.

Listener Joel Verhagen had an inkling that the area might have an interesting past, so he decided to ask our Curious Louis series: What was Castlewood State Park before it was a park?

That’s how the two of us end up hiking along a gravel path at Castlewood on a blazing hot afternoon. We're making our way along the bluff overlooking the Meramec River when we spot something hidden in plain sight — a moss-covered staircase to nowhere.

Prohibition Era St. Louis, From Dance To Drink

May 8, 2014
Courtesy Missouri History Museum

From 1920 until 1933, it was illegal to manufacture, transport and sell alcohol in the United States. In response, an underground culture of speakeasies and bootleggers sprang up, where covert groups met in unmarked locations to drink homemade gin, listened to jazz and danced the Charleston.

In St. Louis, those looking for a drink met in cellars and caves, said Tracy Lauer, an archivist at Anheuser-Busch.  Saloons and taverns shut down across the city, many to never reopen.

Can a Clydesdale pull his weight in a global economy?

Jul 14, 2008
Clydesdale-pulled beer wagons went throughout the East Coast to promote approval of the repeal of Prohibition. 1933  300 pixels
From Anheuser-Busch Inc.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 14, 2008 - The Clydesdale hitch first paraded down Pestalozzi Street the day Congress set up the apparatus to repeal Prohibition.

Can you name the date?