100 years since the start of Prohibition

Published: Jan. 17, 2020 at 9:24 PM EST
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It’s been 100 years since the start of Prohibition.

The 18th Amendment went into effect on January 17, 1920, banning the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors in the United States.

"For as much as the law went into effect, it didn't really seem to have that much affect here in Marquette,” said Jim Koski, WMQT Program Director and historical storyteller.

Koski has done a number of programs for the Marquette Regional History Center.

Koski shared a few stories about Marquette during Prohibition on Friday.

"Technically alcohol was outlawed, but there were a lot of first and second generation immigrant families who practiced wine making and who had practiced beer making back in the old country before they came over here, so they kept it going, just kept it under the radar,” said Koski.

Koski said several places in Marquette would have music or cards in the front, then a secret door to the back where the homemade alcohol was, similar to speakeasies that popped up around the country.

"One of the things that Prohibition actually did was shut down a lot of the long serving bars in Marquette, there were a couple of places that had been around for like 40 or 50 years at that time, places like Remillards and the Vierling,” said Koski.

Remillards is now Remie’s and has a long history in Marquette.

Owner Heather Moddell gave some details about the establishment, the longest running bar in Marquette.

It was originally opened in 1871 as a tavern and boarding house.

The bar was purchased by John B. Remillard in 1934 after Prohibition ended in 1933 and the Moddells bought the bar in 1991.

An incredible amount of history in one building, making it through the Prohibition and continuing to be a thriving business to this day.

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