Who doesn’t love a good home makeover or renovation? I mean, there are tens, if not hundreds, of shows on all kinds of TV and media networks devoted to the art.
But what most people love about it, apart from seeing the transformation, is that much of it can be done without the help of experts. Sure, it takes some skill and experience to master things like taking down walls, adding them, or installing new windows and doors. But it will never cease to amaze us how a fresh coat of paint, a refinished floor, and a few accent pieces can change the entire atmosphere in a home or space.
This is likely what a couple from Boston had in mind when they decided to buy a hundred-year-old home in upstate New York this past year. But what they found there was much more exciting than paint and wood.
Nick Drummond and his partner Patrick Bakker had recently moved into the area when the home came on the market. And as they loved the old house’s character, they were quick to jump on the opportunity.
When they made the purchase in the small town of Ames, New York, they were told the home had once belonged to rather wealthy and childless German baron who, during the 1920s and the height of prohibition in the United States, had begun bootlegging.
As Drummond wrote on his Instagram account, “The story is endearing, and most likely completely false, but we’re going along with it. After all, who doesn’t want to live in a home built by a bootlegging barren baron?”
However, once the couple started actually renovating the home, they found irrefutable evidence that the story was anything but false.
Drummond wrote on his Instagram, “OUR WALLS ARE BUILT OF BOOZE! I can’t believe the rumors are true. He was actually a bootlegger! I mean I thought it was a cute story, but the builder of our house was ACTUALLY a bootlegger!”
According to the couple, they have so far found a whopping 66 bottles hidden within the walls and floors of the century-old home. Of those, 13 appear to be still very full of ‘Old Smuggler Gaelic Whiskey.’
However, Drummond notes that only about nine of those appear to be drinkable. The other four seem to have damaged caps and therefore probably shouldn’t be consumed. Drummond also states that more have been found since the initial discovery, but as the home’s renovation is still an ongoing project, they have yet to be counted or pictured.
So what does this tell us, beyond, as Drummond called it, an “endearing story?”
Well, it reminds us of a time of old and a lesson for our future.
Prohibition began in 1919 when the progressives of the time implemented the 18th Amendment, officially outlawing the sale of alcohol in all forms within the country. But as we all know, simply making something illegal doesn’t mean it won’t be done.
By the mid-1920s, bootleggers, such as this home’s original owner, had popped up everywhere. People started making their own alcohol in their own backyards. And speakeasies, as they become known, seemed to be just about everywhere.
But the forbidden sales gave rise to much more than just backyard stills and hidden backrooms. It also created what is now known as the American Mafia. The illegal use of alcohol sales became the backbone for organized crime in city after city throughout the country, creating a network that only grew with time.
Clearly, the movement had backfired.
In 1933, prohibition ended with the passing of the 21st Amendment, which gave the issue of alcohol sales to the states instead of the federal government. But it left a lasting effect on the nation and that one that encouraged illegal and underground behavior in all of its forms.
Prohibition should have also taught our governments a vital lesson about making laws and enforcing them: putting rules in place that outlaw specific behavior or items doesn’t people won’t do it.
Take several items on the far left’s agenda for the next four years, for example.
Do you think that making firearms, or even just “assault weapons,” illegal will stop people from using them? What about fossil fuel-powered vehicles and machines?
No, these items contribute to a way of life and even a livelihood for some. And as prohibition proved, where there is a will, there is a way…