Alcohol was Banned in One Washington Town Until Recently

As of today in the year 2023 - You can stroll into any Washington state restaurant or cafe - and order a mixed drink, bottle of beer, or glass of wine. 

That's if the establishment has a proper liquor license. 

One town in Washington hung tightly onto a 90-year prohibition-era ban on alcohol. If you owned a restaurant in this particular town - you were prohibited from selling any beer, wine, or any kind of liquor - until only a few years ago.

Circa 1901 (Public Domain)
Circa 1901 (Public Domain)

The small Pierce County town of Fircrest, Washington (located between Tacoma and University Place) had banned the sale of alcohol - until a vote of the people reversed this long-standing, archaic law in November of 2015.

When did Washington and America ban any sale or use of Alcohol? 

Washington voters passed an initiative that prohibited the Manufacture and sale of liquor across all of Washington - in November of 1914.

(NOTE: The consumption of alcohol was legal - until 1918 when Washington went completely dry.)

‘Even though the initiative failed in Seattle, Tacoma, and Spokane, it won statewide. City people opposed it whereas smalltown and rural people were in favor.’

Keystone Liqour store, Seattle (1915) Photo Credit: MOHAI
Keystone Liqour store, Seattle (1915) Photo Credit: MOHAI

Any saloons that had weathered the “Big City” Local Option closed as of midnight on December 31, 1915. 

The National Prohibition - prohibiting the sale of any alcohol went into effect in 1919.

Effects of Prohibition on the Wine Industry

‘Washington's wine industry was one of the major outgrowths of the state's irrigation projects in the central and eastern areas of the state.  When Washington went bone-dry in 1917, the state's fledgling wine industry disintegrated almost overnight.’

The End of Prohibition

Prohibition in Washington officially ended in 1932.

The Nation, as a whole, dropped Prohibition in 1933.

Fircrest, Washington, population 6,000, held tight to the banning of alcohol sales until November of 2015.

INFO: KING 5 Seattle,

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