One more relic of Prohibition fell away in Oregon last month as our state’s last remaining dry town served its first shot of liquor since 1859:
It was just after quitting time on June 18, and many of the people who had crowded around the bar inside Rookies Sports Pub had a shot of whiskey, tequila or cocktail staring back at them.
But they held off downing them — some needing more restraint than others — until about 5:15 p.m., as Trina Trevino rang the bell hanging above the back bar.
At that moment, business owner and husband, Alex, poured himself a drink, thanked his patrons and called out “cheers.”
“Here’s the pour heard around Polk County,” he hollered, followed quickly by, “The bar is open!”
Monmouth’s nearly 150-year prohibition on hard alcohol sales officially ended on June 17, exactly 30 days after residents voted down the law during the May primary election.
The law in Monmouth passed eight years after campaigners brought beer and wine to the formerly dry area:
The first mixed drink went to Salem attorney David Sherman, who lives in rural Monmouth. Sherman helped Koontz in architecting the campaign. He was also on board eight years earlier when current Mayor John Oberst spirited a campaign to get beer and wine into Monmouth.
“Did you ever think you would see this?” Oberst posed, sharing a scotch and a smile. “We knew if we went for the whole hog back then it would have been voted down. It took people a little while to see that the whole town is not going to fall apart if we allow the sale of alcohol.”
[Via Blue Oregon.]