life and times
hiram who
birth of the auto
border cities
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On January 16, 1920, the U.S. Eighteenth Amendment banning the sale, manufacture or transportation of “intoxicating liquor” took effect. An atmosphere of general lawlessness was bred by prohibition, bootleggers and gamblers. Gangsters fought to secure a share of the lucrative business and corrupt politicians turned a blind eye as mobsters like Al Capone terrorized entire cities.

Most Canadian provinces went dry at the same time the Eighteenth Amendment came into place. The Liquor Control Act in Ontario (LCA) forbid public or hotel drinking but did not prohibit the manufacture and export of liquor.

For border cities like Windsor, this loophole in the Act would set the course for a wild decade never seen before or since. Opposite Windsor was big parched Detroit and beyond, the entire U.S. with its tongue hanging out. It didn’t take long for enterprising businessmen in Windsor to set up export docks to supply those thirsty Americans.

The Detroit River was a smugglers’ paradise; 28 miles long and less than a mile across in some areas, with thousands of coves and hiding places along its shore and islands. Along with Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River, these waterways carried an incredible 75% of the liquor supplied to the United States during prohibition.

In this three part series, The TIMES Magazine focuses on prohibition and the Border Cities.


Prohibition 1 – March: Issue #32

Detroit – National Prohibition Test Site
The Windsor/Walkerville Connection
Art Gignac – The Gentleman Bootlegger
A Prohibition Story
My TV Hobby


Prohibition 2 – April: Issue #33

Windsor Went Wild in the Roaring Twenties
Harry Low's Millions
James Scott Cooper
The Amiable Giant of Prohibition
The Roadhouses
Breakfast with Marty


Prohibition 3 – May: Issue #34

Mobsters, Mayhem & Murder
King Canada
Sneaky Smugglers
Kidnapped by Rumrunners
“The Canadian Club Girl” – Ella Walker – granddaughter of Hiram Walker



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