In the late 1800s, several new communities were established whose charters included a prohibition on alcoholic beverages.  These were sponsored by prominent Americans and were successful until they were declared to be unconstitutional limitations on private property rights (in much the same way that later all-White communities were declared illegal because of their restrictive covenants on race).

     Some of the more prominent towns were Harriman, Tennessee (sponsored by John Fisk);  Prohibition Park on Staten Island, New York; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Demorest, Georgia (1889, sponsored by Nell and William Demorest).

Henry Ford's utopian rubber plantation in brazil included alcohol prohibition as well as free medical care and free schools.  See:  Grandin, Greg () -- Fordlandia:  Metropolitan Books.

Pulliam, W.T. (1978) Harriman, the Town that Temperance Built: 706pp, Harriman, privately printed.

East Lansing, Michigan

The City charter, signed in 1907, prohibited the sale of alcohol.  The city council amended the charter in 1968 to allow the sale of alcohol.
     The Chronicle of Higher Education
subsequently reported that students at Michigan State Uniersity University (located in East Lansing) led the nation in alcohol-related arrests.  Frequent student riots since 1999, often in connection with football games, have made MSU a notorious "party school." 

  Demorest, Georgia

Demorest, Georgia was incorporated on 13 Nov 89 as a dry community.  “In 1889, a group of people from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Indiana moved to Georgia to found a community which would have high moral standards.  They decided that anyone who permitted drinking alcoholic beverages, gambling, or prostitution would forfeit their property.  [William Jennings] Demorest formed the Demorest Home, Mining, and Improvement Company to make that dream a reality.  On November 13th, 1889 the town was incorporated and named “Demorest” in honor of the great Prohibition leader.”—Dec’03 National Statesman, p.4.

Starrville, Texas

Starrville, Texas Photo

Rev. Joshua Starr bought a section of land in northeast Texas in 1852, with the intention of developing a "dry" community.  Located along the Dallas-to-Shreveport road, the village prospered with stores, hotels, mills, foundries, and a wagon factory.    
     Both the Methodists and the Baptists ran schools for girls, and there was a female college.  It was a progressive, ambitious place to live.
     And then, Starrville lost out.  There was fierce competition for railway access after the Civil War, as the nation's railways expanded westward.   The local railway was built through Winona, three miles away.  Starrville businesses and community services migrated there, to take advantage of its now faster transportation, and the town withered away.  All that is left of Starrville today is the town well historic site.

Temperance, Michigan

Temperance, Michigan was named by two of its earliest settlers, Lewis and Martha Ansted. The Ansteds wrote restrictions into the deeds for all of the property they owned, specifying that alcohol could never be sold there.  Other early settlers followed their lead.  The restrictions lasted about 100 years, then were repealed on the initiative of a local businesswoman.  National Statesman, Feb'74.

Boulder, Colorado

Boulder, Colorado was once a strong-hold of the Prohibition Party..  Many Prohibition candidates were elected here in years past.  Prohibitionists and WCTU members helped bring about a state-wide referendum in Colorado in the 1800s -- the first such plebiscite anywhere in the world.  The question lost, state-wide, but Boulder County was the one county in which it carried.
     Boulder was legally dry until the 1960s, and many religious and temperance publications hailed it as a shining oasis of morality and culture.
     Then, the residents agreed to tolerate the sale of alcoholic beverages.  In 1981, the State reported that 90% of all traffic deaths in Boulder were caused by alcohol.

-- information from Earl F. Dodge

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