Prohibition Tours

Dubbed the “wettest county in the country,” Madison County, IL was a haven for bootleggers, rum runners and speakeasies. Prior to prohibition, Americans drank an average of 7 gallons of alcohol a year, more than three times our current consumption. 

It's no wonder that citizens of the area voted to stay “wet” and the storm brewing between the wets and drys was put to rest…until 1913, when women were granted the right to vote. In 1919 the 18th Amendment was passed, prohibiting the manufacture, transportation and sale of intoxicating liquors. Many law-abiding citizens lost their jobs. Businesses closed. 

Prohibition did not stop drinking in America - it pushed it underground. Some who lost their jobs found work of the illicit variety. Many women started drinking. Speakeasies popped up and drinkers played cat and mouse with the law. Bootleggers and moonshiners had big orders to fill. Organized crime from Chicago and St. Louis found its way to Alton…

Alton Odyssey Tours is excited to announce our partnership with Vintage Voices to bring characters of the Roaring Twenties to life. We’ll travel to locations affected by the death of John Barleycorn and meet some of the people most impacted by his demise. This tour includes stops at five different locations and concludes with a celebration to the end of prohibition. Enjoy a pint of the “Bees Knees,” a special brew in collaboration with Old Bakery Beer Company - made especially for us! (NA options also available.)

Prohibition tours take place April 22, May 6 & 13, June 10 & 24, July 8 & 15, August 19 & 26, September 9 and November 18

You must be 21 years of age with photo ID to participate. Please refrain from over-indulging prior to the tour. We reserve the right to refuse service to intoxicated guests and no refund will be issued.

Tours begin at 3 pm at The Conservatory, 554 East Broadway, Alton, IL

View all of our tours here

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