A Toast To Freedom On Repeal Day.

Four score and one year ago, America finally ended the disastrous “noble experiment” known as Prohibition.


But passage of the 21st Amendment on December 5th, 1933 – Repeal Day – only ended Prohibition at the federal level. States, counties and towns were free to regulate and even ban alcoholic beverages. Some still do so today.

One notable hold out was the small town of Monmouth, Oregon, located just a stone’s throw away from Rogue Farms in Independence.

Monmouth in 1961, when it marked 112 years of Prohibition. Photo from Salem Public Library.
Monmouth in 1961, when it marked 112 years of Prohibition. Photo from Salem Public Library.

Monmouth was founded by members of the Disciples of Christ, who fervently believed in prohibition. The town banned alcohol in 1859, six decades sooner than the rest of the country, and stayed dry until 2002.

Of course, Monmouth’s 143 year history of prohibition didn’t mean the end of drinking in the town. It meant that residents had to drive a little further to get their beer, booze and wine. One study showed that garbage collectors were picking up more empties in Monmouth than any other part of Polk County.

But ballot measures to end prohibition failed time and again, first in 1936, then 1950, 1954 and 1976. When it finally ended in 2002, Monmouth was the only dry town on the West Coast.

So on the 81st Anniversary of Repeal Day in the U. S., and 12 years after prohibition was ended in Monmouth, we lift our glasses to the right of free people to enjoy their favorite beer, spirit, cider or wine.



1 teaspoon sugar
3 or 4 dashes bitters
Few drops water
2 ounces Oregon Rye Whiskey
1 teaspoon pastis or absinthe
Lemon peel

Chill an Old Fashioned glass or small tumbler in your freezer. Pour in the pastis or absinthe and rinse the glass.

In a mixing glass, combine sugar, bitters, and a few drops of water. Mix until sugar is dissolved, and add Oregon Rye Whiskey. Add plenty of ice, and stir for about 30 seconds.

Strain the liquid from your mixing glass into the serving glass. Twist a piece of lemon peel over the drink.