Jan 21 2008
08:39 am
By: WhitesCreek

By Ray Collet

Hello Readers...My ramblings and visits to our local library have been slowed down somewhat in the last two weeks, but I did run across some information from the early days of Rockwood in the early 1900's that might be of interest to you. While I know that none of you will remember the times then, it can certainly be enlighting to know how our parents and grandparents coped with some issues in developing Rockwood. Here is some information that I found about the "Anti-Jug Law...
It seems that Rockwood was the first town in the state to put in operation ordinances prohibiting the importation of liquor.

It was not the first to pass such an ordinance, for Harriman already had one, but it was not enforced until Rockwood ordinances went into operation.
In this, as in the matter of principles of the four mile law, Rockwood is a pioneer. (Rockwood's four mile law prohibited the sale of liquor within four miles of any chartered institution of learning.)
The Board which passed these ordinances and put them in operation was: Hon. T. Asbury Wright, Mayor. Aldermen J.L.Millican, J.E.Fox, W.D.Kelley, T.L.Peterman and D.M.Coffman.
The Anti-Jug law was passed as a result of the Anti-Saloon victory in 1903. A great campaign to drive out saloons began in 1902. Anti-saloon leagues were organized in Rockwood and Kingston. Neither town fully trusted the other. Each thought if it voted to go dry the other would go wet and get all the liquor money. So it was decided to set the elections on the same day so that neither could tell the other how it was going. In Rockwood the ladies quickly went to work for the temperance movement. The town was divided into sections, committees were formed under the leadership of Mrs. Willard Warner, general chairman, and a house to house canvass was made.
On election day white ribbons were pinned on the temperance voters and a free lunch was served at the polling place. The ladies brought the men to the polls in squads. Each squad was marched in headed by a lady as the leader. Even the local drinkers were collared and marched off to vote.
The saloon men gave up the fight. Needless to say the ladies carried the day. After closing all the saloons those who wanted their liquor had to have it shipped in so the Anti-Jug ordinance followed.
Many packages of liquor were sent in only to be returned to the sender. Finally the Southern Express Company refused to transport liquor to Rockwood in violation of ordinances of the town and the dear old jug, with its exhilirating contents, ceased to arrive.
I thought some of you might enjoy a little history of Rockwood. I actually thought about this subject after a Rockwood 2000 meeting and a discussion on restoring the old Rockwood calaboose...not CABOOSE but CALABOOSE. It is the metal building in the alley behind the previously Booth Funeral Home and Bilbrey Furniture Store buildings. I remember that building very well, from the outside, not the inside. I think that it is one of only two in the State of Tennessee remaining. It would be a shame to lose this antique. Maybe a drive can be started to restore it. Thanks again for your cards, letters, emails and phone calls, my road to recovery is looking good....
Until next week........Ray

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