Alcohol Is Still Illegal in Eight Massachusetts Towns

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massachusetts dry towns

Illustration by Madeline Bilis

Massachusetts was one of the first to get on board when the United States went dry in January 1920. It was the 12th state to ratify the 18th Amendment, establishing Prohibition.

Although alcohol came back in full swing in 1933, this week, an Atlas Obscura map highlighted places around the country where the sale and consumption of alcohol is still illegal. The Bay State was representedthere are eight towns and cities in Massachusetts that have stayed dry.

Per a 2012 Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission report, the towns of Alford, Dunstable, Chilmark, Gosnold, Hawley, Montgomery, West Hampton, and Mount Washington are listed as dry. That means the sale of any kind of alcoholic beverages is forbidden. It’s down from 16 years ago, though, when there were 20 “dry towns” in Massachusetts in 2000.

Rockport was formerly one of those dry towns, but it approved alcohol consumption in restaurants in 2006. The approval wasn’t without restrictions, though. It used to be that alcohol could only be served in restaurants unless customers planned to eat a full meal. In 2011, this law was loosened when the town voted to allow people to order drinks with appetizers, and even without food if a patron had made a reservation with restaurant.

If all of this seems weird, Atlas Obscura cites a 2014 CNN survey, which found that one in five Americans believe that the use of alcohol should be illegal.

Happy anniversary, Prohibition!

Map showing dry (red), wet (blue), and mixed (yellow) counties in the United States as of March 2012 / Image via Wikimedia Commons

Map showing dry (red), wet (blue), and mixed (yellow) counties in the United States as of March 2012 / Image via Wikimedia Commons

Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2016/01/19/massachusetts-dry-towns/