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October 12, 2015 / Joanne Yeck

The Buckingham Whiskey Wars: Part V


Marshall District Votes

By June of 1903, Marshall District, which included the towns of Arvonia and New Canton, was bracing for the election which was to determine whether or not licenses to sell liquor in the district would be renewed. On June 5, 1903, Richmond’s The Times-Dispatch reported:

There are two flourishing bars in the district, one in this town (Arvonia) and the other in New Canton, three miles north of here. Before the passage of the Mann (liquor) bill there were four saloons in the district.

Most of the business men and quarry operators of this town are active in behalf of prohibition on the grounds that the bars are detrimental to their business interests. So far, the issue is in doubt, both sides claiming that they will win. If the district goes dry there will remain only one wet district in Buckingham county and that one has only one small saloon.


It is not hard to imagine that quarry workers in the northeastern corner of Buckingham enjoyed a drink, or two, after a hard day’s work, especially on pay day. Was public drunkenness an ongoing problem?

Maysville was now dry, preceded by the James River, Francisco, and Curdsville Districts. Slate River District remained “wet.”

Buckingham County was not alone in its concern about the public consumption of liquor. During 1903, wets vs. drys in Lynchburg, Roanoke, Danville, and Blackstone were also in the news. Headlines like “Saloon Keepers in Newport News Raise a Protest,” kept the argument lively.

Coming next: Remember the Ladies!

Need to catch up? Click here: The Whiskey Wars, Part I

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