Did you say Rum running? Why yes I did!
From what I have gathered from my research at the Heritage Museum talks with those involved with the Racine Cemetery Board to the Racine Parks Department I believe that my home was used to run booze during Prohibition!
We know that Lake Michigan was a highway to run booze from Canada into American Cities around the Great Lakes.
This was a welcome source of income to many out of work dock workers during the depression.
The City of Racine was a Booming Port City until after W.W. II when highways would take over but in the time frame of 1920-30’s a city with docks warehouses and best of all men looking for a day’s pay for a day’s work.
Prohibition was unpopular outside a few stops in Wisconsin many thinking that the Goverment had no right to stop a man from having a drink if he wanted one.
In Fact my Grandfather Dan Newkirk (my Mom’s side) not only made Moonshine but ran some from time to time, funny that on my Father’s side my Grandmother’s kin helped bring Prohibition about.
Back to the Chateau! The men who built this house were big time Ship Captains on Lake Michigan, to about the mid 1930’s
This we know, we also know that until the 1990s there was a large Dock on The Root River less then 100 Yards from this house at the time we speak of the Root River at that point was much deeper I believe could not only handle the small Canoes that now ply the River this far from Lake Michigan but small ships of around 100-200 Tons.
As well there was a sheltered covered path that would prevent prying eyes from seeing a cargo loaded unto a ship on the river from the dock there!
This Cargo would have been floated on to Lake Michigan and a waiting Cargo ship or even kept on the smaller craft and sailed to perhaps Chicago or another city on the Great Lakes.
Very interesting ideas! As we see the City of Racine begin we hope to restore the old path into the area of the Root River perhaps we will find artifacts that may shed more light on this story.
I do hope to explore the area around the old dock to see what might be found.
When the snow clears some photos may help to show this better.