Liquor Sales Banned

John and Joseph Granskog, behind the bar at the Eagle Saloon located on West Main Street in Mendocino, 1909. Other men are unidentified. Joseph opened up the Eagle Saloon in 1909 but lost his business shortly after when Mendocino went dry. He and his wife, Albertina, returned to Finland with their children for a visit. Albertina stayed in the old country and Joseph returned in 1912 to convert his old business to the Bay Front Garage. (Kelley House Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

July 27, 1909 – Mendocino voted to ban all alcohol sales within the town limits by a 27-vote margin. The vote was held at the second Odd Fellows Hall (torn down in the 1950s) on the northeast corner of Kasten and Ukiah streets.

The early part of the 20th Century had seen a steep rise in calls by the Temperance Movement to ban the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Although consumption of liquor was not outlawed until National Prohibition took effect in 1920, the vote to ban liquor sales in Mendocino meant that the 9 saloons and 5 hotel bars were put out of business with little notice.

The final day for liquor sales was August 6th, and “there was one giant party within the community” as all 14 businesses dispensed with their stock of liquid refreshments.

If you’d like to learn more about Mendocino history for a small fee to support the Kelley House, contact the Research Office.