Holyland specialized in its own brands of holy water

The Sheboygan County Historical Research Center ends its 2016-2017 season of Second Saturdays – Journeys into Local History speakers’ series on Saturday, May 13, 2017 with John Jenkins and Prohibition in Wisconsin's Holyland.

In the 1920s and early ’30s, the Holyland east of Fond du Lac was a bootlegger’s paradise. The Depression made it hard for the German-Catholic immigrants who settled in the area to make a living, but Prohibition created a market for illegal booze, and some of these pious churchgoers jumped at the chance. As stills fired up and the moonshine flowed out of barns and faux cheese factories, family secrets, attacks by federal agents, Al Capone sightings and even murder were the result.

John Jenkins, who researched the subject for his thesis at Marian University in Fond du Lac, said residents from these sleepy farm communities were lured to the lucrative brewing, distilling and selling of illegal moonshine to make ends meet during difficult times. Jenkins will analyze why this area was such a center of moonshine production.

This presentation, beginning at 9:30am will be held at the Plymouth Arts Center, 520 East Mill Street, Plymouth. Open to the public, no reservations are necessary.

Conversation is encouraged. Fun is expected! For further details, please contact the Research Center at 920.467.4667. This series is made possible by funding from the John and Hilda Holden Memorial Fund and Wisconsin Humanities Council.

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