SEVERAL READERS RECOGNIZED the August picture from the past as stills captured in 1923-26.
The photo came from the collection of Mary DeLong’s grandfather, Sheriff John William “Jack” Pike.
He is on the right and the photo was taken around 1923.
Others in the photo were, from left, Bob Banderob, Fred Rice and Mike Laslo.
From the online article, “Prohibition in Washington State” by Paula Becker, posted Nov. 2, 2010, on Historylink.org, Becker writes that Washington state passed a “Bone-Dry” referendum in 1918, which prohibited the manufacture, sale and transportation of alcoholic beverages and their import or export from the U.S. and all its territories.
Congress adopted the 18th Amendment on Oct. 28, 1919.
The National Prohibition Act, also known as the Volstead Act, was also enacted to enforce the 18th Amendment. By Jan. 17, 1920, it had gone into effect.
There had been stills to make moonshine whiskey throughout Clallam County but the 18th Amendment increased the moonshiners’ activity.
There were many small farmers making moonshine in their barns and small sheds for sale and consumption.
The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office and the local game wardens made attempts to stop this activity.
The stills they found were gathered behind the county courthouse and then melted down for their copper value.
The salvage money was given to Beacon Billy Welsh’s Christmas collection for the needy.
The moonshine mash was discovered in sheds and shacks all over the county.
According to “Port Angeles, Washington: A History Volume I” by Paul Martin an operational still was even found in the old abandoned Bellevue School in October 1923.
DeLong wrote that her grandfather came from New Zealand. He met his wife, Sybil Winters, at Snoqualmie Lodge and they moved to Port Angeles.
After doing time as sheriff from 1924-30, he became game warden.
He finished his law career with the Port Angeles Police Department.
While he was sheriff, Pike had a deputy who had a dog that could sniff out alcohol fumes and thus find moonshine stills.
Pike was often pictured with a huge pile of copper boilers, pots, tubes and mash that he had confiscated from the hills around the county.
He is credited with a record of at least two stills a month and a total of 144 during his six years in office.
Chris Glas wrote that her father, Bob Glas, was born in Port Angeles in 1918 on Front Street and lived many years in the Mount Pleasant area.
His father, Art Glas, and his mother, Martha Dietsch, also grew up on Mount Pleasant Road.
They both had roads named after them, but the roads were not spelled correctly.
Glass Road has two s’s and their name only has one s. The Deetz Road was named for Martha.
Bob Glass is 99 years old and has many stories to tell of his dad’s adventures.
Art Glas was deputy game warden to Van Welch.
Glas remembered many events his father told him about the moonshining days.
He said that many of the owners of stills who lived in other countries were sent back to their original homelands after their stills were confiscated.
He talked about a canning operation at Krause’s Bottom in what is now Olympic National Park.
The deer were so plentiful one could throw a rope over their antlers and bring them to the ground.
A lot of the moonshine that supplied Clallam County came from Canada into Crescent Bay. Local boaters would go out and get the product and then deliver to sellers.
Paul Lotzsgell wrote that his dad had found a still on Chicken Coop Road.
He showed Paul a root cellar where they stored the shine.
Morris Miller recognized at least one of the men in the photo.
My grandpa, Guy MacNamarra, told me years ago where several stills were located on the Herrick Road.
They were all very carefully hidden away and not discovered until years after Prohibition was over.
In 1933, the 21st Amendment was passed and Prohibition was repealed.
That ended 14 years of running a supposedly dry state.
1920s goat releases
Pike also was known for releasing the non-native mountain goats at the orders of the state Game Commission.
The first batch of goats were released Jan. 1, 1925.
There were four nanny goats and two billy goats released to a spot near Rocky Point on Lake Crescent.
They were purchased after a six-year study from the Selkirk Mountains in Canada.
In an article Harriet U Fish wrote for the Chronicle on Oct. 24, 1984, she told of the men involved, H. M. Fisher, Charles Stakemiller, Burnham Freeman, Harry LeGear, Chris Morganroth, Billy Welch from the newspaper and Pike.
Pike told Fish one of the billy goats did not want to be released so he took out after Welch and Morganroth.
Pike also fought the installation of the Elwha dams for not properly addressing plans to protect the salmon runs.
Art Glas was involved in another release of mountain goats in 1929, when he was deputy game warden under the direction of Van C. Welch, who was game warden at that time.
There were six goats that went to Rocky Point and two went to Baldy Ridge along the Elwha River.
In last month’s column about Fairmount Drive-In, George Williams and C J Rankin had sent in comments about Fairmount and its good food. I missed including their names in the column.
Alice Alexander is a Clallam County historian, author, and a descendent of an Elwha Valley pioneer family. She is a recipient of a 2014 Clallam County Heritage Awards. She can be reached at [email protected].
Alice’s Clallam history column appears the first Sunday of every month, alternating with Linnea Patrick’s Jefferson County history column on the third Sunday of the month.