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Moonshiner’s Booze Christens Klamath Falls Street Car


In 1927 Klamath Falls was the center of a serious bootlegging industry during the Prohibition Era.

On the evening of Jan. 30, Federal Prohibition Officer L. O. Shirley, Police Chief Keith Ambrose, and Deputy Sheriff Lou Mueller were patrolling the “Flatz” district of the city when they spied a suspicious character sprinting away from them.  They followed him and watched the man throw a gallon of moonshine away by smashing the jug and its contents.  Whether on purpose or by accident, the jug hit the  side of an abandoned horse-drawn streetcar that once graced the city’s streets.

The police officers watched as “several ounces of booze trickled off the steps of the car – the very same steps treaded by hundreds of Klamath old-timers who boarded the streetcar years earlier.  Located between Plum and Oak Street, near Eighth, the antique streetcar was discarded after automobiles took over newly paved streets.

The next day, Lee Summers, a notorious bootlegger frequently hauled into court, was arrested on a possession charge and brought before Justice of the Peace W. B. Harnes.


Source: Evening Tribune 31 Jan. 1927 [Klamath Falls, Ore.] . Print.