In 1920, as Prohibition dawned across the nation, Shumaker opted to ring in the enactment of the 18th Amendment in Hamilton County. As readers of this blog know, in 2010, one of the first speaking engagements I had about my book was with a local history club in Hamilton County. Last night, I brought the year to a close by speaking to the Hamilton County Historical Society. It was a fun event, filled with good food, good conversation, and a good historic setting (the Noblesville Masonic Lodge, which was built in the early 20th century).
My talk centered on Shumaker's, and the dry crusade in general, many connections to Hamilton County. In many respects, it is one of the best places in the state to understand just how complex the dry crusade (and the wet reaction to it) was. It is also a place to discuss how drys could become associated with the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s (the Historical Society's museum is the former jail, where you can visit D.C. Stephenson's cell: http://noblesville-indiana.funcityfinder.com/hamilton-county-historical-society/) , and what that ultimately meant to drys like Shumaker. As always, the questions were great...ranging from George Washington, to law enforcement, to ethenoyl!
It was a nice way to wrap up the year. Now it is time to get ready to write final exams, which I'll be grading next week!