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Live tourists contemplate wax dummy drunks at the Prohibition Museum.
Live tourists contemplate wax dummy drunks at the Prohibition Museum.

American Prohibition Museum

Field review by the editors.

Savannah, Georgia

A plaque at the entrance to the American Prohibition Museum notes that America's first official ban against drinking alcohol was decreed in Savannah in 1735.

One way to dodge the alcohol ban was to sell booze as medicine.
One way to dodge the alcohol ban was to sell booze as medicine.

People in Savannah drank anyway, and not much had changed nearly 200 years later during Prohibition, when the city became the favored destination of criminals hauling hootch in from offshore, and was called "Bootleg Spigot of the South." Savannah even tried to secede from Georgia and become its own state, just so its citizens could drink.

Today, Savannah is one of the few cities in America where it's legal to drink booze from plastic cups while wandering downtown. So it's with a sense of victory that Savannah hosts the American Prohibition Museum, which opened on May 29, 2017.

Wax Carrie Nation at the American Prohibition Museum.
Wax Carrie Nation at the American Prohibition Museum.

Among the museum's dozen galleries are exhibits devoted to rum runners, moonshiners, gangsters, and flappers, populated with custom-made dummies in action poses (Carry Nation, for example, holds aloft her whackin' hatchet next to a smashed-up saloon). The museum displays what it says is the largest collection of moonshine stills in the U.S., and ends its tour in a recreated Speakeasy, where the under-aged and teetotalers can drink nonalcoholic punch while everyone else sips 1920s-era cocktails.

The attraction is run by the same company that owns Potter's Wax Museum and operates the ferry out to the most remote attraction in the continental U.S.

Also see: Museum of Whiskey History

American Prohibition Museum

209 W. St. Julian St., Savannah, GA
Downtown, in the City Market pedestrian mall, a half-block west of Ellis Square. On the south side of W. St. Julian St., between Barnard and Jefferson Sts.
Daily 10-5 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Adults $12 ($20 w/cocktail)
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Statue of the Bird GirlStatue of the Bird Girl, Savannah, GA - < 1 mi.
Cracked Earth - A World ApartCracked Earth - A World Apart, Savannah, GA - < 1 mi.
Where Forrest Gump Sat - Bench SiteWhere Forrest Gump Sat - Bench Site, Savannah, GA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Flea Market Mascot Big Cow, Savannah, GA - 11 mi.

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