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2019 is the 100 year anniversary of the Volstead Act which enforced the 18th Amendment ratified in 1918. Prohibition of alcohol began in January of 1920 and lasted until April 7, 1933. Your weekend trip starts in Montevideo, about a 2 hour drive from the metro area. Start your Friday off right with a taste of local beer at Talking Waters Brewing Company, named after nearby Lac qui Parle Lake, ”the lake that speaks.” Choose from a variety of dining options for dinner, then get a good night’s rest at one of Montevideo’s welcoming accommodations. For the more adventurous, you can choose to spend the night at one of the camper cabins at Chippewa County Wegdahl Park, located six miles south of Montevideo. Call 320-269-6231 for reservations. The little Minnesota River hamlet of Wegdahl was a drop-off point for bootleggers during the Prohibition Era and the home of Skunk Hollow, a known speakeasy.
Follow the Minnesota River Valley National Scenic Byway on either side of the Minnesota River to Granite Falls, hometown of The Prohibition Story. Saturday morning’s first stop is at the Andrew J. Volstead Home, located at 163 9th Avenue, open Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m, also open Wednesday through Friday afternoons. Enhance your tour of this historic home with a copy of Our Prohibition Story, a walking tour guide highlighting architecture and events from the 1920s and ‘30s in Granite Falls. Stroll along the Minnesota River and view the vibrant colors of the new floodwall mural—part of Granite Falls’ Riverside Voices revitalization project. Visit a unique new addition to Prentice Street: Bluenose Gopher Public House. This volunteer-led cooperative pub will offer quality food and beverages with a side of prohibition history.
Enjoy a 20 minute drive on either side of the river to Grandview Valley Winery for local wine, great pizza, and a beautiful location nestled in the valley.
Continue your journey down the Minnesota River Valley National Scenic Byway to New Ulm and visit their hometown brewery which was established before Prohibition, managed to survive that period, and is still thriving today. Hear all about it with a tour of Schell’s Brewery and be sure to sample some German craft beer along the way! Enjoy a bite to eat at Historic Turner Hall, which claims to be the oldest bar in Minnesota. Check out the 1873 murals in the rathskeller! While in New Ulm, visit their speakeasy located at 518 Center Street-Suite E. The Retz 227 serves up local craft cocktails, beer, and wine in a modern speakeasy atmosphere. Look for the entrance under a purple light! Grab a taxi to one of New Ulm’s lodging options and dream about your memorable experiences over the past two days!