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Encyclopedia of Rumrunners and Speakeasies: Freeport During Prohibition: B

Bassa, Charles

Charles Bassa was arrested on Freeport's waterfront along with John Kelson on the night of April 20, 1923. The men were charged with transporting liquor.  A rowboat containing 22 cases of Scotch was seized by authorities.


"Miss Motorboats, But Get Rowboat and Scotch Whisky." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. April 21, 1923, 7. Accessed December 8, 2017.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, December 8, 2017.


Bechtold, Elmer

Elmer Bechtold was the proprietor of a restaurant located at 280 Arthur Street.  He was arrested after his establishment was raided in 1932.


"Trio Held in Three Nassau Dry Raids." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. April 11, 1932, 22. Accessed December 18, 2017.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, December 18, 2017.


The Bijon was a motorboat from Freeport that was captured by the Prohibition cutter Hahn and found to have $30,000 worth of liquor onboard.  The Bijon was found floundering in heavy seas.  The crew of another government cutter, the Manhattan, took the Bijon's two crewmen into custody.  Efforts by government agents to locate the Bijon's mother ship beyond the three mile limit were unsuccessful.


"Liquor Seized On Alien Ships Tied at Dock." New-York Tribune. November 16, 1922, 2. Accessed September 18, 2018.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, September 18, 2018.

Bottle Fisherman

Bottle Fishermen was a nickname for rumrunners.


"Clever Ruses Employed by 'Bottle Fishermen' in Eluding 'Dry Navy.'"  The Daily Review. May 18, 1925, 1. Accessed January 9, 2020.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, January 9, 2020.


Burlock (also known as Hams) was a burlap bag that contained six liquor bottles and surrounded by straw to protect the bottles while being transported by boat or car. The burlock was economical on space.  Creating a triangle, by stacking three bottles on the bottom, two in the middle and one on top, this container maximized the space for storage of illegal liquor for transportation.


Funderburg, J. Anne. Bootleggers and Beer Barons of the Prohibition Era. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2014.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, January 9, 2020.