Skip to Main Content

Encyclopedia of Rumrunners and Speakeasies: Freeport During Prohibition: W

Wartime Prohibition

Wartime Prohibition began during the years leading up to World War I.  At this time, Prohibition was associated with patriotism, especially since America's beer brewers were mostly of German extraction.  In 1917, Congress passed the Lever Act, which prohibited the use of grain in the production of alcoholic beverages.


Feeney, Regina G. The History of Temperance and Prohibition Movements in the Village of Freeport, NY. 2017 [unpublished].

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, January 8, 2020.



The Washingtonians (also known as the Washingtonian Benevolent Temperance Society) was a temperance movement started by reformed drunkards in the 1840s in Baltimore, MD.  This organization, which promoted total abstinence, soon sought converts to their cause on Long Island.  In a 1842 article published in the Long Island Farmer, and Queens County Advertiser, reported "(w)e understand that the Washingtonians of Hempstead and Jamaica, are making preparations to storm the enemy's camp at Raynor South" [now Freeport].  The following year, the Washingtonian Societies of Queens County adopted its constitution. 


"Keep the Ball Rolling." Long Island Farmer, and Queens County Advertiser.  August 16, 1842, 2. Accessed January 8, 2020.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, January 8, 2020.

Whyte's Retail Liquor

Whyte's Retail Liquor ‚Äčwas one of the first establishments in Freeport to receive a liquor license from the Nassau County Alcoholic Beverage Control Board after the repeal of Prohibition.  Whyte's was issued license number L 123.  The store was located at 109 West Sunrise Highway and was owned by Friedman and White.


"80 Permits Given to Sell In Nassau." The Nassau Daily Review. December 6, 1933, 1.  Accessed August 21, 2019.

Whyte's [advertisement]. The Nassau Daily Review. March 29, 1935, 43. Accessed August 21, 2019.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, August 21, 2019.

Williams, Edward

Edward Williams of 36 of 81 Westfield Avenue, Roosevelt, a former Nassau County detective who started his own private detective agency in Freeport, was arraigned in Freeport Police Court for driving while intoxicated on June 4, 1930.  He was arrested after he crashed into two parked cars at the intersection of Sunrise Highway and Madison Avenue.


"Arrest Former Sleuth as Intoxicated Driver." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 4, 1930, 25. Accessed April 30, 2019.


Researched by Regina G. Feeney, April 30, 2019.

Wine Manufacturers

Around 1927, wine manufacturers began selling pre-fermented wines to customers on the South Shore of Long Island.  The wine was delivered to the purchaser before it had the time to ferment.  Since the wine contained no alcohol when it was received, the purchase was not considered a violation of the Volstead Act.  After three months, the wine fermented on its own.


"Wine Makers Find Means to Elude Dry Act." The Nassau Daily Review  February 7, 1927, 1. Accessed July 13, 2019.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, July 13, 2019.