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Forums :: Forums :: HISTORY OF BIG BEAR
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Prohibition and Big Bear

Author Post
Mon Nov 05 2018, 09:38PM Email Thread Print View
Registered Member #7121
Joined: Sun Nov 25 2012, 10:08PM
Posts: 200
Over the years I have had read many stories about historical events that have occurred in Big Bear. There is one in particular that I found very fascinating. It involves prohibition and a particular raid by federal agents in 1923. The basic story line is as follows:

 Two prohibition agents (husband and wife) stayed in Big Bear for a week in June of 1923 and gather evidence by buying alcohol from locals.
 Federal Agents with county warrants came back in two weeks and arrest 17 people on Friday July 6th 1923.
 Those arrested were mainly bootleggers, two were moonshiners and several people were arrested for possession.
 The violators were taken and held in county jail.
 When the Feds left on Saturday they left outstanding warrants with the local constable.
 A few days later the prisoners were brought back for trial to Judge Clifford Lynn’s court.
 Several paid fines, others served 30 to 90 days on road crew on Clark Grade.

Local historians have covered this story over the years through various venues. Among those are:

• Rick Keppler and Kim Sweet touched on it in one of their Big Bear Channel 6 History Shows
• Tom Core makes mention of the raid in one of his Bearly Remembered articles
• Syd Sullivan in a 1978 Highland newspaper has an article on it. He uses unidentified sources that he
said are trustworthy.
• John Robinson in his book The San Bernardinos has the same basic story but does not give a source.
• Clifford Walker when questioned about the story in his book One Eye Red the other Closed says he does
not remember the source.

As this research project got underway, I noticed that there was a lot of information that I did not know and a lot of just plain misunderstanding concerning prohibition.

I found these newly discovered facts very interesting and developed a PowerPoint presentation for the Big Bear Historical Society. As the presentation grew and grew, I realized it was too large for just one presentation. The end result was to split the information into three parts.

• The first part deals with the politics and social issues that lead up to the passage of the 18th
• The second part explains what measures people took to get around the law and what took place to get
the 18th amendment repealed.
• The last part is titled Big Bear Confidential. This is where we look into the what activities were going
on in Big Bear during prohibition. Was there such a tail and who were the bootleggers working in the
area at that time.

As the presentation shows how the various political forces evolved and worked their way to their goals/agendas it is interesting to see some comparisons to various current issues. Advocates and defenders of smoking, non-smoking, vaping, marijuana, gun control and gun rights could all learn a lot by reviewing how prohibition was handled.

It is interesting to note that all of the US Constitutional amendments up to that time explain and guarantee some particular freedom, except for the 18th amendment. It is the one amendment that took a freedom away from the citizens.

The following slides are from the first section that was presented to the Big Bear Historical Society last month. Obviously if you attended the first meeting you would have been able to hear a lot more about the background of this project. Hopefully readers will be able to follow the main points by viewing and you will come to the second part of the presentation which will be given at the Historical Society meeting to be held on November 8th, 2018 at the Discovery Center at 7:00 pm. The public is welcome. There is no admission.


Richard Graham
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Thu Nov 08 2018, 06:29AM

Registered Member #1413
Joined: Tue Jan 29 2008, 12:52PM
Posts: 357
Tonight should be awesome, you're a good presenter Richard!

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Benny (N6BWX)
Nov 13 : 11:56am
And it is now official, Snow Summit will be OPEN for daily operations beginning this Friday, Nov 16th! Bear Mountain will open the following Friday, Nov 23rd weekends only through Dec 7th.

Benny (N6BWX)
Nov 13 : 11:54am
Teens is 10 degrees, anywhere from 10-19, 20's, is 20-29, 0's would be 0-9, etc. etc.

Nov 13 : 09:45am
Ben I didn't see 10 degrees. That was about 5 nights ago and everything I chkd was no where near. Now I know 10's. Plants are covered day late and a dollar short. Bernermom my cat weather is only good for 7 days too. But the pictures on it are precious. And I know they have a dog one too.

Nov 13 : 08:22am
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Nov 13 : 08:13am
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Benny (N6BWX)
Nov 13 : 08:09am
Aww Julie, I said we'd drop into the teens and 20's. [Click Here]

Nov 13 : 07:46am
(Don’t want anyone taking a wrong turn)

Nov 13 : 07:45am
Benny you need an App so I can get you on my phone....LOL...but then we all have you here!!!
Casadelgado what does the cat say 9 days out?

Nov 13 : 07:45am
Hey that snow on Miricle Mile is amazing!

Nov 12 : 09:42pm
Sometimes the forecasts say "maybe" 25 at night and it is TEN DEGREES! Now have a bunch of frozen plants. And Ben if u remember, let me know what it looks like for that morning. I will keep ckg your weather, of course.

Benny (N6BWX)
Nov 12 : 09:19pm
Awww, yes I do miss the good ole days of TV, good times, mostly...
Julie, it's a little tough right now to pinpoint timing and details that far out. We may have a low pressure system roll through early to mid next week, which doesn't look real exciting at this time, then possibly a better front pushing through the following weekend. So as it stands right now, the 23rd would be in between anything that may or may not come to fruition. But as Van mentioned, looking past 7 days out is pretty unreliable, sometimes looking 3 days out can be!

Nov 12 : 09:08pm
Thank you all. I also have a ton on weather apps on my phone. Usually don't care much and only care about the 23rd, 24th and 25th. Was surprised it showed snow and my 82 year old husband won't drive in ice or snow. I, like most of you, only believe Benny. Therefore, Ben what does it look like for the morning of the 23rd. PS Bernermom I even have a grumpy cat weather for .

Nov 12 : 08:17pm
we should all meet for donuts at the new place in moonridge satrday.. then ski....

Nov 12 : 08:13pm
that disappeared from tv.

Nov 12 : 08:11pm
I do miss channel 6 and all the characters over the years, lol.

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