If you’re reading this blog, chances are that you have some interest in beer. So, you may be interested in a new, interactive program all about temperance!
In 1864, an act passed that gave townships the option to go dry. This was the Dunkin Act, named after its architect, Christopher Dunkin. Here is how it worked: if enough people in a county/town spoke up, a vote would be called. Then, the town would vote on prohibiting the sale of alcohol.
If the majority agreed – no more alcohol would be sold in that town.
If the majority disagreed – the town would continue to sell alcohol.
Bear in mind, though, that the vote was only called if enough people pushed for it. Just because the Dunkin Act passed in 1864, not every township rushed out to decide the fate of alcohol in their communities. After an initial flurry of activity in 1864/65, the Dunkin Act essentially remained a dead letter until 1877, the year after the Crooks Act (another liquor licensing act) passed. (Vaughan – the area around Black Creek – voted to go dry. Toronto did not.)
This interactive program takes us back to 1865 – and you have to decide Black Creek’s fate. Will you join our tavern-keeper’s wife and support alcohol? Or will you side with our temperance advocate and seek to ban it? Will our village go dry? Or will we continue to sell our liquor?
Cast Your Vote is part of our Black Creek History Actors’ series. If you’ve taken the Historic Brewery Tour or joined us for Beer Sampling, you’re probably familiar with Blythe and me. Now, you can Cast Your Vote with us in the drama space beside Second House. Check your weekly schedule for program times!
To Queen and Country!