Prohibition in Cape May County- Wetter Than The Atlantic
Welcome to the 2nd segment of Laura’s Library- an exhibition of the research materials I poured over while preparing my historical fiction novel, Thicker Than Water. Part companion reading, part fun facts; it’s shore to become your go-to destination for all things vintage New Jersey. Now, who’s up for a drink?
A New Jerseyan himself, Rebmann’s voice comes across as friendly and clear. The kinda guy you could totally sit down and have a beer with.
It’s an easy, enjoyable read with chapters moving in chronological order detailing the course of Prohibition (1920- 1933) in the southernmost part of the state.
There's also a chapter dedicated to Bill McCoy and his operations off Rum Row.
Vividly described throughout, bootlegging landing sites such as Higbee Beach, Two Mile Beach, and Hereford Inlet (among others) are regular locales of my own characters- siblings Danny and Shannon Culligan.
They also spend their fair share of time at Consolidated Fisheries on Otten’s Harbor (top, right). Owned by Wildwood’s own Gus Hilton, the Culligans find themselves ensnared in the Rum Ring operated by his son (real-life criminal mastermind), Frank.
But Rebmann doesn’t stop at the barrier islands (neither do my characters, for that matter). He takes you through the Pine Barrens to the stills of Woodbine and Belleplain, where moonshine reigned supreme.
On the legal end, the book also offers in-depth accounts of cases brought before Cape May County’s Judge Henry Eldredge along with harrowing tales of the Coast Guard’s efforts to cork the seemingly never-ending, overflowing bottle.
So pour yourself a cold one and grab your life vest. The seas are rough, my friend.