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Notes: Old Town museum celebrates its illicit boozy history

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Officially, the Lee-Fendall House (614 Oronoco Street) was never a speakeasy, but staff at the museum have their suspicions.

Patch reported that the private Lee-Fendall House Museum is hosting a fundraiser next month celebrating the home’s long history with alcohol, Patch reported. The Sips & Secrets: A Speakeasy Night is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 23, from 7-10 p.m. in the museum’s garden.

The home has long ties to the sale of alcohol, going back to the owner selling drinks to soldiers during the Civil War. The home later became a sort of social club, one that hosted President Woodrow Wilson, but that came to an abrupt end with Prohibition.

Or did it? Patch reported that there’s no proof the home was used for bootlegging during prohibition, but that staff at the museum do find it a little suspicious that just as prohibition kicked off, the 18th century root cellar was converted into a full basement.

Whether or not the home was an authentic speakeasy, it will be transformed into one next month. Tickets are $75 and the event will feature jazz and ragtime music with 1920s-style cocktails. Attendees are encouraged to dress in period-appropriate attire.

Image via Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden/Facebook

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