Long Island's Hidden Past: Bootlegging on Long Island

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BRIDGEHAMPTON -

Boats, barns and bootlegging - what do they have to do with each other? News 12 Long Island's Danielle Campbell and Brian Endres delve into the East End's role in rum-running, in this month's Long Island's Hidden Past segment.

On display at The Bridgehampton Museum are the bottles, buttons and speakeasy bars that were part of Long Island life during prohibition. 

MORE: Long Island's Hidden Past | Photos

Julie Greene and Mackenzie Wright brought two collections together to tell the story of America's dry years and how it affected Long Islanders.

The story depicted by the museum tells the tale of bootlegging on the East End, and how local farmers and fishermen were part of an underground network. 

Locals knew the waterways and the tides, they unloaded right on the beach and transported the liquor to local barns for an overnight stay. Those that were part of the network could make $150.

The liquor would then be loaded into trucks headed for New York City. Most of the trucks were disguised as newspaper trucks or bakery delivery trucks.

In 1933, when the 18th Amendment was repealed, Long Islanders who were part of the rum-running underground celebrated by opening up liquor stores. They would be open until 11 p.m. making up for lost time. 

Many Long Islanders also made booze in their basements and attics. In fact cocktails were created to disguise the taste of the bathtub gin. The Bridgehampton Museum will be hosting the "Boats, Barnes and Bootlegging" exhibit through Oct. 6.

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