Boating Lake County Blog

The Pro­hi­bi­tion Era on the Fox Chain O’ Lakes

Chain Kayak

As many know, alco­hol was out­lawed by the Pro­hi­bi­tion law (as well as anti-gam­ing) from 1919 – 1933. What many don’t know is that the Chain O’ Lakes was also defi­ant on those laws as well. Fed­er­al and state attor­ney agents had to obtain per­mis­sion from Lake Coun­ty State’s Attor­neys before they could get rid of check busi­ness­es in the local com­mu­ni­ties for ille­gal gam­bling and alco­hol violations.

The Fox Chain O’ Lakes resort and hotel own­ers received a heads up when­ev­er law enforce­ment was in the area because of the pri­vate tele­phone ser­vices they had to receive tips. That said, these hotels and resorts would always be ready for audits by law enforce­ment offi­cials. Chica­go busi­ness­men and politi­cians through­out the pro­hi­bi­tion years endorsed these actions by the own­ers because they lived in these hotels and resorts over the sum­mers. In Pis­ta­kee Bay, Repub­li­can state sen­a­tors, state rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Chica­go may­ors, Chica­go and Cook Coun­ty offi­cials all called Fox Chain O’ Lakes home.

On the oth­er hand, crime syn­di­cate king­pins also lived here, for exam­ple the likes of Al Capone, Bugs Moran and oth­er con­nect­ed fam­i­lies. This doesn’t say any­thing of this pres­ti­gious area’s his­to­ry. To receive more infor­ma­tion about the pro­hi­bi­tion era and oth­er his­tor­i­cal good­ies in regards to the his­to­ry of the Chain O’ Lakes, there are pub­lished works includ­ing The His­to­ry of Boat­ing on the Fox Chain O’ Lakes writ­ten by David D. Lester and oth­er books like Arca­dia.

*his­toric back­ground con­tents used in this blog are found in The His­to­ry of Boat­ing on the Fox Chain O’ Lakes by author David D. Lester.

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