History Blog: A different kind of drought ended in 1971
The following message was authored by Henry Mayo, a surveyor and long-time resident of the Bryan-College Station area. As a surveyor and historian, Henry retrieves information from local, state and national resources to assemble history-themed messages for email subscribers in a series titled “This Week in Brazos County History.” To subscribe to Henry’s email series, click here.
COLLEGE STATION BECOMES FULLY WET (Oct. 9, 1971)
The headline below that appeared on the front of The Eagle, on Sunday, Oct. 10, 1971, was probably a hot topic after church services that morning. The results of this election allowed liquor stores and the sale of alcohol in the form of mixed drinks. This was the birth of the thriving nightclub business in College Station such as the Northgate bars and clubs. The issue was divisive to the community, but the anti-LBD groups seemed to have accepted what the majority of citizens voted for:
This was the end of the last remnant of national prohibition laws and the Texas prohibition amendment of 1919. According to the small news item on the right from June 6, 1956, Brazos County had allowed beer sales after 1917, but I assume they too were not legal during the state-wide prohibition period of 1919-1935.
In 1935, the state allowed individual counties to decide if they wanted to be wet, dry, or apparently “moist.” Well into the 1960s, people in Brazos County had to go out of the county to purchase anything except beer. Burleson County was the closest wet county, so there was a package store at the end of each highway bridge across the Brazos River.
Apparently, Brazos County must have gone wet before 1970, but College Station kept liquor stores outside of the city, much like fireworks stands are today. Across Highway 6 from Texas World Speedway, just south of the city limits, there was a small concentration of liquor stores.
Less than two weeks after the Oct. 9, 1971 election, at least one, fully-stocked liquor store was open in College Station. Cut-Rate Liquor moved from south of town to Jersey Street and remained there for many years. The building is now Aggieland Outfitters.
Have a great week!
Surveyor and Historian | email
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