OLLI presents “Rum Runners on Lake Champlain”

Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain Boat Patrol during the Prohibition. Photo provided

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Scott McLaughlin will present “The Chase: Lake Champlain Rum Runners & Boat Patrol” Tuesday, April 23 at 2 p.m. at the Nolin Murray Center next to St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Pleasant Street in Springfield, Vt.

Scott McLaughlin will discuss the history of Prohibition in Vermont. During Prohibition, rather than risk being caught along the roads that crisscrossed the United States-Canadian border in New York and Vermont, many professional smugglers and others avoided lawmen altogether by using the open waters of Lake Champlain. He’ll tell how these outlaws smuggled alcohol into the United States from Canada and how the U.S. Customs officers tried their best to stop the seemingly never-ending flow of booze between 1920 and 1933.

McLaughlin has been working in Vermont as an archaeologist, historian, and museum professional for 33 years. Since 2015, he has served as the executive director of the Vermont Granite Museum in Barre. He also teaches in the history department at the University of Vermont.

OLLI-Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, affiliated with the University of Vermont, is a local membership program geared towards seniors 50 years and older who want to engage in meaningful learning “just for the fun of it!” People of all ages who are interested in this type of program are welcome to attend.

The OLLI series programs are selected with input from the local members and carry varied themes from semester to semester including history, art, music, literature, health, nature, science, travel, and current events. Programs are held Tuesday afternoons at 2 p.m. and last about an hour and a half.

Membership for the semester includes nine programs. Nonmembers are encouraged and welcome to attend individual lectures for a single program fee. Memberships, as well as single program fees, may be paid at the program.

The following OLLI program will be one week later, April 30, and will be “Connecticut River Log Drives” with author Helen Pike.

Brochures have been distributed throughout the area towns at businesses, the local libraries, town halls, and Chamber of Commerce offices. The complete Springfield and statewide program list is available at www.learn.uvm.edu/olli. Choose statewide programs from the menu, and then click on Springfield.

For weather-related changes to the schedule, check the above mentioned website or SAPA TV, 802-885-6248, or call 802-885-3094.

Back To Top