As this blog has been sadly neglected for a while, it seems fitting that I run a week behind with this post. So, you’re actually reading “Last Week in History.” Sorry for that.
Many thanks to PA Room volunteer Paul Davis for digging up these articles!
The last month of 1922 was a rough one for Fayette County’s taverns. Though the National Prohibition Act (or “Volstead law”) was put in place nearly three years earlier, local speakeasies still offered a setting for “many Saturday night frolics and joyous pleasure parties,” as an article in the Daily News Standard called them. That came to an end for a few saloons on December 2, 1922, when court action forced them to close.
Two of the restaurants mentioned in the article, the Savoy and Columbo, appear in the 1921 city directory as Italian spaghetti houses. The Savoy was located at 38 S. Beeson Avenue, near the present day offices of the Herald-Standard, while the Columbo resided a block away at 32 E. Church Street.
Both were shut down after some police work by a State Trooper named Edward J. Koehn, who described his infiltration of the saloons in court.
Halloween has come and gone — my favorite holiday by far! Yesterday I sat at the PA Room’s desk, dressed in full pirate regalia and eager to scare any kids who wandered too far from the confines of the Children’s Library. (Actually, I had candy for them. But they still seemed to be afraid of me.)
It was a quiet day, so I delved into the microfilm to learn about how Halloween was celebrated by locals in the past. The following article appeared in the Daily News Standard on October 31, 1898 and described a particularly disruptive Mischief Night: