Women’s Christian Temperance Union’s water fountain.

Can you find this water fountain in Rehoboth Beach?

Craving a mojito or margarita? Today you can take your pick from beach bars and restaurants, but that wasn’t always the case. From 1920 to 1933, booze was barred throughout the U.S. That isn’t to say a resourceful person couldn’t find a bit of the demon rum, but only in illegal speakeasies.

With winning slogans like “lips that touch liquor shall not touch ours,” the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) fought to outlaw what they saw as the cause of society’s ills. Armed with hatchets, they dramatically smashed liquor bottles and more quietly lobbied their legislators and succeeded in making the manufacture, sale and transportation of alcoholic beverages illegal throughout the United States.

One of the WCTU’s projects was to install fountains in public places to encourage people to drink pure, healthful and morally acceptable water rather than imbibe intoxicating substances. In 1929, the WCTU erected one of its water fountains right here in Rehoboth Beach. It is currently disabled, so you may have to quench your thirst with a local beer or an orange crush. Keep in mind, though, that sun, salt and sand are dehydrating, so take a tip from the WCTU and fill up on clean, fresh water.   

Did you find it? Take a selfie and show us #TheCapeCurrent. Do you have an idea for Hidden in Plain Sight? Hit us up at contribute@thecapecurrent.com

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