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Updated: 01/03/2018 08:30:22AM

Moonshine and bootleggers in Southwest Florida

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Good day to all and Happy New Year! Did you know that bootlegging and illegal alcohol establishments were common in Punta Gorda’s early history? As a certain television Marine Corps private might say, “Surprise, surprise!”

When the town of Trabue (Punta Gorda) was platted in December 1884, Southwest Florida was the nation’s last frontier, accessible by only water routes and rough cattle trails. Soon though, the new town became the nation’s southernmost railroad terminus. With that came all sorts of characters, leading to adoption of a city ordinance early in the 20th century forbidding lewd characters, skin games (fraudulent games of chance), vagrants and “blind tigers.”

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