Owen Sound Tourism is offering a free guided walk through "Corkscrew Town" this Saturday, June 25 th to launch its new Corkscrew City Tour, highlighting the prohibition movement in Owen Sound.

The tour begins at the Visitor Information Centre at 11 a.m. and includes a dozen historic sites that illustrate the stories behind the "Saints" and "Sinners" that campaigned for and against alcohol for almost a century.

It will be led by author Richard Thomas with readings by poet Richard-Yves Sitoski and poet laureate Rob Rolfe.

The tour will take you back in time to era of rampant drinking and gambling in Owen Sound, when it was known as "Corkscrew Town." Taverns outnumbered churches and it was said that every man carried a corkscrew in his pocket. By 1874 the women of Owen Sound had had enough of drunkenness, brawling, vagrancy and vice and formed the Women's Christian Temperance Union – the first of its kind in Canada.

So set the stage for the "wets" and "drys" to battle it out. Owen Sound banned alcohol in 1906 and stayed dry for 66 years, at least in theory. Bootlegging was a booming business. Owen Sound didn't lift the veil of prohibition until 1972, becoming the last city in Canada to do so.

The Corkscrew City Tour shows where Owen Sounders drank, prayed, campaigned for and against alcohol and filled their flasks. Today most downtown restaurants carry locally made Killannan beer and many serve Coffin Ridge wine and cider.

The tour is accompanied by exhibits at Heritage Place Mall and Grey Roots Museum & Archives. Both are part of the Saints & Sinners: Bootleggers' Run Trail, featuring 17 craft beer,  wine and cider producers in the region, including Killannan and Coffin Ridge.


Want to learn more? Find the full tour here.

Visit our display at the Heritage Place Shopping Centre, where interpretive panels tell the story and artefacts bring it to life, from now until Thanksgiving.

Pick up a free copy of the Saints & Sinners Bootlegger's Run Passport, featuring craft brewers, wineries and cider producers in the region. The Owen Sound Visitor's Centre will stamp your passport for the Corkscrew City leg of the tour.

Be social and share your experience using #OwenSound #CorkscrewCity



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