Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Story from Hell, Michigan

George Reeves established a community here in 1838. George also ran a whiskey still and got some of his neighbors in trouble. Their wives would often exclaim that their husbands had gone to Hell” (referring to George’s still) where they would hang out and drink with George. In 1841, the State of Michigan asked George what was going to be the name of his new town. George exclaimed “Call it Hell, everyone else does”. The name was accepted! Excessive drinking was a growing concern in the early growth of the United States. Often, people associated the drinking of any alcohol as a devilish behavior. The temperance movement became a prominent national movement by the end of the 19th century. By the way, it does get cold here in the winter and Hell does occasionally freeze over!

Photo courtesy of Library of Congress

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