The Half Moon Bay History Association (HMBHA) submitted the historic photo featured here and asked Half Moon Bay Patch readers a couple of weeks ago to guess what was going on in the photo.
The first plausible answer would win a prize: a copy of “Treasures of Half Moon Bay” walking guide to historic locations in town (usually sells for a $10 donation to the HMBHA). And the most illuminating or insightful answer would also receive a copy of “Treasures of Half Moon Bay” from the Half Moon Bay History Association.
All answers were judged by the Half Moon Bay History Association.
Brian Ginna of Half Moon Bay wins for being the first Patch reader to answer correctly: “Digging a hole to hide booze during Prohibition,” he wrote.
Jim Sullivan also wins for most imaginative and insightful answer, although incorrect: “Feds posing in front of bootleggers booty cave. Axe is for smashing the, no doubt, Canadian Whiskey that was discovered inside the cave.”
Congratulations Brian and Jim for your winning answers!
Thank you to everyone who offered an answer, including Terri Reece Schoenrock, who wrote in on Half Moon Bay Patch’s Facebook page: “Ah. Those 'gentlemen' are waiting for cargo to be loaded off of boats . . . the cargo is booze or hooch.”
Here’s what Dave Cresson of the Half Moon Bay History Association has to say about the photo:
“One of the men pictured is a member of Half Moon Bay’s Angelini family. Family legend has it that he and his cohorts are standing in front of one of a hand-dug cave where whisky was hidden. The booze was bootlegged whiskey (smuggled from Canada) or moonshine — distilled in local barns. It was hidden from the federal police. There are stories of many such caves around the Coastside — some of which, those stories go, were covered at the end of Prohibition (1920-1933), and then their locations were forgotten over the years.”
Great job Brian and Jim! Please e-mail Christa Bigue at email@example.com with your address so the folks at the Half Moon Bay History Association can mail you your prize!
Stay tuned next week for the next Half Moon Bay History Quiz courtesy of the Half Moon Bay History Assocation.
For more information about the Half Moon Bay History Association, located at 326 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, visit www.HalfMoonBayHistory.orghttp://www.HalfMoonBayHistory.org or call (650) 726-4468. The HMBHA is always looking for new members and volunteers. Annual dues are $25. Tell the stories, keep the records and be a part of how our Coastside came to become itself. Call or e-mail Info@HalfMoonBayHistory.org for a 2013 membership.