'How dry I am'

By Lisa Treiber-Walter


It may come as a surprise to many, but Gillespie County — the home of more than one festival dedicated to spirits such as beer and wine — has two large areas within its boundaries that are “dry.”

Perhaps “dry” is too harsh a term. Those into legalities would refer to the areas as “moist” — not completely dry but not open to the sales of just any alcoholic drinks either.

In the affected areas near Harper, Tierra Linda and Klein Branch and even in a small area surrounding Willow City, beer and wine coolers may be sold so long as they fall under 3.2% alcohol content.

Sales of anything stronger than that is against the law and has been since before the national prohibition era.

When the rest of the state repealed prohibition, an election on Aug. 24, 1935, called for voters in that area to decide whether or not liquors as are allowed by state law and the constitution may also be sold in the district.

Gillespie voters mustered 2,100 ballots to help the state repeal the 16-year prohibition law. Four precincts in Fredericksburg cast a vote of almost 14 to 1 to repeal the dry law, while the total vote of the county’s 23 polls was 1,797 in favor of 253 opposed for a better than 7 to 1 decision in favor of repeal.

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