Winter 1976: Raw Material

While looking for something else, I came across a few fragmented notes taken at a Pescadero Historical Society meeting in December 1976. I don’t recall the meeting–but I must have been there because I was working on a book called “Half Moon Bay Memories: The Coastside’s Colorful Past.”

During Prohibition, the constable was paid $70  month. One of his jobs was to drive to the county line [Santa Cruz] with his red light on to fool the rumrunners into believing that the cops were everywhere.

One rumrunning outfit was called “The Swedes.” When they went legit, the business was known as the “Regal Brewing Company.”

Pigeon Point was spelled “Pidgeon Point.” Liquor was stored in a cannery there.

Mr. Williamson drove a roadster. It was filled with so much liquor, that, when driven, the automobile sank low to the ground.

Everyone was scared of the hijackers. They were like the crime syndicates of today.

Mrs. Davis said that the rumrunners landed at the Pigeon Point lighthouse. She said “they freely used the government’s equipment, manipulating the fog whistle to signal the “mother ship,” with the message that the coast was clear.Typically, the mother ship waited three miles out.

Mrs. Davis described a frightening incident involving her dad and a hijacker. She said the desperate rumrunner shoved a revolvor into her father’s stomach and said, threateningly: “You gotta a car?”

Of course he had a car, a Model T, and with that gun pressing into his flesh, he was happy to drive the guy anywhere.

When she was growing up, Mrs. Davis lived at Pigeon Point. She was accustomed to the cops using the family phone. The rumrunners, on the other hand, often knocked out communications.

When feasable, the prohibition agents who worked the South Coast turned lights on cars driving by [to see if the passengers looked suspicious.]

Bottles of “Old Grand Dad,” a popular label of the times, have been found in the beach caves.

It was said that “Bert Pinkham and the boys” were well known South Coast rumrunners. [As I recall, Gaqzos Creek, with its restaurant and gas station, was called “Pinky’s” in the 1970s.] Bert Pinkham was caught at least once and served a brief sentence.

Rumrunner Bay was located osuth of Franklin Point. The rumrunners used row boats to navigate between the mother ship and shore.

The farm silos were stacked with booze.


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