The South Carolina Dispensary System and the Bottles it Left Behind

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The South Carolina Dispensary System and the Bottles it Left Behind

July 13 @ 1:00 pm

The Horry County Museum presents a program by Michael Lewis on the South Carolina Dispensary System on Saturday, July 13th, at 1:00 PM.

South Carolina’s state-run liquor dispensary system lasted from 1893-1907. The first of its kind in North America, the South Carolina Dispensary promised a middle of the road solution to liquor policy, allowing people to drink but eliminating the side effects of gambling, drunkenness and prostitution associated with saloons. Lewis tells the political rise and demise of the dispensary through the lens of how it played out in the town of North Augusta. Initially the town’s location across the river from Augusta Georgia (a dry city) created a financial windfall. Within a few years the political corruption associated with the dispensary led voters to adopt prohibition.

Michael Lewis is a professor of Sociology at Christopher Newport University in Newport News Virginia. He studies historical changes in alcohol regulation in the United States with a particular focus on state regulatory systems. In addition to “The Coming of Southern Prohibition” he is the coeditor of “Prohibition’s Greatest Myths: The Distilled Truth about America’s Anti-Alcohol Crusade.”

The program is free to the public and will be held in the Museum’s McCown Auditorium located at 805 Main Street, Conway, SC 29526. For more information, call 843-915-5320 or email To view a full list of scheduled programs, visit the museum website at


July 13
1:00 pm


Horry County Museum
805 Main Street
Conway, SC 29526 United States
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