Drumheller's history as a coal mining centre has helped to put East Coulee back on the map and some of the more interesting characters of the period will be featured in a lecture by a summer supervisor at the East Coulee School Museum.
Pam Hodder has been asked to speak on behalf of the museum at a special event in Lethbridge about the town's bootleg liquor distributors.
"Actually, the Galt Museum reached out to the East Coulee School Museum via email," she explained. "There's an exhibit on right now about Emilio Picariello, who was a Canadian bootlegger himself, and they wanted to know if somebody from the East Coulee School Museum would like to talk about Drumheller's bootlegging history."
Hodder, who knew something on the subject from her time at the School Museum, also consulted with experts at the Atlas Coal Mine, who filled in gaps in her story.
"Bootleggers were just your average Joe's, they were people you worked alongside," she stated. "Especially in the coal mines, those people were basically civil servants."
It was made illegal to import alcohol into Alberta in 1918. Picariello, who was known as The Bottle King, was a well known bootlegger in Southern Alberta in the late teens and early 20's until he was hanged for the murder of a police officer in 1923.
"I'm going to tell them a little bit of Drumheller's history before I dive into the bootlegging history," noted Hodder. "Of course, the bootlegging history and a couple of stories: some of the houses in Drumheller even have smuggler runs."
Hodder's lecture, Rumrunners: The Bootlegging History of Drumheller, is scheduled for Sunday, October 22 at 2:00 p.m. at the Galt Museum in Lethbridge.

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