Dry for 162 years, Massachusetts town now allows alcohol sales

In Rockport, a wreath hangs on the famous red-painted fishing shack, known as Motif No. 1.
In Rockport, a wreath hangs on the famous red-painted fishing shack, known as Motif No. 1. –Angela Cook / Cape Ann Chamber

ROCKPORT, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts resort town that has been dry for 162 years now allows alcohol sales in stores.

The Rockport Board of Selectmen this week voted unanimously to give the coastal community’s only grocery store a license for take-home alcohol sales.

The Gloucester Times reports Whistlestop Market owner Jay Smith says it’ll take a few weeks before the store can stock beer and wine.

Don Campbell, of the Board of Selectmen, says Rockport residents go to other communities to buy alcoholic beverages, and they should be able to buy alcohol in town.

Rockport has been dry since 1856 when resident Hannah Jumper led a procession of 200 women, many wielding hatchets, through the town and destroyed anything containing alcohol.

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Rockport’s restaurants have been allowed to sell beer and wine since 2006.

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