A Noon Stroll Down the Lane

Jim meets the audience following last night's talk

Jim meets the audience following last night’s talk

Last night we concluded our spring season Public Enemies: Hamilton’s Little Chicago Era & Its Consequences. It was great to see so many faces, new and old, crowding the Parrish Auditorium for Jim Blount’s spellbinding exploration of Hamilton in the age of rum runners and speakeasies. The Colligan History Project returns in September with another exciting season of events (about which, watch this space!) but meanwhile history enthusiasts need not despair.

Over summer we’ll keep you posted of historical goings-on in Butler County via our website and Facebook. One such event comes to our attention via the excellent HEY! Hamilton! website (well worth a look if you’re not yet familiar). Former city mayor and local history enthusiast Tom Nye will be leading free guided tour of Hamilton’s Dayton Lane Historic District, meeting Friday May 15 at noon (see link below):


“Hamilton’s Little Chicago Era and its Consequences”

Jim Blount, City of Hamilton Historian

Wednesday May 6, 7.30 pm, Parrish Auditorium, Miami University Hamilton

Life in Hamilton, Ohio during the 1920s and 1930s was marked by the ordinary daily activities of a thriving American industrial community, by transformations in the national economy, by a constitutional prohibition on importing, producing, transporting and selling alcoholic drink, and by criminal activity. Today this era is so vividly recalled in community lore and local history that it has its own name, “Little Chicago.” .

City of Hamilton Historian Jim Blount shares his longBlountPortraittime interest in the 1919-1933 “dry” years of the Prohibition era, an interest that began in his childhood and has continued at least six decades. What led to branding Hamilton “Little Chicago”? Was it an accurate brand or an exaggeration? Why has this label endured for more than eight decades? Can we separate fact from fiction in local history?

Following Mr. Blount’s presentation, a documentary video by Craig Rouse, A Colligan Retrospective, 2000-2015, will feature extraordinary clips from the first fifteen years of the Colligan History Project and comments by many who made it possible.

  • Free public event
  • Please join us for a reception and book signing on the stage of Parrish Auditorium following the lecture.