MULLICA HILL — The Harrison Township Historical Society has opened a new exhibition. Last Call: Taverns and Temperance, focusing on the colorful history of taverns, temperance, prohibition, bootlegging, distilleries, and wineries at the Society’s award-winning Old Town Hall Museum.

Because of the state’s strategic location between New York and Philadelphia, taverns

proliferated in colonial New Jersey. There were over 400 at the time of the Revolution.

In Old

Harrison Township alone there were three well-patronized inns along present-day Bridgeton

Pike. More were to follow throughout the community in the 19th century, not all of which had

sterling reputations.

The White Horse Tavern in Richwood, for example, gained such a notorious reputation that the settlement was known as Helltown. Such situations contributed to the rise of the Temperance Movement and ultimately Prohibition.

Last Call: Taverns and Temperance explores this fascinating history through an extraordinary

collection of artifacts, images, and documents, many of which will be exhibited for the first time.

From the tavern table from Helltown and a still from South Harrison Township to a quilt made by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, and a rare 1840s minute book from the Harrisonville Division of the Sons of Temperance, visitors can explore the controversies and challenges surrounding the regulation of social behavior.

The visitor experience is enhanced by a series of recorded narratives drawn from local history. There are tales of “tavern crawls” before the Civil War, a raid on a bootleg still in Richwood, and

a story about drunken pigs in Mullica Hill, all accessible by scanning QR codes in the gallery.

Last Call: Taverns and Temperance is open Saturdays and Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m., now through June 8 (closed Mother’s Day). Admission is free, thanks in part to funding from the Gloucester

County Cultural and Heritage Commission at Rowan College of South Jersey, in partnership

with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State and the National

Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey Historical Commission/Department of State.

Old Town Hall Museum is located at 62 S. Main St. in the heart of Mullica Hill’s National

Register Historic District. For information on the exhibition as well as upcoming lectures,

concerts and events at the museum and the Richwood Academy Cultural Center visit or call 856-478-4949.

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