Moonshining Women and the Informal Economy in Two Prohibition Era Montana Towns

Author(s): Kelli Casias

Year: 2016


One unintended consequence of the Prohibition Era in the U.S. was an unorganized but national collective social resistance movement based in individual civil disobedience.  Recent research into the town of Anaconda, Montana during alcohol prohibition has revealed that men and women participated in moonshining activities. Comparison of male and female offenders in Anaconda indicated that the informal economy in which alcohol resided, was formalized by city officials as a legitimate economic strategy for all levels of the town. To expand on the female narrative, and the historical, socioeconomic context of the area the town of Butte, Montana will be compared/contrasted to Anaconda to expose differing resistance tactics and attitudes towards liquor law violations. An interdisciplinary approach, employing household archaeology and historical documentation will be pursued. The expectations of such research is two-fold: 1) highlight women’s participation in clandestine activities, 2) and archaeologically reveal signatures of a social resistance movement.   

Cite this Record

Moonshining Women and the Informal Economy in Two Prohibition Era Montana Towns. Kelli Casias. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434666)

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Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 130