May 10 marks 100 years since prohibition ended in Alberta.

For eight years, alcohol was prohibited in the province after the Women's Christian Temperance Union south of the border made its way to Canada.

To mark the 100th anniversary of the end of prohibition in Alberta, the Okotoks Museum and Archives has created an exhibit that shows the impact of prohibition on Okotoks.

"This exhibit not only marks the 100th anniversary of the end of prohibition, but it also explains what happened. Like, how did prohibition start?" explains the Museum and Archives Specialist with the Town of Okotoks Kathy Coutts. "So, I've done a timeline to explain from how it started through to when it ended in Alberta, but then I also included 'How did Alberta compare with some of the other provinces?'"

For example, Prince Edward Island was the last to end prohibition in 1948.

Prohibition began on July 1st, 1916, after a Provincewide plebiscite showed that the majority of Albertans at the time were wanting the province to outlaw liquor.

"It all started back in 1874 with the Women's Christian Temperance Union, which started in the States. And that spread to Canada, and it really was the thought that alcohol was the root of all evil," says Coutts. "A lot of the reason for society's problems. They viewed alcohol as the biggest single cause of domestic violence and divorce. They linked alcohol to crime, sexual immorality, poverty, and they also believed that the men's abuse of alcohol invaded the home. So, if you control, eliminate alcohol, you'd solve all the social problems in communities."

There were temperance groups formed, and Okotoks had a committee on the Calgary chapter of the Women's Christian Temperance Union.

The Alberta Temperance and Moral Reform League and the Women's Christian Temperance Union campaigned to prohibit alcohol in the province and were able to get enough signatures to force a plebiscite vote.

The plebiscite vote took place in 1915 and the majority of Albertans and Okotokians were in favour of going 'dry'. 

Only two communities in the area, Priddis and Millarville, were in the majority against prohibition.

Prohibition ended up affecting Okotoks in a few ways, including the closing down of a couple of hotels.

At the beginning of Prohibition, Okotoks had three hotels that required alcohol sales to make ends meet.

Once alcohol was outlawed, two of the Hotels were not able to afford to stay open.

The third was able to stay open because they were selling alcohol under the table.

This Prohibition exhibit at the Okotoks Museum and Archives opened on May 1st and will run until July 4th.

The exhibit also talks about local rum runners and bootleggers and how driving laws changed because of Prohibition.

It also showcases how another province-wide plebiscite ended Prohibition and brought in government control of liquor in Alberta, even though the Town of Okotoks still voted against it.

To learn more about how Prohibition affected Okotokians, make sure to check out the exhibit.