Row Over Disposition of Hootch
Motor Boat “Lorretta” with Huge Cargo of Belgian Alcohol Runs Aground at Entrance to Hampton River – Stated that Hundreds of Loads Have Been Successfully Landed.
Hampton Beach News-Guide , July 13, 1926
The motor boat “Lorretta”, loaded with Belgian alcohol to the extent of several thousand gallons and probably bound for a creek in the Seabrook side of the Hampton River, ran aground one night recently in the river mouth and was captured by a local representative of the state prohibition forces. In all probability the “booze” would have been unloaded from the boat and later loaded into a truck for distribution in either Maine or New Hampshire.
The NEWS-GUIDE carried a story last season about the bold landing of a cargo on the North Beach, not far from the Coast Guard station and all the spring, rumors have drifted around Hampton of the great loads of “hootch” which were being run up the Hampton River and unloaded along the various creeks at high tide. It has been stated that a great load was taken out of a boat and placed directly in waiting trucks not far from Glade Path early this spring. In fact it has been an open secret for some time that the motor boats would unload their illicit cargoes either in Seabrook or Hampton where it would be hidden or loaded immediately into trucks and carted away. It is said that thousands of gallons have been run off by way of the Lafayette Road during the spring and early summer and as far as is known, the recent capture is the first that has been made.
It is said that the motor boat in question ran aground in the heavy fog and that the officer who made the capture immediately called up the Seabrook Coast Guard station and numerous other authorities and officers right afterwards. The Massachusetts authorities arrived first and took immediate charge. With the appearance of the New Hampshire authorities the question of jurisdiction immediately arose and it is stated that the argument continued until the federal authorities at the Massachusetts custom house were called upon for advice, with the result that New Hampshire was victorious and the load escorted to Portsmouth. The capture created no little excitement and armed guards patrolled both ends of the “Mile Long Bridge” for several hours after the capture.