Alcoholic stimulants, a seeming necessity to the early settlers, were in those days consumed in amounts that would
astonish the modern "wet," who would make us think that hard drinking is something new since the days
of Volstead. Mention has already been made of the distilleries in town. No doubt a public dipper hung outside the
door of these, as it did in other towns. The prevalence of hard drinking and the frequency of absolute drunkenness
are attested by tradition and record alike. It seems to have been especially prevalent among the day laborers,
to whom it was the custom to dole out rum. An attempt was made to limit the practice. We read that a certain Colonel
Williams, of this county, pledges himself in 1789 to limit the quantity to one-half a pint, "just enough to
fit them for labor." This shows a mistaken attitude of high and low alike. One item that enlivened the long
winter trips to and from Lansingburg was the jug of whiskey beside the road, which all in turn in the never ending
line, stopped to taste as they passed. It must be said, however, that it was a real disgrace to become overly drunken.
For a long time it was the custom for the well-to-do to have a store of well aged and tasty homemade wines to be
served on formal occasions, for entertainment of company from a distance or when the elder called. Doubtless, however,
this constant drinking, though sufficiently injurious, was not as harmful as it would be now, as the drinkers were
more devoted to hard, out-ofdoor manual labor than now.