Anti-Saloon League Museum

126 S State St
Westerville, OH 43081-2029
Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Home to the Anti-Saloon League, Westerville commemorates the Prohibition Movement in this museum at the Westerville Public Library.

The original settlers of Westerville migrated from New England and Virginia before 1810 with their extended families and friends. Along with tools, provisions, and meager personal possessions, they brought to Ohio strong Protestant values. In 1859, Westerville Town Trustees passed one of Ohio’s earliest prohibition ordinances banning “the sale, barter, or gift of wine, fermented cider, beer, and spirituous liquors.” Just after the turn of the 20th Century, the officers of the Anti-Saloon League began to explore the possibility of relocating its Chicago headquarters to another city where they planned to establish a printing company to serve the growing need for Temperance literature. Courted by many towns across the Midwest, the League sought a location that would further its mission to promote Temperance. Westerville seemed like a natural choice. As one of the first towns in the nation to pass a local prohibition ordinance, Westerville offered a morally conducive atmosphere and a physically attractive place to continue the fight against Demon Alcohol. In addition, with a growing business community and a railroad line, Westerville’s offer of two buildings and land for a printing plant prompted the League to move here in 1909. The buildings and land were at 110 South State Street, adjacent to what is now the Westerville Public Library. The American Publishing Company, owned by the League, was located directly behind the headquarters on State Street. At the height of its activity, the League’s printing plant employed 200 persons who generated 40 tons of literature each month. Thus, by 1917 Westerville was the smallest town in the country to have a first-class post office designation. Trains made daily stops in Westerville to pick up books and pamphlets for postal distribution across the country. The Anti-Saloon League Museum occupies one of the original brick buildings offered to the League. Rotating exhibits feature the history of Westerville and the Anti-Saloon League. Its extensive archives include family and business records, artifacts, and print ephemera, as well as the papers of Governor John Kasich.

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Notes for Travelers

Westerville has done an excellent job preserving sites connected to Prohibition and the Anti-Saloon League. The Anti-Saloon League Museum is part of a tour that describes those sites, which include Temperance Row, a nationally recognized neighborhood built by League leaders.