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“Rachel’s Speakeasy” concludes Oct. 18 with a night of gin, jazz and surprises with live music by The Colwell Brothers Band

LEWISTON -  The secret is out! “Rachel” and her entourage are staying one step ahead of the “authorities” by moving their Museum L-A Speakeasy to a new location for their final appearance. Patrons with passwords will be permitted to enter their Prohibition-era playground at the Royal Oak Room in the beautifully-renovated Royal Oak Room at Ironhorse Court. Upon entering the historic landmark, guests step back into a time when jazz raged, gin flowed (illegally), and Charleston-crazed flappers danced the night away. The Colwell Brothers Band, led by former Maine Speaker of the House Pat Colwell, will keep the dance floor hopping.
Museum L-A is presenting “Rachel’s Speakeasy” nights in conjunction with “The Roaring 20s to Swing” exhibition focusing on the musical, cultural, social, and historical influences and events of that era. On June 2, 1851 Maine became the first state in the country to ban the sale and consumption of alcohol. This quickly became known nationwide as “the Maine Law,” and Neal Dow, then mayor of Portland and primary supporter of the law, became known as “The Napoleon of Temperance.”

The manufacture, sale or transportation of alcohol was prohibited in the rest of the country when the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect on Jan. 17, 1920. As barroom establishments had been shut down, people were forced to create a new, underground venue to imbibe and socialize: the speakeasy. Lewiston-Auburn had its share of these establishments, one of which was believed to be in the basement of the famed DeWitt Hotel – across from city hall – and another below what was La Pharmacie Nationale, now the Lewiston Pawn Shop at the corner of Lisbon and Cedar streets.

Back by popular demand, “Rachel’s” guests will hear local speakeasy lore while enjoying "coffee" in their complimentary mug. They’ll be warned to be on their guard - a legendary Maine trooper and his bear sidekick may be on “Rachel’s” trail. “Moonshiners” from a local brewery will show a genuine still once used to distill water in Bates Mill #5. Then find out the answer to the question: “What is the connection between NASCAR and Prohibition?”
The Royal Oak Room was once the general waiting room for hundreds of Maine Central Railroad train passengers as they traveled to and from Quebec, Boston, New York and points beyond. The property, at 1 Bates Street, carries a rich history throughout the community and is an apt setting for his historic night. A brief history of the station and historic photographs will be incorporated into the evening’s program.

Guests at Museum L-A’s two previous Speakeasy Nights have embraced the theme, with many arriving in full 1920s era costume. “We’ve had a roomful of flappers and gangster-types,” notes Rachel Desgrosseilliers. “It’s been great fun for all and we look forward to another great night.” She added that professional photographer Francis Gagnon will be on hand to take pictures of couples and groups.

The Colwell Brothers Band is one of the most legendary R&B and electric blues bands of Maine, with their attractive stage presence and robust set of tunes that is hard to beat. The band will be playing a variety of music from ‘20s era jazz to the present. Pat Colwell – on guitar and vocals – might better be known to many as Maine’s former Speaker of the House of Representatives. But before he spent time in the Maine Legislature, Pat and his brother Bob – the band’s New-Orleans flavored piano player and vocalist – established the Colwell Brothers Band in 1979. After playing together for several years, Bob went on to play with a number of other bands including The Inspectors and The Boneheads, while Pat spent time working with The Radiators just shortly before he diverted and focused on his career in politics. After Pat served in the House of Representatives for eight years, Pat and Bob reunified their band and have since established themselves as renowned musicians. Alongside Pat and Bob is Dave Wakefield on saxophone and harp, Justin Maxwell on bass and Dicky “Doo” Hollis on drums.

In addition to receiving a complimentary mug, pink flowers will be distributed in commemoration of October as Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Guests are encouraged (optional) to wear 1920s period attire such as flapper dresses, fedora hats and pin-striped suits. Tickets (with secret password) are selling fast. Don’t miss Museum L-A’s final Speakeasy Night before November’s Great Gatsby Party. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Reserve a table of eight for $175 in advance for VIP seating and name or logo in the program. For adults only age 21 and over; cash bar. All proceeds benefit Museum L-A. Purchase tickets online at  FMI: