| Although the brewery was struck by a major
fire at the lager
house in 1900 which caused a $75,000 loss, production and
improvements barely skipped a beat. An 1,100 foot tunnel was
dug in 1901 connecting the lager and ale houses with a walkway
and pipes for direct beer storage at the bottling department.
new wagon shed and a larger warehouse were constructed in
1907 with a new boiler house, condenser building and grain
storage tank built in 1910. An extensive addition was also made
to the bottling house in 1914 creating one of the largest breweries
in New England.
In order to further its business status during
this era, the
Harvard Brewery became profoundly involved in Lowell's
governmental scene. While this involvement helped the company
to smoothly navigate the increasing regulations imposed on large
businesses it also established itself as a major target for political
criticism. Alderman George H. Brown won the mayoralty
election of 1908 on a platform mainly based on breaking up "the
brewery's complete control of the politics of Lowell." Allegations
that Harvard dominated the licensing of liquor dealers in Spindle
City came to a head when Holloway, Joyce and other managers
were arrested with members of the license commission on charges
of conspiracy. Despite the submission of much incriminating
evidence, the death of a key witness led to charges being dropped
against the brewery officials.
PROHIBITION COMES TO MILL CITY
Survival of local political critics did not help the company
stave off a more serious threat to its existence - the temperance
movement. The passage of the Eighteenth Amendment
in 1919, declaring the sale of alcoholic drinks to be illegal, sent
the brewery scurrying to recast itself as a viable business.
the expertise of the new brewmaster, Doctor Richard H. P.
Juerst, and a name change to the Harvard Company, the
brewery began offering non-intoxicating beverages such as
root beer, ginger ale, grape juice and "near-beer." Initially