Though not legally a "dry town", Philomath didn't have a liquor store until 1948. Then Mayor Gee proposed allowing such a store in order to reduce the number of accidents caused by local residents returning from the nearest liquor store in Albany, some 17 miles away. (Apparently such purchasers began consuming their product on the way home.) After consulting with the current governor of Oregon, Mayor Gee held a secret ballot city council vote on the issue. The result was a 3-3 tie. Rather than casting the deciding vote the mayor put it on the ballot for the community at large and it was there that it was approved. (Information from Mary Gallagher, Benton County Historical Society, and a June 10, 1965. article in the Gazette-Times.)