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Hollyhocks Gambling Club Site

Site submitted by: Steve Lee

Location

River Mile 845.90 — Left Descending Bank

Significance

History

Description

At 1612 East River Road (the white house with pillars) is the former Hollyhocks Club, frequented by gangsters and politicians and upstanding citizens during the Prohibition Era. The Dillinger Gang and the Barker-Karpas Gang gambled here at the Hollyhocks, and left some of their loot for safe-keeping. The garage held 16 vehicles. The Hollyhocks was reputed to have had a tunnel from the basement to the cliff for quick escape. It was at the Hollyhocks that Jack Pfeifer, its proprietor, and Fred Barker and Alvin Karpis launched the scheme for kidnapping William Hamm Jr. Hamm was president of the Hamm's Brewing Company. (Maccabee, Paul. p. 134-141)

 

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