Final stop of my December ’18 trip was at the Mob Museum on the old strip. Only had a few hours to kill before my flight home and this fit the bill.
This place has way too much to cover in a single post but here are the Cliffs notes. There are 3 floors of exhibits of all shapes & varieties including videos detailing the history of organized crime. The tour starts on Floor 3 and winds downward as you go.
Blueprints for the original Las Vegas city plan and history of how the city originated line the initial hallway.
There is a large section dedicated to prohibition and bootlegging. Smuggling was the main reason organized crime rose in the early 20th century.
During prohibition legitimate companies had to produce non-alcoholic items to stay in business. California wineries made grape juice, Budweiser made frozen eggs and malt syrup, and right here in Wisconsin the Pabst co. made something called Wonder Cheese.
Moving to something a little more gruesome, the next section was dedicated to violence. Here’s the actual wall from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago.
“Old Sparky” the electric chair from Sing Sing prison in New York.
And the chair inside Nevada’s gas chamber at Carson City, last used in 1979.
Floor 2 starts with “Open City”. Mobs already ran illegal gambling dens but police were cracking down. Nevada legalized gambling in 1931 and the mob moved in quickly.
Many artifacts from the early days line the walls in glass cases. Blue Jacket? Desert Inn run by the Cleveland Mob.
What was the reason for gangsters to run legit casinos? So they could skim money off the top of course!
Floor 1 changed quickly into the law enforcement side with stories of the G-Men, FBI agents who busted illegal mob activity.
Further exhibits would cover how they gathered evidence using wiretapping which was later used for prison convictions.
Finally in the basement you can find an onsite distillery and a “speakeasy” (aka bar selling illegal alcohol during prohibition).
And with that I’m heading back to Wisconsin. This was my last stop of 2018 – more to come soon Spring 2019!Lat = 36.1727905 , Long = -115.1412506 -- Show at Google Maps