July 14, 2007

Historic St Paul Gangster Hideout

As promised, more information on the Wabasha Cave Tours from yesterday's photo. Here is a more expanded view. It's built into the side of the cliff south of downtown St Paul in the lower Westside neighborhood. It's made of sandstone and made of easy digging when the caves were first mined back in the 1800's. The facility in it's past has been a speakeasy, a restaurant, a nightclub called the 'Castle Royal' an office building and now it serves as a tour stop on various Twin Cities tours. Back in it's hay day as a speakeasy during prohibition, it was a well known hang out for gangsters, including John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Ma Barker. Some well known big bands have played here like Cab Calloway, Harry James and the Tommy Dorsey Band.

The cave tours are held Thursday, Saturday and Sunday for a small fee of $5 dollars where you can learn about the 150 year history of the caves. The secret caves were used by the gangsters to escape the law when the time arose during prohibition. There is also a gangster tour which visit many places in the Twin Cities for a fee of $22 dollars. The tour guide is dressed in clothing of the gangster era.

If you shall ever find yourself in the Twin Cities, I highly recommend one of the tours. I have not been on the tour since I've gotten my digital camera, but I will promise to go and snap some photos when I do.

My 4 Daily Photo Favorites:
Boston, Massachusetts
Maple Ridge, British Columbia
Manila, Philippines
Monte Carlo, Monaco


Rad Brad said...

I have to check that tour out.

Thanks for the info!

Unknown said...

I wish I would have gone there when I was living in the cities. Very cool place. I heard about it but never took the time.