• LOCATION 51 | Unholy Toledo Tour: Gambling and Gangsters in the Glass City

    The Avenue of Booze

    The Avenue of Booze on Toledo, Ohio audio tour Unholy Toledo Tour: Gambling and Gangsters in the Glass City

    When Michigan went dry in 1918, one year before the rest of the country, many Michiganders headed south to the Buckeye State to get their booze. This road, the Dixie Highway, was the main artery back then and became known as the “Avenue of Booze” and "Rummer’s Runaway.” Before we had I-75, the asphalt paving on this thoroughfare made driving carloads of booze back and forth less hazardous than navigating Michigan's dirt backroads. So how busy was this road? In 1919, the New York Times reported that Federal officials made thirty arrests along this road and confiscated four barrels, 205 cases,20 gunnysacks, 25 suitcases, 68 jugs, and 150 bottles of whiskey in one day.

    Over the years, this road also became synonymous with gambling as clubs sprouted up along the road to service customers from both states.

    Continue south on Detroit to LaGrange. I'll call out the sites of the old clubs and gambling joints as we drive by.

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Unholy Toledo Tour: Gambling and Gangsters in the Glass City