Before there was Las Vegas, there was Newport, Ky. No kidding. From spending WAY too much time at York Street Cafe in my life, I knew a lot of the history of that building (speakeasy, hidden safes, etc), but I hadn't realized how real it all was, and how rampant, throughout Newport.
Gangsters everywhere, post-prohibition. Gambling, prostitution, alcohol, casino robberies, murder and tommy guns … it was all in Newport.
We got to take the Newport Gangsters tour last night. I loved it! I knew the history of Prohibition and beer in this area from an article I once wrote. It was nice to see what happened in Newport after Prohibition was repealed and the bootleggers, um, expanded.
I had fun with my new camera. Newport has some great buildings. You can visit the Flickr set or watch the slideshow below.
The tour costs $15 and the proceeds benefit a great local charity where our kids are sent to teach for a week at schools in the Caribbean. It's another great cause. The guys that are running the tour are obviously having a great time – and they're sort of overflowing with facts from their research. In fact, I think their research sort of scares them a little. They talked to a lot of people – a lot of the still living (and still local) gangsters and club owners/partygoers from the era.
It's worth a few hours of your time. Right now, this weekend is your only chance to experience the fun tour, although they're debating on continuing through the summer, as well as looking into a Haunted Newport Ghost Tour. Go show your support – it's a short walk to and from Newport from Taste of Cincinnat and the tour lasts 90 minutes.
You'll never look at Newport the same way.
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