Hurley. WI. Is there a Lead in Here ?
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  1. #1

    Dec 2003
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    Hurley. WI. Is there a Lead in Here ?

    From :

    The Washington Democrat
    Washington , Indiana
    Thur. April 2, 1931

    Definately Intresting
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  2. #2
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    270 times

    Re: Hurley. WI. Is there a Lead in Here ?

    From the earliest I can remember ,Hurley has been the town where frankly ....... If you wanted a good time went to Hurley.
    Hurley WI is a town of about 1500 people on the Gogebic Iron Range. It was famous - no, notorious - during the 1920s as a place which never observed Prohibition. It became a well-known hide-out for Chicago mafia bosses, with its famous "Silver Street" of speak-easies, girlie shows and brothels
    The railroad made Hurley boom in 1885 by connecting it with Ashland, Wisconsin, and its ore docks. The tracks ran right behind the north side of Silver Street.

    "Throughout the Middle West, wherever lumberjacks and miners congregated, Hurley was known as the hell-hole of the range," stated Michigan: A Guide to the Wolverine State, the 1941 W.P.A. guide. "Even Seney, at its worst and liveliest, could not compete with the sin, suffering, and saloons that gave Hurley a reputation unrivaled from Detroit to Duluth."

    From the beginning, Hurley was the wild, wide-open frontier town, in contrast to Ironwood just across the river, where mining companies based in Michigan reflected the more sober values of the eastern and Marquette interests that developed the Gogebic Range. The fledgling community of Hurley fought to preserve its autonomy by separating itself from more powerful and staid Ashland County, which it did in 1893. Hurley's elaborate courthouse with its impressive tower had already been built, in a prearranged deal.
    The lower block of Silver Street dates from the Prohibition years, when a mining company decided to subdivide it and sell it off. Nearly 200 saloons, disguised as soda shoppes, lined downtown's streets. When Chicago gangsters established resorts and gambling rackets in northern Wisconsin mining and lumber towns, Hurley was a favorite place to relax and recreate. Al Capone never could figure out how to make inroads into Hurley's well-established business in illegal booze. He is said to have been a regular visitor; his brother Ralph ran several businesses in nearby Mercer and died in a Hurley nursing home.

    This was taken from a 1961 article in Time Magazine..................
    ......................Hurley's six-block Silver Street is jammed with 56 bars, aswarm with dough-eyed girls.

    Hurley's raffish oases have names like the 4 Ever Amber Tap, Nora's Gold Nugget, Augie's Rainbow, Lovely Girls, and Joan's French Casino. The loudest and most profane action is at Joan's, a small, chairless place cheered chiefly by the muted glow of the pinball machines. Joan, a 32-year-old blonde with a foul mouth and matching disposition, is the joint's leading (and only) attraction. Alternately kissing and cussing visiting huntsmen, Joan sets drink prices by a whimsical sliding scale based on how much the traffic will bear. Recalls one of Joan's customers: "Last year she had a big woodpile in here, and she just threw your change behind that. She made you feel like a heel if you dug around to get it back."

    Something to Do. Everyone in Hurley expects an occasional raid by agents of the Wisconsin beverage and cigarette tax division. For staying open after hours a saloon owner coughs up $500, can reopen next morning; for soliciting too obviously, a B-girl may be fined $200. While sin is rampant in Hurley, and the town's three churches are fighting a losing battle to save its wild and woolly soul, the community is not totally without law and order. An estimated $22,400 enters municipal coffers from saloon licenses, and Mayor Sam Giovanni is torn between righteousness and revenue.

    Taken from St Paul Pioneer Press in 1938....'' In Hurley, they find 80 of 115 businesses are taverns, and the gangster era isn't quite over: "Local bosses run the city but their names are seldom mentioned, for it is safer not to talk or snoop in Hurley.''
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    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  3. #3
    Feb 2005
    Menominee, Michigan
    7 times

    Re: Hurley. WI. Is there a Lead in Here ?

    i know the town burnt to the ground, dont remember the year, they moved the town up the hill. I did some partying there, while working on the road back around the 90'.it was a good time. Thompy
    where's the good stuff

  4. #4
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    270 times

    Re: Hurley. WI. Is there a Lead in Here ?

    The town burned in 1884 , twice in the summer of 1888 ,but I dont think it was moved. After the wood buildings were burned everything was replaced with stone and brick,which is why many of the originals are still standing. The town was named after an attorney from Wausau; Glen Hurley ...but later the Glen dropped. Then the Burton Hotel burned in the 40's
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    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  5. #5
    Always looking for others to go hunting with so hit me up

    Mar 2007
    Western Wisconsin
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    Re: Hurley. WI. Is there a Lead in Here ?

    Thanks for the info, Gypsy.
    You have definately hit it right about Hurley being a wild town. Was snowmobiling there a few years back and like that Three Dog Night song goes, " I seen some things I ain't never seen and I don't wanna see no more".
    I'm hunting the Tuscobia trail this year and see if Capone dropped anything along the Tuscobia trail. Legend has it that he ran the booze triangle from Superior to Hurley to Saint Paul via the rail system and when a train was being raided by the law the boys would throw there money from the train.
    Gold is liquid sunlight frozen in time



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