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Sunday, October 11 • 9:00am - 12:30pm
Tour: Sunday - St. Paul Gangster Tour

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(Additional Fee) Experience the era of the St. Paul gangster! Baby Face Nelson, Machine Gun Kelly, Kid Caan, and Ma Barker; those are the names Americans, especially Minnesotans and St. Paulites in particular, were familiar with during prohibition. Alvin “Creepy” Karpis once said, “if you were looking for a guy you had not seen in a few months, you usually thought of two places: prison or St. Paul.”

This fun-filled, gangster-high jacked city tour with a unique twist will include a stop along the route at the Landmark Center. Once the site of famous gangster trials (J. Edgar Hoover personally escorted public enemy #1, Al Karpis, through the doors for his trial), the restored federal courts building still commands respect. Originally conceived as a post office, custom house, and courthouse, the building eventually became the headquarters for all federal offices in the upper Midwest. This grand edifice has been honored with numerous awards for its architectural genius.

Next on the tour is a stop at the Wabasha Street Caves. The “Caves” were dug in the early 1800s out of a layer of rock known as St. Peter Sandstone. The sand which forms this rock was once the beach of a warm inland sea over 400 million years ago. During our cold Minnesota winters, it is reassuring to see this remnant of a tropical Minnesota. In the 1800s, a mushroom-growing business was established in the Caves, then a nightclub and restaurant was opened in the 1930s; if you listen carefully, you can still hear bands such as the Dorsey Brothers and Cab Calloway playing in the stage area with the adjoining dance floor. In addition to these two areas, there is also a fireplace with bullet holes from the 1930s gangsters in the mantle to remind us of a rowdier era. St. Paul served as a cooling-off area for gangsters, and you’ll even see a “Gangster Gallery” to show off some of the Caves’ more notorious past visitors.

Additionally while in St. Paul, our guide will provide commentary on Rice Park, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Children’s Museum, Mickey’s Diner, and The Fitzgerald Theater, home to Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion.

Sunday October 11, 2015 9:00am - 12:30pm