Saloon scene with nutty hand-lettered signs.

Gangster Museum of America

Field review by the editors.

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs was Las Vegas before there was a Las Vegas. It was where criminals of the 1920s, '30s, and '40s took their vacations, enjoying the city's mineral spas as well as its wide-open illegal gambling and prostitution. Hot Springs was run by Owen "The Killer" Madden, an exile from New York who ended up marrying the local postmaster's daughter. "He was a pillar of the community, really. A really nice fellah. Everybody here loved him," according to Robert Raines, who runs the Museum. "He never killed anybody after he left New York."

The Gangster Museum of America really is the Gangster Museum of Hot Springs. Exhibits have a decidedly local skew, and include slot machines and gaming tables from the more popular local casinos, weapons that belonged to The Killer, and a Victrola that was owned by the brother of Al Capone.

Gangster Museum of America

Address:
510 Central Ave., Hot Springs, AR
Directions:
On the northwest edge of downtown. On Hwy 7/Central Ave. just south of its three-way intersection with Park and Whittington Aves.
Hours:
Su-Th 10 am - 6 pm, F-Sa 10 am - 9 pm. (Call to verify)
Phone:
501-318-1717
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Welcome to Hot Springs/Dorky Bill Clinton BillboardWelcome to Hot Springs/Dorky Bill Clinton Billboard, Hot Springs, AR - < 1 mi.
The Galaxy Connection: Star WarsThe Galaxy Connection: Star Wars, Hot Springs, AR - < 1 mi.
Hot Springs - A MeccaHot Springs - A Mecca, Hot Springs, AR - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Billy's House of Guitars and Musical Museum, Glenwood, AR - 31 mi.

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December 14, 2019

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