Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Whisky Row


Whisky Row was the name given to the string of cheap and dangerous saloons that lined the west side of State St., south of Van Buren., in the 1880s and 1890s. John V. "Mushmouth" Johnson, Tom McGinnis, Al Connolly, Johnny Rafferty, Sime Tuckhorn, Andy Craig, and Bob Duncan all ran joints in this skid row where thieves and robbers drank and caroused at all hours.

By far the most famous resident of Whisky Row, however, was Mickey Finn, who tended bar at the Lone Star Saloon near State and Harrison. His famous knock-out drinks, promoted by the ladies who worked the barroom, allowed him to rob and do violence to unsuspecting men while they lay unconscious in the back room. The next day they would find themselves missing their clothes, their money, and usually their memories of the previous night. To this day, the practice of drugging a victim with a poisoned drink is known as slipping a "mickey".

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't the pic be of the Harold Washington Library if it ran along the west side of State?

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Anonymous said...

In answer to Anonymous, above-- yep. The picture shows the east side of State Street.

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