The buyer of a scenic property in northern Wisconsin will get more than just its bar and restaurant: They’ll have a former hideout of Chicago mobster Al Capone.
The 407-acre wooded site, complete with guard towers and a stone house with 18-inch-thick walls, will soon go on the auction block at a starting bid of $2.6 million.
The bank that foreclosed on the land near Couderay, about 225 km northeast of Minneapolis, said Capone owned it in the late 1920s and early 1930s during Prohibition when liquor was banned. Local legend claims that shipments of bootlegged alcohol were flown in on planes that landed on the property’s 37-acre lake, then loaded onto trucks bound for Chicago.
“He spent a lot of time there,” said Chippewa Valley Bank vice -president Joe Kinnear. “Whether it was for getting whiskey out of Canada or whoever knows. It is an incredible property.”
The property was more recently used as a tourist attraction. It includes Capone’s two-story stone home with a massive fireplace, two guard towers — reportedly manned with machine guns whenever Capone visited — a caretakers residence and other outbuildings. Mr. Kinnear said the bar on the property was built from what was originally Capone’s eight-stall garage and still includes some portholes built to shoot through.
“It’s pretty neat,” he said.
The bank will auction off “The Hideout, Al Capone’s Northwoods Retreat” on the steps of the Sawyer County Courthouse in Hayward on Oct. 8.
Capone — nicknamed “Scarface” — headed a massive bootlegging, gambling and prostitution operation during Prohibition and raked in tens of millions of dollars. He was widely suspected in several murders but never charged.
He was considered the mastermind of the gangland killing on Chicago’s North Side in 1929, known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Seven rivals of Capone’s gang were gunned down in a garage, but investigators never could collect enough evidence to put anyone on trial for the deaths.
Capone was eventually convicted of income tax evasion and spent part of an 11-year sentence at the infamous Alcatraz prison. He died in 1947.