The Gangster Museum of America
Ah, the good old bad old days, when gambling and booze were illegal---but that didn’t stop anyone from enjoying them---and Hot Springs was a hot attraction for outlaws, gangsters, and other ne’er-do-wells. Al Capone vacationed here, enjoying the horse races, the spa, and his own special room at the Arlington Hotel. He has an exhibit all his own at this museum, which dishes the dirt on various notorious characters through memorabilia, photographs, and first-hand recorded accounts.
In the Madden Gallery, you’ll learn about Owen “Owney” Madden, who’s generally credited with really putting Hot Springs on the gangster map in the mid-1930s and 1940s. Madden was a British immigrant who cut his criminal teeth in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen alongside Meyer Lansky, Charles “Lucky” Luciano, Ben Siegel, and Dutch Schultz—to name but a few. After a couple stints in Sing Sing, he was essentially exiled from New York State and moved south to Hot Springs, where he was visited by many of his old friends.
Exhibits also cover such local characters as Maxine Jones, once the city’s richest madam, and Mayor Leo Patrick McLaughlin and Judge Verne Ledgerwood, who together created a famously corrupt homegrown political machine. After a tour, stop by the gift shop for some memorabilia of your own---like maybe a fedora from the Hatterie.
510 Central Ave.
- Hot Springs, Arkansas 71901
- 34.51229600, -93.05406200
- Sun.--Thurs. 10--5, Fri.--Sat. 10--6.
- Visit Website
- (501) 318-1717