Saturday, July 18, 2015

Rankin clubs too popular, Big Red burns club, Governor sends troops into Rankin again

How big was business at the Gold Coast? Big.  Big enough to make The Dock at its busiest look literally like a Sunday School picnic.  Big enough that the Jackson Chamber of Commerce pulled every string it could with the Governor to shut them down.  The 1938 newspapers show raids,  arson, shootings, and just plain raucousness as the Gold Coast became the whiskey-fueled hydra of Rankin County.  It seemed no matter how many axes and padlocks were used to shut down the clubs of the Gold Coast, the Gold Coast would regroup and become even bigger.   The first article is about a traffic jam at the Woodrow Wilson bridge. (Click on images to enlarge.). 

It was Saturday night on November 13, 1938.  Business was booming on the Gold Coast as the Jackson Daily News reported there were more than 2,000 cars crossing the bridge that night.  It took over twenty minutes to cross the bridge.

Police began another crackdown as Jackson police busted a truck full of whiskey meant for the Gold Coast on November 30, 1938.  The truck contained over $4,000 in liquor (Over $65,000 in today's dollars.).

However, that bust was small potatoes compared to what Governor White did after the infamous traffic jams of November.  The Jackson Chamber of Commerce was mad as hell about the mere existence of the Gold Coast as it estimated over $50,000 ($815,319 in today's dollars) was spent on the Gold Coast every week- Money that it thought should have been spent in Jackson.   The Chamber presented petitions containing many signatures to Governor White and demanded action.  The December 18, 1938 headline below was the result of the Chamber's strong-arming of the Governor.

The Chamber also called upon employers to tell their employees not to visit the Gold Coast.  The Chamber provided forms for employees to sign that stated they would not visit the GOld Coast.  It encouraged churches to get their congregations to sign petitions.

The Jackson Daily News reported two days later that the Adjutant General and his National Guard troops toured the Gold Coast to ensure it was there were no dens of sin operating in violation of the Governor's order.  The Guardsmen found only "gloomy lightless buildings, bars half torn down, bottles of "chasers" scattered and broken across smooth dance floors" as the previous raid scared away all operators and patrons.  Governor White promised to keep raiding the Gold Coast after the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld validity of his earlier raids.

Last but certainly not least was this September 11, 1938 story in the Jackson Daily News about the Godfather of the Bootleggers, Red Hydrick (No relation to Reinhardt).  Big Red apparently aspired to be a true Sicilian and allegedly participated in a robbery of the manager of the Peacock, one of his competitors.   Another club operated by the owners of the Peackock, the Maple Grove Inn, was also burned to the ground under mysterious circumstances.

Earlier posts about the Gold Coast
Rankin grand jury moves to shut down the Gold Coast
Rankin Sheriff beaten on Gold Coast 
Rankin Constable killed in Gold Coast shootout (1946) 
Governor sends troops into Rankin County  (1939)


Anonymous said...

I am quite CERTAIN NONE of the crowds on the Gold Coast were Baptists, Methodists, or Presbyterians, all staying home as instructed by their preachers.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish, we still have bootleggers holding elected positions today. I remember making many trips from Jackson to the Gold Coast circle drives. It was like a busy bank on friday afternoon.

Anonymous said...

Prohibition works!


Anonymous said...

As soon as the Gold Coast was shut down church attendance probably increased dramatically!

Anonymous said...

The Dock would still be rockin if that Burwell crook hadn't screwed it up

Buzz said...

I remember hearing that the descendants/family of "Big Red" owned most of the property in Fondren on the West side of North State Street between Mitchell and Hartfield streets.

Kingfish said...

You are referring to the Downings. Oddly enough, Vann Leonard went to jail over his embezzlement in that estate.

Vann Leonard jailed over Downing estate embezzlement

Vann Leonard indicted over Downing Estate embezzlement

Read the story in the first link.

Anonymous said...

So, the drug money needed to be spent in licensed businesses and not on the black market. Wow, I hope the descendants of the people who complained about the Gold Coast see it is no different today, only the chemicals change. Unfortunately, odds are the complainers, patrons and vendors on the gold coast went on to be supportive drug warriors (non-drinkable drugs anyway).

Anonymous said...

Thanks Kingfish! I was around in the 50s and still yearn for the days when your could call your bootlegger (mine was on Beasley Road) and have it delivered. There was also a sports writer at the Clarion-Ledger who picked it up in Rankin County and sold it from the trunk of his car.

Let's start a revival said...

The Napa valley's main purpose during prohibition was to provide communion wine to the Catholic Churches across the nation. Look at it now.

It has come to my attention that not enough people have been saved and that we must SPREAD the symbolic blood of Christ around so that many lost souls may be saved by seeing the light of a hangover. Therefor, I propose that those of us in Stankin Rankin that are tired of the bs and having to drive to Jacktown to get a bottle of holiness start a little church called the likker store within the county. We can call it 'The Temple of The Last Supper' and test the bounds of the new religious freedom law.

Who's with me? Religion is BIG business 'round these parts and apparently tax exempt. Let's start up a likker store in Rankin County that's tax exempt and when they come a knockin we can scream, " Persecution!!! Persecution!!!!! Persecution dang it!!!!! They don't want people to FEEL the symbolic blood of Christ and therefor must BE the Anti-Christ!. They are agents of Satan!!! We do not bow down to thee oh one with the A.B.C. badge!"

If they shoot us, the liberal media will be all over it.

I'd like for the temple to have one major location in Pearl and two other campuses of equal or lesser size in Brandon and Flowood with tax exempt status. All are welcome, for the gospel must be spread.

Thank ya very much.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish, I am sure you are getting some of our elderly politicians nervous with this "FLASHBACK"
One of our elected bootlegger officials did very well as a bootlegger.
Please keep up the good work!

Kingfish said...


I doubt they really care at this point.

Anonymous said...

RR Kingfish. You are correct. It really does not matter anymore.

2016 Hottest Reporter Poll

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel

Who is the hottest reporter?


Who is the Hottest Reporter in Jackson?

Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS