Detroit’s notorious Purple Gang set their sights on the northern woods of Michigan and its summer resorts in the late 1920s. By 1929, Club Manitou was in operation, with a maze of escape tunnels surrounding its basement speakeasy “Slim’s.” Run by former Purple Gang driver Al Gerhart, the club flourished until the 1950s. Here is the history of the club and its owner, with details not previously available.
Author Mark Huck grew up outside of Chicago and was educated at Princeton University and the University of Washington. He has spent over 25 summers at Club Manitou. His mother and co-author, Judy Landis has lived at Club Manitou for nearly 40 years.