Update (10/9/09): More than 30 people showed up to watch Al Capone’s Wisconsin hideout auctioned off in a sheriff’s sale on the Sawyer County courthouse steps on Thursday, but only one bidder came forward: The Chippewa Valley Bank — the same bank that foreclosed on it in 2008. The bank purchased it for $2.6 million, which is the price the bank set as a minimum. It plans to sell it on the real estate market.
Original post: When the heat was on, Chicago gangster Al Capone allegedly stole away to a Wisconsin cabin to avoid his enemies and the authorities. If you’re a Scarface fan, you can have a piece of history: Al Capone’s Wisconsin hideout is now on the auction block, according to “Wausau Family in CNN’s iReport, and will go to the highest bidder in front of the Sawyer County courthouse tomorrow. The starting bid is $2.6 million.
Guy Houston was the owner of Capone hideout until he foreclosed on the property last April. Once the Chippewa Valley Bank took over, an ad to auction the property was placed in the Chicago Tribune, driving intense interest and national publicity.
Houston’s family bought the property in the 1950s and turned it into a tourist attraction called “The Hideout,” but he could not sustain the costs to keep the place running. Capone’s Wisconsin lodge is located at 12101 W County RD CC, Couderay, WI, but details about the property on Zillow are scant.
Many theories abound as to whether Capone ever stayed in the lodge, although his family owned it in the 1920s. The property is quite unique, sitting on 407 acres and overlooking Blueberry Lake. The main home has walls 18 inches thick, a hand-cut stone fireplace and custom-made spiral staircases created in Chicago. More details from Wausau Family:
It also has a stone gun tower (photo above), where machine gun-armed guards watched out for the authorities. There is also a caretaker’s cottage and a bunkhouse. A barn on the estate is supposed to have housed chickens, so the gangster could have fresh eggs. There is even a jail house on the grounds (photo below), a very small single cell surrounded by a brick wall. It was later turned into a restaurant and tourist attraction.
And if you’re really into Scarface, Al Capone’s Chicago home is still on the market for $450,000.