Tuesday, April 13, 2010

House of All Nations

Enraged police, Prohibition moonshine, and raid after raid on a sordid house of ill fame. It's the story of Ypsilanti's "House of All Nations."


Dusty D said...

Now here's a shocker. Heard from one kind reader on FB that the House of All Nations continued to exist....into the 1970s!!!

It was called the "Northern Lights Bar." It had a porch, says this reader, where some serious drinking was done. It was a wild place on Saturday nights, he says. He says he and his friends knew it was no place for them.

He says Holiday Inn was interested in the northern part of the property at one point but pulled the plug as soon as they glimpsed the Northern Lights.

Man, would I LOVE to see a picture of the Northern Lights/House of All Nations. I'll find one sooner or later I guess...in time.

cmadler said...

What about the legal issues in that? The police can't just go around taking axes to privately-owned structures, regardless of illegal acts that might be occurring. Was there any kind of warrant or court order allowing the police to do this? Were there any repercussions to the police: suspensions, lawsuits, etc.? I know if something like that happened today, the ACLU and such would be all over it. Of course it sounds like the owners/inhabitants in this case weren't in a position to defend their rights, but did anyone else stand up for them?

Dusty D said...

cmadler: I had the same reaction and questions. I got the impression from what I read that police were simply sick and tired of doing raid after raid, likely some dangerous or even life-threatening if occupants were armed, on this place over and over...and if a couple of extra things got broken in the course of the raid, well, that was too bad. I cannot and do not speak for the police--that's only my impression from news articles.

I didn't hear of anyone sticking up for the HOAN inhabitants. I don't believe HOAN patrons, black and white, had much sympathy in town.

To say the least.

BF said...

I wondered about the behavior of the police, as well.

While looking at the map of the location, I noticed the name Elmer Brown on several parcels of land. I did a quick search, and found Elmer's name had been used as an alias by an Ypsilanti murderer! See: http://tinyurl.com/y3wbjjq

Was Brown of some renown about town? (Sorry about that.)

Dusty D said...

Your question set me to researchin' and I found out some interesting stuff. I'll write it up as a post; thanks for the question, BF!

Hint: 225 gallons a day.