Everything Venice

The Hyde Park Club was located at 826 Main St., the street where the village and city of Venice was centered from its creation and through the turn of the 20th century. Part of the club, years after it was raided by the Illinois State Police on May 10, 1950, eventually became the offices of the McKinley Bridge, purchased by the city in 1958. The raid, ordered by then Governor Adlai Stevenson, marked the end of the then infamous gambling establishment. Below are photos of poker chips recovered from the club, a small rubber stamp (all courtesy of Patrick Foley) and a copy of the June 19, 1950, LIFE magazine, in which the Hyde Park raid is highlighted.

These three chips, 50-cent and two dollar chips, are marked with "J.P.C.", the initials of John P. Conner, a manager of the club sometime prior to the 1950 raid. It was common in the era of illegal gambling that owners' names or initials were rarely used on chips and other paraphernalia. This is an earlier chip that shows "HPC" for the Hyde Park Club.

This is a photocopy of a receipt when the three "J.P.C." chips above were purchased, dated 1945 through 1948, showing the monogram style and the amount of chips ordered at various times. This is a small rubber stamp for the club glued to a block of wood. The inscription appears as a mirrored image so the inked stamp prints the correct image when afixed to a piece of paper.

Click the photo to read the story of the Venice gambling raid in the pages of LIFE magazine just five weeks after it happened. You may also appreciate the advertising in the magazine as well.
No copyright made or implied. For educational purposes only.

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