The Closing of the Wildwood Poolroom
The story of the Glen Sligo Hotel and the Wildwood Resort has been told on another Friends of Sligo Creek web page. In the last paragraphs of that article is the story of the gambling establishment that was established at the Glen Sligo Hotel following the financial failure of the Glen Sligo Hotel and the Wildwood Resort. That summary of events does not do justice to the drama and conflict that actually occurred.
Following is a series of Washington Post news articles of 1903-04 extracted from the Post Archives, a treasure-trove of historical fact, that expose the conflict between the operators of the Wildwood Poolroom and the leaders of Takoma Park and Prince Georges County.
Reprinted with permission from Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive and The Washington Post.
Page 1 2 3 4 5
Tuesday, May 12, 1903
RAID ON RACING GAME
Sheriff Swoops Down Upon the Wildwood Poolroom
ALLEGED PROPRIETORS CAUGHT
Three Arrests Made by the Officers and the Prisoners Helf for Grand Jury Action in $1,000 Bail Each - Say They Will Reopen for Business To-day - Too Quick for the Watchers
A successful raid was made on the Wildwood poolroom, just over the District line in Prince George County, yesterday afternoon by Sheriff B. N. Hardesty, of Prince George County; Constable Wallace Raybold, of Bladensburg; Edward T. Benton, Jr., and Mr. Richard Hardesty, the sheriff's son, who have been procuring evidence against the place. Armed with a warrant from Justice of the Peace Cross, of Seabrook, they swooped down on the resort with a posse before its proprietors could be warned by an outrider on the road, and arrested three men - Benjamin Andrews and Robert Turner, the reputed proprietors, and Jack Farrell, said to be one of the employes.
Wednesday, May 13, 1903
POOL ROOM STILL OPEN
Players and Layers Did Business Yesterday at Wildwood
There was no raid at Wildwood yesterday. The patrons of the Maryland poolroom waited expectantly all the afternoon for Sheriff Hardesty and his posse to reappear on the scene and repeat the arrests of Monday, but the sheriff came not. Hardesty and his friends said Monday night that they would be on hand yesterday. The pool room was run as usual, and the crowd was not deterred by the law's minions from trying to pick winners at the several tracks.
Mr. Turner says he is confident that the pool room cannot be put out of business under the Maryland laws, and that his lawyers have assured him to that effect.
"There has never been a pool room closed under the law yet," he said. "Mr. Whyle tells me that it is unconstitutional and faulty, with a hole in it big enough to run a trains of cars through. I intend to test the law to the full extent at any rate."
Mr. Turner intimated his belief that the raid on Wildwood was instigated by the rival Virginia pool room, and that all the expenses of the raid were paid by the latter resort.
Thursday, May 28, 1903
POOLROOM DOORS CLOSED
Wildwood Concern Goes Out of Business and Managers Leave the City
The Wildwood poolroom, just over the District line in Maryland, was closed yesterday on schedule time, according to the statement of the management over a week ago that it would go out of business at that place on May 27. The proprietors of the resort, Messrs. Andrews and Turner, left the city last night for New York.
Before they left they made the statement that they would return to Washington and open a poolroom again in the near future. Whether it will be at Wildwood or at Chesapeake Junction they did not disclose, but it has been intimated that their plans contemplate a place at the Junction.
The Wildwood resort has been in operation three or four weeks, and the crowd has been large nearly every day.
There was much disgust at the opening of the place among the people of Takoma, Md., on the edge of which town Wildwood is located, and Mayor Kinnear and his advisers planned a campaign against it, which, however, was never carried out to a successful issue. Sheriff Hardesty of Prince George County, was induced by Mr. Edward Benton, of Hyattsville, to make a raid on the resort two weeks ago, and Turner and Andrews were arrested. They gave bail and went back to their business, apparently not in the least disturbed by the occurrence.
It is understood that another plan to close the place through proceedings for ejectment was being considered. The Wildwood property is in the hands of receivers and under the direction of the courts. It is said that the receivers had no right to lease it under these conditions for a poolroom, and that action would have been taken against the concern on this ground. The statement is made that Messrs. Andrews and Turner voluntarily gave up to avoid these proceedings, considering it better to locate in some other place.
Monday, June 8, 1903
POOLROOM WILL REOPEN
The Establishment at Wildwood to Resume Business To-day
The Wildwood poolroom is to be opened again to-day, just over the District line in Prince George County, Md. Messrs. Andrews and Turner, the Baltimoreans who were the proprietors of the resort for its few short weeks of existence in May, have not yet arrived in Washington from the Northern race tracks, but it is said that they will be here to-day, and that all the arrangements have been made to begin business again at the old stand.
At the hotel where the poolroom contingent stayed last month, a few of the employes of the resort were in evidence last night. "We will open up, all right," they said. "The Western Union people took our wires away from us and made us quit two weeks ago, but they have decided to back down on the proposition."
The local Western Union officers last night stated that they knew nothing regarding the Wildwood situation. They suggested that very probably the arrangment for the use of the Western Union wires have been made at New York, it at all.
One of the stories regarding the closing of the resort a few weeks ago was that the local Western Union prople had been persuaded to take the wires away by the Prince George County authories, or some other interest that does not want the poolroom to be operated. It was said, also, that Messrs. Andrews and Turner, who conduct books on the racing circuit, had gone to New York to get the home office of the Western Union to give them the wire again.
Page 1 2 3 4 5
Copyright 1903-04, Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive and The Washington Post. All Rights Reserved.