Program Type:Book Club
Join the True Crime Club on a field trip to Clare Michigan for a special historical crime house tour of Tobacco Ranch followed by a discussion of the Purple Gang and their ties to Mid Michigan!
In the 1930's, Isaiah Leebove, an attorney with ties to the infamous Purple Gang, found himself in trouble with the law on the east coast and decided to flee New York. After finding himself in Clare, Michigan, he began building what is now known as the Tobacco Ranch House. With house guests in mind, Leebove built the spacious ranch-style home to impress. Leebove made the house grand! He incorporated beautiful stone pillars, multiple stone fireplaces, and a large enclosed porch overlooking the pond. All of which still exist today! Leebove and his wife entertained many oil barons, mobsters, friends, and other guests in the luxurious home up until the age of 42, when he was gunned down at the Doherty Hotel tap room bar on May 14, 1938, by his business partner in the local oil industry, and fellow Purple associate, Carl “Jack” Livingston.
We will be reading Mystery man. : gangsters, oil, and murder in Michigan by Robert Knapp as our main source of information, but feel free to research this topic however you choose! You can borrow a copy here using your library card.
Further reading and links to exciting resources on this case can be found via this PDF document:
Join in on online discussion!... feel free to join our facebook group!