“Whoopee Gang” Stuns Point Place Saloon

For whatever reason, this particular story struck me as one of the more interestingly brazen crimes from the past.   On the front page of the October 24th 1929 issue of the Toledo NewsBee, my eyes focused recently on this provocative headline from the field of ink.


As the story was written, it appears that three men who had  been recently set free by Toledo Police after being held for robbery, decided to celebrate their newfound freedom by a night of lewd and criminal behavior.  Namely- holding up the Blue Bird, an illegal nightclub, on 131st Street in Point Place and robbing the 19 people inside. But before robbing the so called “rum resort”, they gave the patrons a show they’ll probably never forget. The NewsBee writers detail those events in their own inimitable style.

“In convivial mood, the gunmen trio entered the inn at 3035 131st street, with three women companions at 10:30 pm Wednesday, they engaged a table and proceeded to make whoopee.


Pocket flasks were flashed, deputies were told, and as the evening proceeded, geniality exceeded caution. Exuberant over their release from their cell in police headquarters after 25 victims of recent holdups here had failed to identify them, the three men shouted to all who cared to listen that they were out for good clean fun.

Moved by an esthetic urge, they paid members of the orchestra to deepen the indigo tints of the bluish strains of jazz, while the three celebrators leaped nimbly upon nearby tables and performed dances attributed commonly to only trained performers.

Shortly after midnight, a serious note entered their abandon. They felt the need for ready cash….One by one the trio leaped up and waved revolvers at the astonished guests, orchestra and proprietor Frank Wilkinson.”

The bandits then proceeded to rob everyone in the Blue Bird and then robbed the safe of the Blue Bird, taking about $200 in cash, but not before hitting and beating  Marchetta Schoeltz, the co-owner of the Blue Bird.  The trio and their girls, exited the place, jumped in a car and headed north along Edgewater Drive. Toledo Police were in hot pursuit, but lost them at the Michigan State Line and ended their chase.


While the bandits(whose names were known but never mentioned in the article) managed to escape, the owners of the Blue Bird did not. It was raided the next day by federal liquor agents and both Wilkinson and Schoeltz were arrested for running an illegal rum resort.


1 Comment

Filed under Toledo area crime news

One response to ““Whoopee Gang” Stuns Point Place Saloon

  1. John D. Nusbaum Jr.

    I enjoy reading articles on Point Place. As a boy I grew up in the Point and heard many different stories of the area. I am now 60yrs young, and remember my wonderful child-hood like it was yesterday(most of it). As for this article, it states the robbers went north on Edgewater Dr., there is no way out unless they had a boat waiting somewhere. Just sit at 131st and Edgewater Dr. and they will eventually come out.. Thanks for the article, enjoyed.

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