What was it about the little Ogemaw County village of Lupton that the Purple Gang loved so much?

Legends say the gang had two hideouts in Lupton: the Graceland Ballroom, used in the 1920s as a speakeasy during Prohibition and a place for the gang to stay when the law in Detroit was getting too close. The Graceland burned down in 1981...accident or purposefully?

A second hideout for the gang was Kenyon's Resort on Sage Lake east of Higgins and Houghton lakes. Kenyon's was perfect for the gang: secret passageways, hidden staircases, hidden walls, underground tunnels, and hidden compartments for storing 'evidence'.

97.5 NOW FM logo
Get our free mobile app

As with any good tale comes the rumors of paranormal activity. Customers and employees have claimed to witness occurrences such as voices, visions, things moving on their own, and more of the usual 'haunting' activities. Another cool thing about Kenyon's are the rooms. Each one is named after a different member of the Purple Gang and any overnight stayer must go thru secret passageways just to get to their rooms. Kenyon's located at 814 Kenyon Road.

Lupton was founded in 1880 by Emmor Lupton and other Quakers who arrived from Ohio. They named it 'Lane Heights', change it to 'Lane' in 1881, and re-named 'Lupton' in 1893, six months after the railroad came through.

The original layout of the town had 20 square blocks, which included a bank, barber shop, drug store, two general stores, two hotels, livery barns, meat market, post office, sawmill, school, and a few others.

Today there are hardly any original buildings left, except for one or two...sparse as Lupton may be, it's still an interesting place to visit, based on its gang-connected past. Take a look at some images below...

Lupton: Getaway of the Purple Gang


The Ideal Bar, Once Used By the Purple Gang for Rumrunning

The Purple Gang

Al Capone's Beachfront Getaway: Frankfort