Little Bohemia Lodge
Built in 1920, Little Bohemia Lodge is a restaurant located in the rural town of Manitowosh Waters in the Wisconsin Northwoods. It was here on on April 20, 1929 that infamous criminal John Dillinger and his gang, which included girlfriends and wives (10 people in all), escaped from the F.B.I. during a hasty and poorly planned raid. The lodge was built by Emil Wanatka and he ran the business his wife. Many of the gang's personal belongings are on display and visitors can view these for free. The agents surrounded the house and fired at it; many of the bullet holes are still visible on the outside as well as inside. Many windows still have the bullet holes as well (they are preserved in between new window panes). Some of the scenes from the movie Public Enemies, starring Johnny Depp who played Dillinger, were filmed here. Pictures of him and the current owners are displayed. Visitors can go upstairs to view the guest rooms as part of a tour.
Backstory and Context
Not long after the gang's arrival, with the help of friends, Wanatka's wife managed to inform the F.B.I. Fearing that the gang would escape before the they could arrive, the F.B.I. decided to raid the lodge (apparently they didn't inform local authorities they were going to do so). Upon arriving, a car was leaving with three men who just had dinner and were not part of the gang. The agents shot at the car, wounding all three and one of whom died from the wounds. Dillinger and the others (three of the women stayed inside the lodge and were later arrested) quickly escaped through the back of the lodge and eventually commandeered getaway cars. The failed raid led to calls for F.B.I. Director J. Edgar Hoover's resignation. One agent was also killed in the operation.