Newport: The Sin City Years, Kentucky (Images of America Series)

Newport: The Sin City Years, Kentucky (Images of America Series)

by Robin Caraway
     
 

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Located in Northern Kentucky, Newport is a small, historic river town bustling with business in a respectful and developing community. While it is now known for its charm, Newport once had a dark and sinister past known as its "Sin City years." Newport earned its reputation for vice, crime, political corruption, bootlegging, casinos, brothels, and bookie joints…  See more details below

Overview


Located in Northern Kentucky, Newport is a small, historic river town bustling with business in a respectful and developing community. While it is now known for its charm, Newport once had a dark and sinister past known as its "Sin City years." Newport earned its reputation for vice, crime, political corruption, bootlegging, casinos, brothels, and bookie joints early in the city's history. During the Civil War, soldiers stationed at the Newport Barracks were offered entertainment from various saloons and bordellos located in the city. At the turn of the 20th century, John Thompson, a Newport native, invented the Thompson Machine Gun. The "tommy gun" was made infamous by gangsters during Prohibition. Citizens of Newport, fed up with the city's sordid reputation, eventually banded together to drive out the vice and reclaim their city. After a long struggle, Newport is now a pleasant and enchanting community.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Title: Revisit 'Sin City' with pictorial

Author: Staff Reporter

Publisher: Cincinnati Enquirer

Date: 2/10/2009

This city is known today for the Levee, aquarium and several fine restaurants.

But it was also once home to corruption, bootlegging, casinos, brothels and bookie joints.

That history has been captured in the book "Newport: The Sin City Years" by native Robin Caraway and published by Arcadia Publishing.

The 128-page, soft-cover book will be released Monday at a retail price of $21.99. A set of 15 historical postcards will be available with it for $7.99.

The book, part of Arcadia's "Images of America" series, is primarily a pictorial with more than 200 vintage images from as far back as the days of Prohibition.

Caraway, a reference assistant with the Kenton County Public Library, researched old newspapers, archives and police reports to compile the book.

She also enlisted the help of several local residents with old photo collections.

"Many of the photographs are from private collections and have never been published before," Caraway said in a statement. "They show Newport's transformation from a bawdy, ill-reputed town to the thriving residential, cultural and commercial neighborhood that it has become."

The book takes a look at how a crime syndicate took over the small community and became the model for Las Vegas by allowing open gambling within the city. It also features a look at illegal businesses that thrived without government interference, and the group of clergy, businessmen and citizens who fought to take back their city.

"I am hoping that it gives others a greater appreciation for the rich history if the community," Caraway said. "I hope that Newport natives, new residents and future generations realize that they live in a uniquely historic place."

The book includes fascinating photos, such as police taking sledgehammers to confiscated slot machines, prostitutes being rounded up in raids and interior shots of the Beverly Hills Supper Club (known then as the Beverly Hills Country Club).

The book will be available Monday at area bookstores, or through Arcadia at www.arcadiapublishing.com or 888-313-2665.

Today Newport, Kentucky, is a small town not much different and certainly no less respectable than any other tiny American metropolis. In bygone days, however, Newport was widely known as Sin City, scourged by indignant southern evangelists for its casinos, bordellos, peep shows, bootlegging, and bookie joints. For decades before, during, and after the Civil War, for example, the city refueled soldiers stationed at Newport Barracks with liquor and the company of prostitutes. Robin Caraway's Arcadia pictorial introduces relatively innocent moderns to the debaucheries of another age. Certainly one of the most eye-opening Images of America entries.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738586922
Publisher:
Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date:
02/11/2009
Series:
Images of America Series
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
735,441
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.30(d)

Meet the Author


Author Robin Caraway is a reference assistant at the Kenton County Public Library and a native of Newport. An avid lover of family and local history, Caraway researched old newspapers, police reports, and archives to uncover much of the information included in Newport: The Sin City Years. Many of the photographs appear courtesy of the Kenton County Public Library and other local collections.

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