VOLO – Ninety-one years later, the bloody Valentine’s Day shootings of seven men in a Lincoln Park garage during a Prohibition-era gang war remains a pivotal point in Chicago mobster lore – a massacre that led directly to Al Capone’s downfall.
Those visiting the Volo Auto Museum on Valentine’s Day weekend will have a free opportunity to learn about gangster history. The museum’s Crime and Punishment Hall, a special exhibit that normally requires a separate admission fee to enter, will be open to all museum guests at no extra charge Feb. 14 to 16.
“Not everyone is into flowers and chocolates,” said Brian Grams, director of the museum at 27582 Volo Village Road. “Bring your date to our museum Feb. 14 to 16 to enjoy all of our many displays, and explore this macabre exhibit for free.”
The hall features everything from gangster-era memorabilia to medieval torture devices, including a gibbet, rat cage and scold’s bridles. Large storyboards detail the histories of several Chicago mobsters and gangster-era events.
Caution: Viewing may not be suitable for young children.
The museum acquired the bulk of its collection of crime and punishment curiosities in 2018 from the estate of a showman who traveled the country exhibiting them during the early 1900s and into the 1940s, when he was found with a gunshot wound to the head, Grams said.
Volo Auto Museum has been expanding exhibits well beyond its staple of hundreds of classic, muscle and film-famous cars for several years. The museum now is home to an array of music machines, animatronic amusements and Disney artifacts as well as everything from vintage pedal cars to scooters, snowmobiles and RVs.
The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $15.95 for adults, $8.95 for children ages 5 to 12 and free for children 4 and younger. For other information, call 815-385-3644, visit volocars.com or find Volo Auto Museum on Facebook.