Al Swearengen & the Gem Saloon
Al Swearengen was the notorious owner of Deadwood’s Gem Theatre, which quickly became one of the boom town's most popular entertainment venues. Swearengen’s business practices, however, were far from ethical. He coerced desperate women into becoming prostitutes, often through bullying and physical violence, and wasn’t exactly gentle with the menfolk, either.
Despite the Gem Theater burning down in 1879 as part of a larger fire that destroyed much of Deadwood, Swearengen was undeterred. He rebuilt the Gem even bigger and better than before only to have it burn again 5 years later.
Once again, Swearengen rebuilt the Gem, but you can’t stop what’s coming. After a series of setbacks and lawsuits, the theatre caught fire a final time, under somewhat mysterious circumstances.
Swearengen eventually left Deadwood for Colorado, but his body was found near a streetcar track in Denver a few years later. The cause of his death was never determined, leaving open the possibility of foul play.
Check out the website for more true tales from the Old West https://www.wildwestextra.com/
Email me! https://www.wildwestextra.com/contact/
Buy me a coffee! https://www.buymeacoffee.com/wildwest
Free Newsletter! https://wildwestjosh.substack.com/
Join Patreon for ad-free and bonus content! https://www.patreon.com/wildwestextra
Jim Bridger Part 1 - https://www.wildwestextra.com/jim-bridger-ashleys-100/
Wild Bill Hickok Part 1 - https://www.wildwestextra.com/wild-bill-hickok-part-one/
Deadwood’s Al Swearengen by Jerry Bryant - https://www.amazon.com/dp/1560377232?linkCode=ssc&tag=onamzjoshta02-20&creativeASIN=1560377232&asc_item-id=amzn1.ideas.YEHGNY7KFAU7&ref_=aip_sf_list_spv_ofs_mixed_d_qv_asin
Deadwood Saints and Sinners by Jerry Bryant - https://www.amazon.com/dp/1560376465?linkCode=ssc&tag=onamzjoshta02-20&creativeASIN=1560376465&asc_item-id=amzn1.ideas.YEHGNY7KFAU7&ref_=aip_sf_list_spv_ofs_mixed_d_qv_asin