Memphis always had a lot of saloons, but under Prohibition the number of saloons doubled.  One of them was owned by notorious gangster John Persica.  His Persica's Garden, which showcased Vaudeville Acts and movies, was a front for his more lucrative dance hall-saloon activities.  Persica had a number of run ins with E. H. Crump.  In 1913 John Persica was "killed in an auto accident" and is buried in Calvary Cemetery in an unmarked grave.  Persica's Theatre could seat 600.

PERSICA'S GARDEN is listed in the 1905 - 1913 Memphis Directories.

Persica's Garden location - today



John Persica - 1908

...Kills man -1892

Description of Persica's-1910

Billboard 1907


Persica killed -billboard 1913

Persica's  horse wins 1909 Tri-State

Billboard 1909


Location Today...

1904 - Ben Turpin appears in "Pink Dominoes"

Billboard 1908

Billboard 1909      






Historic Memphis Website



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