Over the weekend I went on a tour, in Arlington, on the grounds of a small Baptist College that for years has been hiding it's infamous past. A place that most folks, including me, just drove by without giving it a second glance.
Oh, we may have admired the old rock gates.
You see, before the college opened in the nineteen fifties the Top O'Hill Terrace, as it was called, was in the late twenties, thirties and forties the most exclusive and notorious underground gambling casino in the country. Here not only the wealthiest millionaires paid a visit, but Hollywood's finest rubbed elbows with known gangsters.
The college whose religion denounces all of the above vices wanted, and almost did, wipe the place clean of any remaining clues of what was once here.
escape tunnels, and numerous artifacts.
Click on image to enlarge
She also explains how the help could turn this place into a seemingly harmless docile restaurant and tearoom on at moments notice if the Texas Rangers made their way through the gates.
The tour also included walk through the tea garden on a very cold day I might add,
and a visit to the large swimming pool that at that time was outdoors.
Discarded in the corner, the dusty remains of some of the gambling tables
So, by all means, don't miss this tour, by the very lady who has single handily uncovered this hill's past.. A job that at times must seem like a jigsaw puzzle as she collects and even buys back paraphernalia that was once here.
I will let her tell you the story of the fiery Baptist Minister who made it his life's mission to shut down what he deemed "hell on earth".....and did in 1947.
To be continued: The profile of a local showgirl that danced here, and the stable of it's once famous racehorse.
To view an interesting video on the property go: HERE