George Chinn opened up – literally, with dynamite – Chinn’s Cave House at Brooklyn Bridge, Kentucky, in the 1920s.

It was a well-known hole in the wall where US 68 crossed the Kentucky River between Lexington and Harrodsburg famous for his wife Cotton’s ham sandwiches, and infamous for its penny and nickel slot machines operating in a not-so-secret passage in the back of the cave. When Chinn was busted for operating “illegal games of change” his defense was that his customers “don’t have a chance” to win at his rigged machines. The postcard shows the Cave House in 1942 when it was selling Hudepohl Beer. It also shows a second hole in the wall that may have been the calcite mine operated by a Chinn relative before World War I. Long gone as a business, the holes and ruins of Chinn’s Cave House still exist along the banks of the Kentucky River.

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