There's a story behind the lannon stone gates that flank a small parking lot at 12600 W. Bluemound Rd. in Elm Grove, WI. The gates were once the entrance to Club Madrid, an exotic nightclub built during the Prohibition era (1920s). Owned and operated by Chicago natives Sam Pick and his brother Ed, Club Madrid was visited by everyone from football players to singers, politicians, and gangster Al Capone. Club Madrid was purposely located just inside the Waukesha county line, where at the time there were no police, only county sheriff's deputies.
Club Madrid quickly became a popular hotspot that served fine food and offered a variety of musical talent and other acts, black market booze, and gambling.
One of the early employees of Club Madrid was Hattie McDonald. McDonald arrived in 1929 and found work as a bathroom attendant. A short while later she became a popular performer at Club Madrid and worked there about a year. McDonald then moved to Hollywood, CA where her sister and brother lived. Her brother got her a job in radio that led to other opportunities. Eventually, McDonald found her way into acting in movies where she had great success. She is best known for her role as "Mammy" in Gone with the Wind for which she received the Oscar in 1940 for best supporting actress.
The Sleepy Hollow Motel
Club Madrid operated until a fire destroyed it in the spring of 1951. In 1954 the Sleepy Hollow Motel was built on the site where the charred remains of Club Madrid still stood. Portions of the old Club Madrid were reused in the new structure.
Sleepy Hollow Motel
The Sleepy Hollow Motel remained in business under various owners until the early 2000s. The site then became the property of the Village of Elm Grove. The buildings were torn down as part of a flood abatement effort for Underwood Creek. The area where Club Madrid once stood is now an empty field. A small bridge from the parking lot over Underwood Creek leads to a paved pathway around the perimeter of the field. The pathway is part of a recreational trail for the Village of Elm Grove.
The easy-to-find cache placed here commemorates the site's previous occupant, Club Madrid. Please look for the cache only during normal park hours which are 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Permission to place the cache granted by Lauren Oliveri, recreation director for the Village of Elm Grove.