Tommy Banks and Billy Needham
The feature of Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center's temporary exhibit is on the story of two men, Tommy Banks and Billy Needham.
Tommy Banks, a bootlegger and gangster from Minneapolis was active during the days of prohibition.
Billy Needham lived on Bearskin and Hungry Jack Lake and became known for his diamond willow lodge furniture and hand drawn maps.
The two men became friends on the shores of Hungry Jack Lake.
The Temporary Exhibit is made possible by the Halversons and the Connells. Halversons owned the cabin next to Tommy Banks’ cabin for many years. Gary and Mary Connell are current owners of the “Tommy Banks” cabin. The two families shared newspaper articles, photographs, and artifacts from the life of Tommy Banks and his cabin caretaker, Bill Needham.
A video presentation by the Connell’s grandson, John Hutchinson is featured in the exhibit. John has spent a lot of time at his grandparents’ cabin on Hungry Jack Lake and became quite intrigued with the life of Tommy Banks. Take time to enjoy his spirited style of storytelling.
This exhibit promises to leave you wanting more stories about these two men and many more characters of the Gunflint Trail.
Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center is open daily from Memorial Day Weekend through the third weekend of October.