Spider Kelly's and Purcell's
574 Pacific Avenue

This building, built in 1907, held two of the Barbary Coast's most active "resorts". (A resort, at that time, was simply an entertainment establishment.) Purcell's was on the long, narrow portion of the left side of the building. It was one of the best known black dance halls. One of its claims to fame is the dancers invented the turkey trot to jazz tunes.

27 14 spider kelly 1900 (112K) Spider Kelly was a bare-knuckle lightweight prizefighter before he was a barkeep.

Shootings were so frequent in his own club and Purcell's next door that he lined common wall at the back of the bar and front of his bar with sheet-iron boiler plate to protect his bartenders from stray bullets.

vintage photo