If you happen to find yourself in Tennessee this summer and want to stop off for a good meal and some interesting history, check out the High Point Restaurant in Monteagle, Tennessee. The former mansion is said to have been owned by one of Al Capone’s mistresses. The 1929 home is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Monteagle was the “high point” of terrain between Chicago and Miami, Florida and was a natural stopping point for 1930’s mobster Al Capone as he sojourned between his two states of residence.
Local lore tells tales of bad boys Al Capone and John Dillinger lounging outside on the patio drinking rum, smoking cigars, and playing cards.
The three-story stone home reportedly had escape hatches on the roof and underground tunnels in the basement which were said to have been used by Capone for the transferring of illegal liquor in the era of Prohibition.
Then there’s the fact that the exterior has oddly placed stones that stick out and seem to be step/grips so that a person could climb up (or down) the walls for an easy second floor escape.
Rear view of the house with patio visible to the right:
The historical record isn’t clear but some say High Point is where Capone’s business manager lived. A more popular theory is that the mob boss housed his mistress at High Point. Perhaps she was one in the same? Business manager/mistress?
I found an essay online that stated the real name of the house is The Mabee House – because the original owner was a woman named Irene Mabee.
Ms. Mabee was rumored to be the mistress of Al Capone but no one has been able to positively confirm this. Irene Mabee died not long before Capone in the late 1940’s. The mansion then fell into a state of disrepair.
In the mid 2000’s a business partnership was formed to resuscitate the home. It was restored to its former glory over a two-year renovation period.
High Point was then opened as a fine dining restaurant and has become renowned for its aged steaks, fresh fish, cold water lobster, pork and duck.
Have a look inside:
The home still has many original features such as the hardwood floors and light fixtures.
Another fun legend of the house claims that the floors were constructed with a lining of sand to muffle the sound of bullets. This is also unconfirmed, but hey, it’s a good story.
Of course, the legendary Al Capone died an unglamorous death at the hands of syphilis. The once feared and revered mob boss’s brain was so damaged by the sexually transmitted disease that he had the mental capacity of a 12 year old child before he died.
Still, it is the legend that supersedes the truth when it comes to that highly romanticized period in American history. As it is with High Point in Monteagle, Tennessee.
This is a place where you should be drinking a martini and smoking a fine cigar after dinner. One of a kind.