The Doherty Hotel in downtown Clare opened in 1924. The historic hotel has entered guests for almost a century, but one infamous day in 1938 has tied the hotel to the notorious Purple Gang. The gang was based out of Detroit but always looking for ways to expand their income. With the booming automobile business and the need for oil, some members of the Purples came to the Mt. Pleasant and Clare region to capitalize on the black gold that lay trapped deep in the ground.
Oil investor Carl “Jack” Livingston had a disagreement with his business partner and attorney Isaiah Leebove who was a Purple Gang associate. Convinced Leebove was going to have the Purple Gang kill him, Livingston shot and killed Leebove in the taproom at the Doherty Hotel. Some claim his spirit has never left and haunts the room today. I am not sure if the haunting is true, but I do know the Purple Gang had many connections to Michigan and the stores still linger today.
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