On July 23, 2011 at Little Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish Waters REMEMBERING EVELYN FRECHETTE AND JOHN DILLINGER commenced at 3P.M. With a flurry of news coverage from newspaper interviews, television and radio interviews the stage was set for an unbelievable event. It all began with a “gangster style” arrival at the Rhinelander Municipal airport. Jeff Scalf (great nephew of John Dillinger), Kathy and Sharon Tic (Evelyn Frechette’s step granddaughters) were at the airport that day only to be whisked away by the actual cars featured in the hit movie PUBLIC ENEMIES!
There were 35 - 40 of the antique cars seen in the movie, along with many of the actors that were extras in were also at Little Bohemia Lodge during this event. The owners of these beautiful cars were in the movie as well and all of them were dressed in the gangster apparel that they had on in the movie. For special effects they came well armed with real submachine guns and sawed off shotguns as they escorted the famous descendants off to Little Bohemia in dramatic fashion. This was actually the airport that J. Edgar Hoover’s F.B.I men flew into to conduct the raid at Little Bohemia on July 23rd, 1934.
People began arriving as early as 1:00 pm. The format of the event was to be a reuniting of the famous couple’s descendants. This was the first time in 77 years the Frechette family and Dillinger family members had an opportunity to meet each other and share stories that were handed down from their grandparents. Emotion was very high as you might expect. The cars that were seen in the recent movie with Johnny Depp as John Dillinger and Marion Cotillard as Evelyn “Billie” Frechette were on hand for the public to see and photograph as well as speak to the people that drove them in the movie. Little Bohemia served a huge buffet and everyone in attendance was really mesmerized by the event. Jeff Scalf spoke under a tent on that historical Saturday for an hour to a captivated audience. He told of the love John had for Billie and answered questions from the crowd as the evening progressed. The attendance for this event was tallied at 2,260 people! Here are a few photos from the event.
The television stations were there to capture this historical event.
WAOW TV-9 Local Author heads for the big screen
WJFW TV-12 Infamous Family Reunion
Relatives of Dillinger, Frechette to Meet at Event in the Northwoods
If you missed this year’s gathering, not to worry, there is always next year.
Special thanks to Leroy Clark for all his help in bringing the car’s seen in the movie PUBLIC ENEMIES to the event this summer. He really did an amazing job behind the scenes.