Jackson Heights Gangs

Barons Gang 1955

Barons Gang Fight Arrest 1955

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    Jr Bachelors
    Splendon Social Club
    Splendon comes from the Beta Splendon Siamese fighting fish - a symbol of a fish with a top hat and cane was on the membership card.
    Barons (Jr HS 145):
    Originally formed at JH 145 in Jackson Heights in the mid-50s. Main hangout was Plagmann's candy store on Woodside Ave. & 69th Street on the Woodside/Elmhurst border and the school yard of PS 12, two blocks away. They also frequented a pocket park on Broadway & 76th Street. Members came from Woodside, Maspeth, Jackson Heights and Elmhurst. Their closest allies were the Gaylords, whose members included some older brothers of the Barons. The club lasted approximately from 1954 - 1958.
    The novel about the Vandals was written by an author from that era: The Vandals.
    Anyone who remembers them and wants to contact this writer, please Email me at: Lastvandal@echoes.net.
    Gaylords: from Woodside

Jackson Heights Queens Gangs

One Jackson Heights man's view looking back on his old neighborhood and crew: I moved to Jackson Heights Queens from Williamsburg Brooklyn around 1952. I noticed no mention of the kids from 82nd street to 69th street (by the Woodside border) area of Jackson Heights. In the 50's there were the Jr Bachelors and Braghans (spelling not sure) who were one of the same and hung around PS 69 on 37th Ave and 78th Street. They pretty much controlled this half of Jackson Heights down to Woodside. Hangouts were Bill's Lunchenete and Newtown Bowling. Later in the mid 60's the Splendon Social Club was charted. Splendon comes from the Beta Splendon Siamese fighting fish - a symbol of a fish with a top hat and cane was on the membership card. The club on 71st street and 35th Ave consisted of mainly guys from Jackson Height and to a lessor degree Woodside. Less than half were ex gang members. I was a charter member at 21, I just finished a 3 year hitch in the army. In the 5-6 or so years the club existed, we never had a single incident where trouble walked in the door. We had a full service bar and excellent Juke Box, along with table and booths. Late night poker games were not unusual. The cops left us alone perhaps because at least 2 members were on the force, and also because they were happy we were all in one place. There were some fairly tough individuals within club, including non member neighborhood guys (regulars). One member for example was a jujitsu black belt ex Golder Gloves who was the only American to perform at the Japanese Pavellon at the 64 Worlds Fair at Willets Point near Flushing. All members were in the 18-30 year age bracket, some ex Army, Navy and Marines. The girls were all from the general area and a number of marriages occured over the years. Typical Fri-Sat nights ended in the wee hours of the morning. Drugs were becoming more wide spread around NY and the country during this time, and caused some issues within the club.

The Splendon died a slow death as married members had kids, and others moved out of Jackson Heights. Some other club names I recall that were not mentioned were the Barons (Jr HS 145) in Jackson Heights and the Gaylords from Woodside (unless they were part of the Gaylords that existed elsewhere). Two brothers (Frank and Arky) from the then defunct Gaylords were regulars who came to the club.

We also hung around the Woodside Projects for a couple years... We had periodic fights with the black kids from time to time. I was arrested for unlawful assembly with about 22 other guys during one such 'fight' (I was 14) The other kids had friends from gangs at the Queensbridge projects, names I don't know, but they all wore raincoats. We had help from the Saddletramps and some other older guys who I'm not sure of. We were in the front page of the Long Island Star Journal the next day.. my Dad didn't speak to me for 2 years. After that 'fight' we were loosely associated with the Gents from Astoria.. I remember their Jackets were black with white script.. the symbol on the front was a white top hat. gloves and cane.