Many, many years ago - and lasting thru centuries - hangin' out in a pool hall was where men went to get away.....from work, from home, from wives.

These little retreats had everything a man could want...at least for the times: cigars, alcohol, munchies, and pool. Nope, no prostitutes, because one of the main points was to get away from the opposite sex.

Sexist? Of course it was...but back then, that was the norm. The men had pool halls & bars, and the ladies had their own clubs, organizations, outings and functions. Even so, women had been playing pool since it gained prominence over 600 years ago! It's not that women weren't allowed in pool halls...it just sorta became a male meeting place for many years until things finally relaxed, making it comfortable for men and women to shoot pool together.

And boy, did it ever! Female pool sharks began coming into these establishments, winning at pool, and wiping the smug grins off the faces of the guys. Ruth McGinnis was the lady pool shark of the late 30s and 1940s and cleaned up wherever she went!

The photo gallery below shows you how plentiful these establishments were...there were pool halls and billiard lounges in almost every Michigan city and town. The photos range from the late 1800s to 1961...take a look!

GALLERY OF MICHIGAN POOL HALLS

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