I hunt for old west saloons and there are still a few. I like the Crystal Palace in Tombstone. I drank too much Old Granddad in there one night, But my favorite old west bar is the one in Leadville. Can't even think of the name of it. It is little changed. Lady's face painted on the barroom floor and all. The Irma's bar is now a restaurant, but you can get a feel what the old place was like. There's a pretty good place in Baker, OR and in Buffalo, Wymoning. There's a place in Severy that is amazing...the Buckhorn and a few in Livingston.
There's a nice old saloon in Miles City, but it's become a college hangout.
There used to be the Union Brewery on C street in Virginia City, but it's a biker dive now.
Face painted on the barrom floor - you might be referring to the Teller House Bar in Central City, Colorado. A guy name Herndon Davis was working on some paintings for the Central City Opera House and Teller House. He got into an argument with Ann Evans, the project coordinator and was told to resign or be fired. Inspired by poet Hugh Antoine D'Arcy who penned "The Face on the Barroom Floor" Davis painted the face in the dead of night with the help of bellboy Jimmy Libby. The parting memento had the deisred effect of infuriating Ms. Evans, but the bar owners diceided to capitalize on it, saying it was the face described in the famous poem. The face is actually beleived to be Davis' wife.
The Fort Hotel (Ft. St. John, BC) was originally a log building built in the late 1920s. Not haveing to put up with the liquor licensing system institured by the NWMP 35 miles to the east in Alberta the "men's drinking parlour" was a pretty free wheeling place. No swinging doors, of course since it can get to 40 below in the winter. It did have one unique characteristic; two, two story log out-houses out back, one male one female.
The Fort was rebuilt several times and the site of my first beer parlour visit when I was sixteen. As of the summer of 2011, however, the site is a vacant lot.
Steve, check out the New Atlas Bar in Columbus, MT some time.
I think the saloon you were talking about in Buffalo, WY is attached to the Occidental Hotel next to the Virginian Restaurant. A great place! Still has bullet holes from the time they tried to kill Frank Canton in the bar.
"History is based on a true story."
-- Old Vaquero saying
Yup; my wife and I took a room in the Occidental two years ago. About ten years ago I walked in there and a guy was installing a new brass bar rail, the one you put your feet on. He was struggling with it, so I helped him. We worked for an hour or so. Yep, I helped to install the "bar" at the Occidental hotel...a proud moment.
There's nice museum in that town too. It's walking distance from the bar.
Next time I find myself in Columbus I'll look up the bar. Thanx
You're right, Steve - the Jim Gatchell Museum is great! When we stayed at the Occidental, the main rooms were taken, so we stayed in two of the - ahem - whorehouse rooms downstairs in the back. What an experience! It was clear what they were used for - except for the bed, there was barely room to turn around!
One more thing about Columbus - as you exit the highway, there's a small shopping center on your way into town, and one of the shops is the Montana Silversmiths outlet store. Sometimes the selection isn't great, but it sure is fun poking around!