February 19, 2010

Once There Were Two Saloons

The local weekly's "100 Years Ago" column this week reprinted a news item about how "Under-sheriff Triplett made the trip" to our corner of the county in 1910, where he "ordered the two saloons there, running without a license, closed."

Two saloons, imagine that.

You haven't been able to walk up to the bar and order a drink here since the Great Poaching Scandal closed down the one café-and-bar at the junction back in 2004.

It seems the manager (the owner's son) and five of his buddies decided to poach a few trophy mule deer out of the pastures nearby in the early winter of 2003. They were caught and sentenced to hefty fines and suspended jail time.

And business cratered.

The owner put a notice in every box at the post office, saying in effect, "It wasn't me, and it's not true we were serving any of the venison."

But people stopped eating and drinking there, and the café, which had been in operation under various owners at least since the 1950s, closed and stayed closed.

Now the county has bought the building and plans to tear it down and make a little roadside park "with picnic tables, a pavilion, and other improvements for area residents as well as for travelers."

Some of the fire department guys wanted to burn it down for practice, but there are problems with that, such as overhanging trees.

Maybe we can just chop holes in the roof for ventilation practice before the building is demolished.

And if you have an urge to drink in a bar, it is 15 miles to the nearest such establishment.

2 comments:

smartdogs said...

Ah, the joys of a small town.

I live in a place where there are only two degrees of separation between all the residents. It is not possible to meet someone who doesn't know at least one local person you know.

This is both the most wonderful - and the most frustrating - thing about living here.

Steve Bodio said...

smartdogs is right!

Would you believe that Magdalena had SIX bars when I moved here thirty years ago, and one out on the plain?
Plus drive up windows where you could get a mixed drink in a "go- cup". All gone but one now, police check stops everywhere, and more drunk driving.
I sound a hundred years old (;-)