The Oldest Saloon West of the Mississippi

Not closing, this American icon.
Hank Williams is moaning his 1949 hit “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” high and mournful from the old quarter-a-song jukebox when we step off the sunny porch and into the neon light....

“Walls went up in the 1850s,” she says. “Was literally a trapping and trading post for mountain men in the area until 1879. When the town got big enough they moved the dry goods next door and this became a saloon ever since then, including the years of Prohibition.”

“The way that happened was the sheriff was in Ogden, so he either came up by mule or by rail,” she smiles, mischief in her eyes. “They knew he was coming. Sometimes he would arrest the owner, his wife would come over and open the bar back up. So that’s why we’ve kind of had a rebellious spirit.”...

The jukebox, underneath a ceiling one regular estimates has $14,000 in signed $1 bills stapled to it, features Willie, Johnny, Merle, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Charlie Pride, and the U.S. Navy Band’s rendition of “The National Anthem.” When they get a new commander, the airmen bring him by and Leslie lets them know he and his family can consider this their home. Some time later, airmen will fondly replace the old commander’s photograph with the new one in its place of honor — the base of the men’s toilet.

No comments: