The saloon cowboy has been depicted in both movies and books. It is the old west that made them the icon that they are today. Saloons were common in mostly all cities with the exception of a few areas that already had Mexican style cantinas.
Saloons mostly looked the same throughout the west. They had the common wooden front with a wooden boardwalk. There were always a few hitching posts to tie a horse. Often times a water source would be located close by for horses to drink. The front doors always consisted of two swinging doors, that would brush up against a cowboy as he walked into the main bar area. The bar itself was very long to accommodate many standing customers. The floor area consisted of wooden tables and chairs.
It was common to see a group of men playing a friendly game of poker or telling long stories of their travels. Most of the violence started in the saloon and at times emptied out into the roadway.
The first saloons to open were not the typical saloons that we all know from the movies and books. They were mostly tents or a square wooden structure with tent material thrown over the top. The material was enough to keep the rain off the heads of their costumers. The floors were not made of wood. Tent saloons never had floors of any type. If it rained the floors were muddy and if it was dry they were dusty. The only thing the early saloon offered was whiskey and a place to sit and rest. Read the rest of this entry