Huff Post Travel listed 5 Old West saloons everyone should visit before they die. This is a fine list of old establishments, but they missed my favorite, The Palace on Whiskey Row in Prescott, Arizona.
|Vintage Palace Saloon|
Wyatt Earp, Virgil Earp and Doc Holliday patronized The Palace, and the film Junior Bonner (Steve McQueen) used the saloon for location shots. I’m also partial to The Palace because I used the saloon in Murder at Thumb Butte, and I seem to have a fuzzy recollection of having a few drinks there on occasion.
In 1900, the original mid-19th century building burnt down, but the bar is authentic because loyal customers carried the heavy wooden structure across the street. I guess they figured that fire could take the rest, but they needed a place to rest their boot and elbow. The Palace reopened in 1901 and has continued to be a town fixture. It certainly feels more Old West than the Crystal Palace mentioned in the Huff Post article.
|Palace Saloon today showing rescued bar|
The Palace is almost authentic, unlike The Old Style Saloon #10 in Deadwood, South Dakota. Unfortunately, the displayed death-chair for Wild Bill Hickok is not authentic either. Nevertheless, #10 is still a fun visit.
|The Old Style Saloon #10 in Deadwood|
I also have fond memories of the saloon in Mitchell, South Dakota, across from the Corn Palace. It might not have been a genuine article, but the beer was cold and the décor creative.
|Mitchell, South Dakota|
|A few beers even made the Corn Palace seem interesting.|