Western saloon

Saloon is since about 1800, a West American, slightly self-deprecating term for a pub or a motel from the original French, also in use since the 18th century in the German word Salon (useful according to the representative living room of the upper classes and the aristocracy ). A saloon is largely in the clichés of Western films and Wild West novels.

The local

Basically, there were many, very different, types of saloons. The simplest design was the tent saloon. This form was found at the times of the gold rush before, when it came, so stomp an establishment overnight from the ground. Some were just a huge tent ( comparable to a modern beer tent), while others had a row of houses made ​​of wood and behind the tent.

Could a saloon in a town established, large wooden houses were mostly built ( as for that time usual). For building equipment of a saloon usually a horse stable or a Anbindepfahl included ( or beams ) for horses. ( Exceptions were additions, porches, water troughs, etc.). In large and rich cities saloons were also built of brick (especially in the later 19th century).

The interior of a saloon could vary greatly. Depending on Neighborhoods ( in larger cities ) presented the variations of simple, appropriate places to sumptuously appointed homes, with a floor including the corresponding gallery. Often there were also dance floors with small " revues ," and a piano or other instruments. The fancier houses were often decorated in a then very popular European style. These included heavy silk hangings on the wall, ornately decorated furniture, beer taps in polished brass, etc. In addition to the regular wooden doors there in warmer regions, the famous saloon doors, two half-height, free-swinging double doors (double spring hinges ) on the sides of the doorway. A central point was the bar of the saloon, which is very big and powerful dominated the room mostly. Often there was behind the counter a giant mirror (often in a fine frame). The lighting of the premises went from simple candles over paraffin lamps up to gaslight vonstatten ( in later periods ).

The value

The saloon was a purely male domain and was regarded as a place of vice. Therefore, the women, the one found in a saloon of commercial prostitution were, by most. Some saloons offered its customers for even their own rooms that you could rent. Also, the Saloon was a central point of gambling. Almost every saloon which held something up, at least had a game table, usually a Faro bank. In the better houses there were dice tables and roulette tables.

The audience was otherwise very mixed, depending on the reputation or position of saloons were of good bourgeois masters of soldiers to Cowboys, brought by their wages, representing all social classes.

Nevertheless, the Saloon the social hub of the then average city. He was usually the first point of people who were new to the city to get an overview of what is happening. Who needed information or wanted to hear the latest gossip, was the right place in a saloon.

Variations / varieties

The saloon was basically a pure drinking local ( comparable to a modern bar ) rare dishes were offered. Often there was an attached restaurant, which had a direct access to the saloon. In very small towns or villages, which often consisted of only a few houses, there were saloons were the same department store, restaurant and post office. Even rarer were saloons in remote areas, who came very close to a post house or trading post ( Trading Post ). Sometimes, a bathhouse, these varieties had even connected.

The further south you came (Texas, New Mexico ) fit the more Also the Mexican image saloons and were often performed under the name Cantina.

Another variation of the saloon is the honky -tonk, the African-American version of a saloon, have developed in which the genres of ragtime.

Saloons today

Basically, all saloons were places that were known for their range of alcohol. It was therefore not surprising that many saloons at the start of Prohibition (which prohibited the consumption of alcohol and its dissemination ) were closed. Many of the saloons were converted into cafes and casinos.

In the southern United States and Mexico, you can still find occasional classic saloons. One of the most famous saloons is the no. 10 in Deadwood, South Dakota. In this saloon once the gunslinger James Butler Hickok was killed (Wild Bill).

Famous names

Famous people who had to do with saloons, are for example: