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Saturday, July 08, 2017

#2540 - Chesaw Tavern, Chesaw, WA - 5/25/2014

Chesaw Tavern, Chesaw, WA
From the Curlew Saloon, a small bar in a small community near the Canadian border, we headed west to the Chesaw Tavern, a smaller bar in a smaller community even nearer to the northern border. And while Curlew was temporarily considered a ghost town, Chesaw is still considered one today -- though it is temporarily re-animated every July 4 for the Chesaw Rodeo, and described as "still a thriving community today" by the Okanogan County Historical Society.

The highlights of the story of Chesaw are laid out on a wooden sign in front of the tavern and general store, and on the tavern menus. The latter describes it this way: "As the story goes: In the late 1800's, an allotment of land was given to an Indian woman named Susane Louie. She married a Chinaman, Joseph Charles Chee Saw and they settled in the area on Meyers Creek, prospecting, trading goods, and raising a family. Eventually the town adopted the name Chesaw. In 1896, mineral rights were opened up and word spread that Chesaw was rich with gold! Miners flooded the area. Then in 1900, the north half of the Colville Indian Reservation was opened for homesteading, bring yet more families to farm the area. The turn of the century found Chesaw to be a community of several hundred people with two three-story hotels, a weekly newspaper, a doctor, an undertakeer, an attorney, blacksmiths, general stores, and several saloons including one called the Bucket of Blood."

I don't know how old the building is or how long a tavern has been there. Inside there's a photo date 1969 that looks much as it does today, but I have no idea if it actually survived from the boom era, avoiding the fires that so often consumed wood-constructed frontier towns around the turn of the century. Inside today there are some good beers on tap and several more by the bottle, and the tavern appears to be open morning to night. The brightly lacquered wood interior contrasts with the distressed, rustic boards on the exterior, and you can drink from a tractor seat stool or next to the wood burning stove. It feels like history and makes for a fine excursion to add to any roadtrip nearby.


For more bars like this see my google map of Great Old Bars in Washington State.


2045 Chesaw Rd, Oroville, WA 98844 - (509) 485-2174                            
Web site: facebook
Reviews: yelp - youtube (music jam)

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