Bars where Pete has had a Drink (5,835 bars; 1,754 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Saturday, February 24, 2018

#2623 - Brass Rail, Rosalia, WA - 9/13/2014

The Brass Rail, Rosalia, WA
A dozen years before the town of Rosalia, Washington was founded, the area was the scene of a battled declared as one of the last Native American victories over Europeans in the Washington Territory. "It is widely accepted that on May 6, 1858, Colonel Steptoe left Fort Walla Walla to reach Fort Colville. Accompanying him were the C, E, and H companies of the 1st Dragoons and the E company of the Ninth Infantry, along with five company officers, 152 enlisted men, and several Nez Perce scouts. Halfway to their destination, Steptoe and his troops realized their route took them into Coeur D’Alene tribal lands—an action in direct conflict of the Indian Treaty of 1855. On May 16, 1858 the tribes and military met and a battle ensued, lasting until the afternoon of the 17th." (

The Brass Rail, Rosalia, WA
Accounts differ on how Col. Steptoe escaped the gathered Coeur D'Alenes, Yakimas, Spokanes, and more with losses of just 10 men and 30 horses. But the long term winners are clear enough, as the tribes were removed from the area with the 1871 Indian Appropriations Act, and Rosalia founded one year later. Today Rosalia, 96.5% white and 0.4% Native American in the last census, marks the event with their annual Battle Days celebration.

As the railroads and grain warehouses went up in the 1880s, Rosalia grew to almost a thousand residents, with two bars in town by the 1890s, a state that appears to have remained through most of the town's history until 2007, when the Longhorn Cafe burned down and left the Brass Rail as the only bar ever since. Most the businesses have died out in Rosalia, as it evolved into a bedroom community of Spokane and the other larger cities around it.

I do not know how old the Brass Rail is, nor the history of the 1905 building in which it sits. Today it is a lively bar and restaurant, with classic diner food, karaoke, darts, and trivia nights. It's a quite comfortable setting with conestoga wagon wheel chandeliers and a pleasantly random collection of bric-a-brac -- although at some point someone made some regretable decisions with a bucket of white paint, ranging from the minor abuses of painting random bricks to the epic tragedy of coating the antique Brunswick bar in the stuff. But it remains a good stop on an eastern Washington roadtrip.

This makes me want to cry ...

529 N Whitman Ave, Rosalia, WA 99170 - (509) 523-3601                    
Est. ? - Building constructed: 1905
Web site: facebook
Reviews: yelp - beststreetfairs - youtube (small town struggles video) 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

September 2020: open. Very friendly, including owner Jim Porter.

Paloose Caboose: new modern place, built after fire destroyed the old one. Met, of all people, Knute "Mossback" Burger, the Seattle celebrity. He's doing a TV segment on John Wayne's stuntman, Yakima Knute, who was born here.