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Bars where Pete has had a Drink (4,101 bars; 1,675 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:


Bars where Pete has had a drink

Sunday, June 21, 2020

#4005 - Pioneer Saloon, Paisley, OR - 6/17/2020

Pioneer Saloon, Paisley, OR
Paisley Oregon, proud home of annual Paisley Mosquito Festival, is in the southeast Oregon area some call the "Oregon Outback," and many refer to as the middle of nowhere. The city business section, such as it is, lies mostly on one bend in highway 31, south of the Chewaucan River and adjacent to the Paisley Caves, where archeologists found the oldest known evidence for humans in north America, dating back some 13 or 14 thousand years.

Settled by the 1870s and incorporated in 1911, Paisley has always been small (current population is less than 250 people), but it has virtually always attracted people from the area with saloons. And as it currently hosts the Pioneer Saloon, and old west style bar and restaurant that features an antique back bar and claims to have been established in 1883, this has been near the top of my to-do list for northwest bars to visit.

I wish I knew more about the history of the place -- how consistently it has hosted a bar, what names it may have operated under, and for what time(s) it has been known as the Pioneer Saloon. In the back room there is a large print of a pre-prohibition photo of several men on horseback in front of a "Pioneer Saloon," presumably in Paisley and perhaps in the same building (?). Most of what I have found is summarized in this paragraph from a local magazine:

"One of only two original structures still standing in Paisley, the Pioneer Saloon—previously named the  Cooley Saloon and Paisley Tavern—developed an early reputation as a rowdy watering hole. In April 1888, Civil War veteran Henri Brown shot and killed Pioneer bartender Harry Schick over a game of cards. (Brown always claimed the shooting was an accident and was eventually pardoned by Governor Chamberlain in 1903.) And in 1906, local resident Gib Gaylor was found dead in the saloon’s club room. With a bottle of whiskey in one hand and a bottle of medical liniments to rub on his various aches and pains in the other, Gaylor had accidentally drunk the wrong bottle. All told, the Pioneer Saloon has persevered through two hangings, a deadly shooting and stabbing, Prohibition, two World Wars, the rise and fall of the timber industry and, more recently, the annual flood of trustafarians making their way to Burning Man in nearby Nevada." -- (Beau Eastes, 1859 Oregon Magazine)

Pioneer Saloon, Paisley, OR
Of course I'm also interested in the back bar, said to be a Brunswick. While it is a model that I can't identify, a framed description is attached to the bar itself:

"This bar was built in Boston in 1905 and shipped around the horn to Portland. It was brought to Paisley from Arlington, Oregon in 1906 by a six horse freight wagon driving by Melvin Parker." I'm not aware of a Brunswick factory in Boston (?), but at this point I'll take the info as described.

Pioneer Saloon, Paisley, OR
Presently the Pioneer offers a range of pizzas, sandwiches and burgers, ribeye steak and tri-trip sandwich specialties, and a variety of rotating home cooked specials including prime rib, meatloaf, linguine, lasagne, smoked brisket, and fresh baked pies with other home baked goods. The bar offers a nice variety of Oregon craft beers and a surprising range of cocktails, all served by some really nice people.


327 Main St, Paisley, OR 97636 - (541) 943-3289                              
Est. 1883? - Building constructed: 1883?
Previous bars in this location: Cooley Saloon, Pioneer Tavern
Web site: facebook 
Articles ranked: 1859oregonmagazine - onlyinyourstate - centraloregondaily (video) - lakecountyexaminer - yelp - tripadvisor - bendsource - roadtrippers  

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