Throwing a few drinks back at the bar is a timeless tale of humanity. In the American Old West, this tale played out in ramshackle huts and stylish establishments alike in some of the most unforgiving terrain imaginable.
While the legendary Crystal Palace in Tombstone, Arizona, had little in common with the tent cities that sprang up in Leadville, Colorado, and Silver City, New Mexico, one common feature was the bars--constructed of planks of mahogany, cherrywood, or rosewood. These bars were often hauled across hundreds of miles of rugged terrain to arrive in various cities, where they would support the elbows, chins, and drinks of those who sought to quench their thirst.
From the Grand Hotel in Bisbee to Rosa's Cantina in El Paso, Myke, and Melody Groves tell the story of the front and back bars of twenty-five establishments in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado through a combination of historic background and photographs. This lively travelogue, complete with driving directions, will inspire visitors to the West's old mining camps, railroad towns, and ranching centers to stop in and belly up to the bar.
** Winner, 2011 New Mexico Book Award
- Reviews -
" For anyone who loves old bars -- the institutions or the physical back bars -- this is a must-have book. The beautiful photos of the antique bars are unmatched by any book or website I have ever found, and the breezy history associated with the towns and bars makes it a pleasure for anyone interested in American West history."
— Amazon Review
Published by the University of New Mexico Press