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Historic Pioneer Saloon Takes a Serious Hit

Day Trips, Las Vegas, Neighboring Cities, Nevada, Outdoors and Other Interests, The Famous and the Infamous
Posted April 24th, 2007 by Christopher - 4 comments

Feeling a bit under the weather yesterday afternoon, due to a bit of the ol’ cocktail flu, I decided to drive out to Goodsprings, Nevada with Nick the Good to have a beer at the old Pioneer Saloon

I don’t think that Nick’s been south out of the Las Vegas Valley in the few months he’s been living here, so this was a nice little outing, though it’s just a short 20 mile drive or so. I’d been out to see the Pioneer Saloon once before but it was a little early in the afternoon and it wasn’t yet open. Yesterday we showed up and things were a little different altogether…

ApparentlyPioneer Saloon... around the first part of the weekend, a driver, not drunk but terribly sleepy, came around the corner on the road in from Jean and passed out at the wheel, careening off of the road and taking out the porch and entry way to the nearly 100 years-old saloon.

As we got out of the car and headed towards the entrance, a couple of guys were out front and had been working on rebuilding the damaged area. Before we got to the front door they were explaining to us what all the construction was about and pointing to the red car across the street. Apparently the driver of the car, which as you can see from this photo was completely wrecked, got out of the car with not so much as a scratch on him. Pretty amazing, though now I really wish that I’d had my camera when I was out there in Goodsprings before because the original look of the place is now changed forever, alas…

the car

Nick and I went inside after talking to the guys out front for a minute and taking a couple of quick photos. We met Sandy, the super-friendly bartendress who listed off about 20 beers they had by the bottle. I chose a Blue Moon, because that’s just what I was in the mood for. We drank most of our beers at the bar talking with our hostess and then walked around, surveying all the old news clippings and photos with movie stars and dvds next to production stills from films the bar was featured in. The place has a lot of history and I just like having a cold one in a place that has the sort of walls that people like to muse about – “if they could only talk…”

Pioneer Saloon under construction.

Before we left, Sandy – rather excitedly – told us about the Pioneer Saloon’s annual chili cook-off that’s going on this Saturday, April 28th. She said that she’ll be trying to sell us t-shirts and raffle tickets but the event is free and you can sample all of the cooking, et cetera. The place is a living classic and not a lot of people know about it so I wanted to mention the chili cook-off on “While Las Vegas Sleeps…” and help them get some newcomers this weekend.

Here’s to another 100 years at the old Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings, Nevada!

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  1. Las Vegas Freak on May 4, 2007 :

    Clicking on the pictures takes me to a Wordpredd login page, any chance of fixing it so we can see them in a larger size? This looks like a place worth visiting on my next trip.

  2. whilevegassleeps on May 5, 2007 :

    Hey sorry for the slow reply, Joe.. I hit you back via email with the photos you wanted.

    -=- christopher

  3. Jim The Ghost Investigator on July 1, 2007 :

    The Pioneer Saloon is located about 30 miles outside of Las Vegas, Nevada in a small town called Goodsprings. It is the oldest working saloon in Nevada. This once rich mining town has long since lost it’s luster, but this very active saloon remains. The Pioneer Saloon has a long sordid past, but one of the more interesting stories involving the saloon is that of Joe Armstrong. He was a miner long ago, and was said to have been the town bully. One night he and a few others were in the saloon playing cards and was caught cheating. When confronted he steadfastly denied the allegations and ordered the bartender to cash him out and give him all of the money he had just won. When the bartender hesitated, he was told by Joe that would be in store for a beating if he did not comply. As the bartender stood there frightened, Joe charged, and in fear for his life he pulled out a gun and shot Joe Armstrong dead. Joe’s lifeless body lay there on the saloon floor for ten hours before it was hauled away. Bullet holes are visible in the ceiling, not from this shooting, but from other rowdy times. Reports of Joe Armstrong’s spirit still haunting the saloon are reported among some of the local clients to this day.

  4. whilevegassleeps on July 2, 2007 :

    Hey Jim! Thanks for the post! I’ve heard that story before and it’s a good one. Please come back and share more! :)