There is this incredible saloon about 30 miles south of the 215 just off the I-15 it’s the Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings. Exit right when you get to the Terrible’s Hotel & Casino (formerly the Gold Strike) then drive up the hill toward the setting sun and veer right at the fork in the road. Moments later you’ll find the Pioneer Saloon; a place that is a throwback to the days of yesteryear – it’s the location of gunfights and ghost sightings, movie shoots, and video games. I first discovered the place in 2012, when I went for a glider ride in Jean for my birthday (another thing I recommend). The pilot asked us if we had ever been there and said it was a “must see”. He told us it was the oldest continuously operating bar in Clark County… who could resist that. So, when we landed, we headed west towards Sandy Valley.
What a wonderful discovery! The Pioneer Saloon was built in 1913 by local businessman George Fayle. It was formed out of stamped tin from the Sears Roebuck Company—and looks like something out of a ghost town or Western flick with its false front and porch of well-worn boards. The brass rail at the foot of the bar and the potbelly iron stove are both original. If you look beside the stove, you’ll see a few old bullet holes, the result of a long-ago fight over cheating at cards. The Pioneer is known for having wet many a thirsty miner’s whistle. The Pioneer may be the nation’s oldest stamped-metal building still standing.
The legend of Clark Gable and Carol Lombard is part of the Pioneer’s history. In 1942, Lombard was flying back to Los Angeles after a tour selling war bonds and her plane crashed into nearby Mount Potosi. As a team struggled to recover her body from the isolated crash site, Lombard’s husband, Clark Gable, waited at the bar in Goodsprings, drunk and inconsolable. Some people say they feel the two Hollywood stars presence there.
The saloon has been featured on TV shows such as Ghost Adventures and made it the site of meet-ups for fans of the paranormal. The Pioneer possesses other movie screen connections as well. It was featured in The Mexican, Miss Congeniality 2, and Cheech & Chong’s Up in Smoke, as well as a scene from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas that got cut out of the movie. It has also manifested as the “Prospector Saloon” in the video game Fallout: New Vegas.
Now in its second century, the Pioneer Saloon remains a beloved watering hole for both locals and visitors from around the world. It’s a popular spot for motorcycle riders as well as star gazers who appreciate the dearth of artificial light. The bar now offers a menu of sandwiches and burgers (try the ghost burger) as well as breakfast. Entertainment is provided by a jukebox, karaoke, and live bands, but the atmosphere of the Pioneer Saloon is certainly enough. I won’t recount all the fun I have had there, but suffice it to say, there have been many memorable moments for my friends & I; including the time we were joined by someone in a random chicken suit, (for no apparent reason)!
Check out the Goodsprings General Store – it’s next to the Pioneer Saloon. At one time it was the Goodsprings Cafe that served many hungry miners three meals a day. Today it still feeds the locals of Goodsprings, not as a cafe, but it supplies all of the staple foods, like milk, butter, eggs, cheese, meats, and much more. It also has a full line of gourmet foods and chocolates, as well as grilling supplies and a full range of souvenirs.
For information about the Pioneer Saloon go to http://www.pioneersaloon.info. It’s an eclectic place that you will want to take friends to.
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Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff