Pioneer Saloon – 4th Annual Chili Cook-off

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This page last updated on 04/18/2018
(Fig. 01)
Directions-Pioneer Saloon

Background & Description: The town of Goodsprings, Nevada (Figs. 01 & 02), population 229, is located in the hills seven miles west of Jean and about 30 miles south of Las Vegas. Originally named Good’s Spring after one Joseph Good settled in the area in the 1860’s, and whose cattle frequented a spring nestled in the southeastern foothills of the Spring Mountains. Goodsprings was once the heart of the most productive mining districts in Clark County. It served as an important town for milling ore from the surrounding mines. After milling, the ore would then be transported by wagon to Jean where it was loaded on trains. Over the years, lead, silver, copper, zinc, gold and silver have all been mined from this area. Before 1900, a small cluster of tent cabins and a mill were erected, a post office was opened, and Lincoln County established the Goodsprings Township. In 1904, Salt Lake City mining interests platted the Goodsprings Township. Most early buildings in the town were constructed during the boom spurred by the railroad in 1910-1911. After a number of moves, the current Goodsprings Schoolhouse was erected in 1913. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, the Goodsprings Schoolhouse is the oldest school in Clark County that was built as a school and is still used as a school. Today, Goodsprings is most famous as the home of the Pioneer Saloon, which at 100 years old, is considered to be one of the oldest saloons in Nevada. The town of Goodsprings offers more than a decade of history and you can get a walking tour map of the town at the Ghost Town Cafe located next to the Pioneer Saloon.
(Fig. 02)

Pioneer Saloon
(Fig. 03)
The Pioneer Saloon: The Pioneer Saloon (Fig. 03) is a historic landmark that was built in 1913, by prominent business man George Fayle. The interior and exterior walls are of stamped tin that was manufactured by Sears and Roebuck. It is thought to be one of the last, if not the last of its kind in the United States. The legendary bar, installed when the saloon was built in 1913, was manufactured by the Brunswick Company in Maine in the 1860's and still has the original brass foot rail that was installed when the bar was built (Fig 04). The saloon houses a bullet hole in the side of the building and a coroner's letter describing how it was created; the result of a poker game shooting on July 3rd, 1915. In addition, the Pioneer Saloon has a small memorial room (Fig. 05) dedicated to both Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, whose plane, TWA Flight 3, crashed into nearby Potosi Mountain on January 16, 1942, killing all aboard. Clark Gable, her famous screen legend husband of less than two years, waited for three days at the bar for word on his wife. The many tales from the bar along with bullet holes, the pot bellied stove and the paper clippings are just a few of the many things that will keep you immersed in the exciting era of the old Wild West.
Pioneer Saloon Bar
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)

05/04/2013 Trip Notes: Today Connie and I headed down to the Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings for their 4th annual Chili Cook-off. This the first time we had attended this event and it was a fun time. The chili cooking and tasting was in their barbecue area directly behind the bar. This semi-enclosed area (Fig. 06), with its eight built-in gas grills and ovens, picnic tables and plenty of chairs added, made it a perfect spot for hosting a cook-off. We actually spent most of the time sitting with a Henderson family that had their chili entered for the fourth year in a row. Having won the last three cook-offs, this year they placed second to an entry that none of us would have selected; they were actually my fourth choice. There is nothing like an afternoon of sitting around eating chili, salsa, drinking beer and chatting with “down to earth” people (Polyptych in Fig. 07). In addition to the cook-off, there was a dune buggy poker run, a motorcycle ride to Sandy Valley, a car show and live music in the bar. The diptych (Fig. 08) and triptych (Fig. 09) show my favorite two cars. The duet Stefnrock (Figs. 10 & 11)were playing some really great music in the bar. I’m looking for their upcoming schedule and can’t wait to see them again.
(Fig. 06)
Pioneer Saloon Chili Cook-off
(Fig. 07)
Pioneer Car Show2
(Fig. 08)
Pioneer Car Show
(Fig. 09)
(Fig. 10)
(Fig. 11)
11/27/2012 Trip Notes:  After hiking some mines along Sandy Valley road, Harvey Smith and I drove around town and then stopped here for a beer and lunch in the Ghost Town Café (Fig. 12). The “fix-it-yourself” hamburger bar has at least 10 items on it and the 1/2-lb certified Angus COWBOY BURGER was very good. Would definitely eat here again.