I love talking about cowboys, times past and sharing my thoughts along with historical fact. I never get tired of picturing myself back then wearing a long dress, hat and gloves. Or maybe I’d have been a dance hall girl…….
This website is kinda like an old West saloon in that it’s a place to gather for a good time–minus the whiskey of course. *very big grin*
It would have been rare for a town in the 1800s not to have a saloon. Often a watering hole was the first business that set up in a new settlement. They were an important part of the community, a place to hear the latest news and happenings, to socialize and unwind and escape their wives. Lawmen knew to go there first if he was looking for someone. Talk was free and then if the sheriff or marshal bought a man a drink, the witness spilled more then he intended.
The only saloon owner I’ve written was Rand Sinclair, the second oldest Bachelor brother, and the hero in TWICE A TEXAS BRIDE. His Lily of the West was a happening place in Battle Creek, Texas. His brother, Cooper Thorne, didn’t drink liquor because of what he’d seen it often made men do. His favorite refreshment was sarsaparilla and one of the hand pies (as fried pies were called back then) that Rand kept on hand.
While Vernors Ginger Ale was first produced in 1866 and root beer 1876, I believe sarsaparilla was the first soft drink to make it to the Old West and it was served in saloons because of the scarcity of pharmacies (or apothecaries) at the time. Sarsaparilla was used during the Civil War as a treatment for syphilis and touted as a blood purifier.
But other soft drink makers had early starts as well:
- In 1885 Charles Alderton, a pharmacist in Waco, Texas, patented Dr Pepper.
- In 1886 Dr. John Pemberton discovered Coca Cola in Atlanta, Georgia.
- In 1898 Caleb Bradham added Pepsi Cola to the list of soft drinks.
So what’s your poison here in our favorite saloon? Joe’s ready to set ’em up. What is your favorite soft drink? Mine is Diet Dr. Pepper and I have to have one every day or it won’t seem right. But I wonder if you would’ve been a sarsaparilla drinker.