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Book Review: "Legendary Watering Holes - The Saloons That Made Texas Famous"

South-Eye Ned

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I'm nearly finished with the subject book, which was complied and edited by Richard Selcer and published by Texas A&M University Press, College Station, Texas, in 2004.  The book contains several chapters written by:  Selcer; David Bowser; Nancy Hamilton; and, Chuck Parsons.


I bought the hardcopy version of the book without realizing that it is available free online, if you don't mind reading lengthy text online.  Anyway, it's quite an interesting read.  It's narrow in its coverage, though:  It features several saloons, but only goes into detail on a few on those located in El Paso, Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio.  As a long-term Houstonian, there was nothing on the Bayou City's White Elephant Saloon. 


Regardless, it was a fun, informative read and is a good companion to the previous book that I reviewed, "Guy Town by Gaslight" regarding the saloon and red-light district in Austin in the 19th Century.  It also answered the question I posed to my father after having watched a TV western, "Why do we have bars today, but no saloons."  I suppose my father didn't want to go into the subject of criminal vice with a 10-year-old. 


My next book to read is, "Taming The Nueces Strip - The Story of McNelly's Rangers" by George Durham.



Legendary Watering Holes.jpg

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I meant to post this photo earlier, but got busy on honey-dos.  It’s from my wife and my visit to Fredericksburg, TX, a couple of weeks ago.  We went for a wine-testing week, but also took in the fact that the town still has a lot of its old west buildings.


This is a photo of what was the White Elephant Saloon on Main Street.  You can see a stone carving of a white elephant above the door.  It was based on merry-go-round elephant carved in wood because the stone mason did not know what an elephant looked like.  The saloon building is now used as a shop for expensive table chachka.




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