The Cottage Bar (1906)
The Cottage in 1907
Story of the Cottage Bar, 1906.
The land for "The Cottage" was originally bought from James Hudner in 1896 and Tom Wilson erected the building in the same year. At the time, "The Cottage" was a two-story affair and the operator lived upstairs. This building burned down in 1906 and the present structure replaced it later the same year.
The building is a one story construction with porches on the east and south protected by wooden awnings. As was popular in those times it was of "false front" architecture. A flagpole surmounted by a weathervane ornamented the top center of the building. The bar and mirrored backbar with its pillared canopy were bought from the Alvado Saloon on Fifth Street in Hollister.
There was a card room separated from the main gathering place by a half partition and entrance by way of a handsome louvered door that swung both ways. Over the backbar and in the card room were 14 sets of buck horns. In the card room stood a cat-iron heating stove that supplied warmth to the players on chilly days and nights. It bore the title "Sonora, No.17.", and the name of the manufacturers, "Bridge, Beach & Co. St. Louis.
Steve Kaelin bought the bar in 1903. Hard liquor was sold there until 1920 when prohibition came in. After the dry spell the place resumed with beer, serving Rainier Beer circa 1938-1939. At that time it was known as the Kaelin Building. In 1956 the property was sold to Ray Dassel who converted the bar into an office for his butane/propane business. The Dassels gave the bar to the Historical Society and it was moved to the park on October 9, 1995.