SPEAKEASYS, POOLHALLS, AND OTHER ESTABLISHMENTS OF ILL REPUTE

Survey number:      Owner:      Date of discovery:

CASEY’S PLACE –

On 7 June 1922 the following advertisement appeared in the Rand District News.

CRUSE & BAKER — MINER’S POOL HALL

On 7 June 1922 the following advertisement appeared in the Rand District News.

JOHN LEONARD — JACK’S PLACE

On 7 June 1922 the following advertisement appeared in the Rand District News

HENRY NATHANIEL “TEX’ SMITH — MONKEY HOUSE

“Tex” came to the Rand Mining District in the late teens or early 20’s and operated “The Monkey House” (a railroad slang term for a caboose) in Osdick.  The Monkey House was one of the infamous “Houses” in Osdick/Red Mountain. On April 14th, 1922 a fire that started somewhere in the vicinity of the Monkey House wiped out the entire business district of Inn City/Osdick the Barstow Printer predicted that “Like the Phoenix, Inn City arise from its ashes, probably in an improved condition.  It is known if the below photo was before or after the fire.   “Tex” at one time was also partners with “Slim” Riffle in the Owl Saloon which was operated in the Owl Hotel.

During the 1950’s “Tex” owned and operated a bar north of Trona called the “Nine Mile House” because of the distance from Trona.  According to “Tex’s” niece he was not above keeping a couple of girls around to “entertain” his customers

OSDICK POOL HALL –

On 7 June 1922 the following advertisement appeared in the Rand District News. In addition to pool they offered  “Smokes, Games, Thirst Quenchers and a Barber shop in connection.

GUS RENNER — MINER’S EXCHANGE

On 7 June 1922 an advertisement appeared in the RandDistrict News for the Miner’s Exchange owned by Gus Renner.  Gus Renner is the only Gus found to have been in business at the time that the below pictured tokens  were in use it is assumed that these are his tokens.  These tokens are extremely desirable pieces.  The author has only seen three of the 25¢ denomination and one of those was damaged.  Less than five of the 12 1/2 ¢ denominations are known and only one of two of those are in good shape.

“SLIM” RIFFLE — OWL POOL HALL/HOTEL

Calvin H. “Slim” Riffle first came to the Rand Mining District in 1912. He stayed a month and obviously did not see any opportunities at that time so he left.  He returned in 1915 and stayed for a year in Atolia.  In 1916 he left and went back to Tonopah, Nevada.  In 1920 he returned and built the Owl Pool Hall, which is pictured above.  He stayed until sometime after 1925 when on April 23 a raid was conducted on the bootleggers in the desert and as a result “Calvin Riffel, alias “Slim” and said to be the king of the desert bootgeggers, was fined $200 when he leaded guilty to selling liquor over the bar to school boys at the Owl Café, and J. F. Carter, one of “Slim’s” lieutenants, pleaded guilty to selling liquor and was fined $200″. When he left he went to Los Angeles where he obtained some experience  in the movie and newspaper business. “Slim” however, was selling cars when he got word that his business that he had leased out in Osdick had burnt down, so he returned in 1929 and built the establishment as the Owl Hotel, which still exist in Red Mountain along Highway 395

The New Strand Cafe

In a March 23, 1925, Bakersfield Californian, article about a raid on bootleggers it was reported that one the establishment raided in Osdick was The New Strand Cafe.

O and F Bar

In a March 23, 1925, Bakersfield Californian, article about a raid on bootleggers it was reported that one the establishment raided in Osdick was The New Strand Cafe.


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