Tuesday, September 11, 2018

In memorial

It is with great sadness that I say good bye to one of the truly fine gentleman of western whiskeyana.

Ralph Van Brocklin passed away this past weekend. 

I'd known, and respected Ralph since we first met, forty some years ago.

Ralph was a true gentleman; polite and friendly; and always going the extra mile to treat everyone kindly. He was a wealth of information about the hobby; eager and willing to share that knowledge with anyone who expressed an interest.

Ralph will be missed.

Rest in peace my friend.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Memories of Old Monterey

Recently, I appealed to fellow collectors, asking for submissions that I could post on 
Western Whiskey Gazzette. 

I want to thank Peter Sonne for contributing the following. Much obliged for your help!


Monterey, just as most any other city or town in the U.S.A had its share of drinking establishments/saloons in the mid 19th century on up to the 1st quarter of the 20th century. As it was, the "Gay Nineties" in Monterey saw a nice total of 33 of these saloons just on Alvarado St, all within a 2 block area. Some of the creative marque signs were Lyons Ale Den, Bohemia Saloon, The Snug, Gilt Edge, Blue & Gold, The Grand, The Dash, Saddle Rock, The Opera, The Majestic,The Landmark, The Art, The Kremlin, The Senate and the Reception and others.
The Volstead Act of 1919 and the passing of the 18th amendment put barkeeps out of business until prohibition was repealed in 1933. Not to mention tossing in the Depression in the mix, just when a fellow needed a drink, he couldn't get one, legally. 

I listed one of my favorite whiskeys from Max Schmidt's "The Landmark" Saloon,

Max Schmidt was born in 1872 in Germany, and operated the Landmark Saloon from about 1903 to 1914 with his partner William H. Tauffkerchen with Manuel Dutra as barkeep. 


Lewis A. Schaufele and partner Harry, his brother, operated the Opera Saloon,

as well as the Souvenir Jewelry Store. 

The Bohemia Saloon was owned and operated by the Sanchez Bros, Adolpho and Alex from about 1882 to 1891 when they sold it to Manuel Diaz and Thomas Watson. 

Finding any items from any of these saloons is almost impossible, but I'm sure they are out there. Its just they have not surfaced. Im staying optimistic about this thought, mainly for my own collecting bug. Anyway items such as bill-heads, letterheads, bottle, signs and so on for the most part went into the landfill or used as fire starter for the wood stoves. 

One of my very long time, very elderly friends, all of whom have passed, all told me stories of the 1940s up to the later 1960s when urban renewal came in and old buildings on the lower end of Alvarado being torn down and or cleaned out saw tons of furnishings, signs, paper, bottles,lamps etc etc being totted down to what is now El Estero Lake area and dumped as fill in to enable that area to be used for future development . My wifes cousins, the Works or T.A. Work was the owner of all that property and behind all that 'renewal', thats progress. 

A few of my old time friends, all born and raised in Monterey and all from old Monterey families did in fact try and save some things from time to time. Ive been fortunate to now be the caretaker for some of these pieces. Its fun and anyone from so many other areas from around our state and all over the other parts of the U.S. feel the same about the 'local' stuff. As always am all ears for others knowledge of anything Monterey in particular. The one Opera pic has been in a fire at the old Hotel del Monte, 


and was dug in that dump site on Del Monte Beach many years ago, if you can see how it started to melt a little and is almost concave. 



The second Opera pic shows the same style being a little stained but not burnt. 

Trade cards from the Bohemia Saloon and a photo of the same.

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