Old West Saloons: Where Cowboys Cowboys Go to Negotiate Cattle and Drink Alcohol

By | April 21, 2017

In the American Old West, a saloon was equivalent to a café or hotel. The first one was established in 1822 at Brown's Hole, Wyoming, between Colorado and Utah, to serve and accommodate trappers during the harsh fur season. These establishements were so popular that even a city with just 3,000 inhabitants, such as Livingston (Montana), has up to 33 saloons in 1883.

Who goes to the saloon? Cowboys to negotiate cattle, drink alcohol and play poker. There were also trappers, travelers, gold diggers, soldiers, lawyers,  and railwaymen. Many saloons were open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and they were often accused of being propitious to scenes of fights or pistol duels that end in shootings in the street or public hangings.

Take a look at these old photos to see what real cowboys at saloons looked like in the 19th century and early years of the 20th century.