1889 saloon still going strong

Friday, June 20th 2008, 10:06 pm
By: News 9

By Christian Price, News9.com INsite Team

Five years ago, Vivian Jones came to Guthrie wanting to buy an antique store, but she ended up buying Oklahoma's oldest saloon.

Established on April 23, 1889,  the Blue Belle Saloon is considered to be Oklahoma's oldest working saloon.

"From the minute I walked through the door, it kind of wrapped its arms around me," Jones said. "I just felt at home and I just fell in love with it. It's just an awesome, awesome building with a lot of history," Jones said. "We are the oldest, most historically preserved saloon in Oklahoma."

From Humphrey Bogart to Jane Wyman has the saloon has had several famous visitors.

"President Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders frequented the Blue Belle on a regular basis," Jones said.

 Tom Mix even bartended here before he became a silent film star.

"He was one of the first silent movie cowboys. He was an awesome horseman. He could go over and under and around it," Jones said. "Just before he broke into the movies, he bartended here. In fact, he taught at the high school."

If you browse around the saloon and look closely, you can even see evidence of past shoot outs.

"There's been shootouts in here, I would imagine," Jones said. "We have bullet holes in the ceiling, so I assume someone's probably been killed at some time or another in here."

There are plenty of pictures from the past, along with plenty of "saloon originals".

"The base to the back bar is original to the building," Jones said. "The floor tile is all original to the building and the tin ceiling, it's all original."

Downstairs in the game room are things that you don't seem to see anymore.

"My rafters down there are actual two by twelve's and three by twelve's that span twenty feet," Jones said. "We don't even have trees that you can get those out of anymore really."

For more information about the Blue Belle Saloon, or to make dinner reservations, call (405) 282-8111, or log on to www.bluebellesaloon.info .