The historic Louvre Saloon in Guerneville along the Russian River was once the most popular watering hole in the area. Located on the northwest corner of Main Street and Armstrong Woods Road, it served the best spirits from the 1880’s into the 1960’s. The building still stands, having housed the Russian River Video store for twenty-five years and presently the Community First Credit Union.
The Guerneville & Russian River R.R. Line (an addition to the San Francisco & North Pacific R.R.) used to transport passengers to the Louvre Saloon’s front steps from the ferry building in Sausalito. An outdoor beer garden (circa 1920’s) was located across the street while inside there was a card room in the rear with rumors of one-arm bandits stationed nearby to relieve you of your money. In more recent times, boxing great Carl Bubba Olsen used to receive free libations in exchange for the saloon using his name for promotional reasons. (more…)
The Hideaway saloon in west Sonoma County sits on the same site as the 1870 Montesano Station, which served as a depot for the Guerneville & Russian River R.R. line. The structure burned down in 1920 but not before witnessing the grand ol’ days of the lumber industry. The present building was built on the original foundation, perhaps explaining why until recently not a square or plumb inch could be found. For decades the roofline and windows were cockeyed, which seemed a good fit for the eclectic bunch of characters who frequented the joint. At one time there were several cabins out back for rent while the main lodge served as inn and local watering hole. Historical legend states that the upstairs housed a six-room brothel back in the day, all the while playing host to a number of supernatural guests. Former employees testify that they have had numerous encounters of the prankster kind with Evelyn Ripkin, a deceased owner from the Depression era. (more…)