The Pioneer Saloon is a century-old bar that opened its doors for the first time in 1913.
Located in Goodsprings, town named after Joseph Good that (Like many others in Nevada) lived its prosperous years during the Gold Rush due to a fortuitous combination of railroads and mining, the Saloon was for the residents of Las Vegas a destination for entertainment and shopping, which is pretty unbelievable given the current situation.
In 1916 Goodsprings counted 800 residents and in the main street you could find restaurants, stores, churches, a theater and nine saloons, of which only the Pioneer survived time and years.
The Pioneer Saloon was built on 1913 from the Clark County commissioner George Fayle, which also built the General Store next to it and, in 1916, a two-story, 20-room Hotel named after him.
At the time, Hotel Fayle was one of the finest lodging establishments in Nevada. It didn’t only serve as a comfortable place to rest for the gold miners but it was also frequented by the street workers with their clients. It was considered the classiest hotel in Clark County and it hosted most of the County’s elegant events in the twenties. The Hotel remained open until 1966 when it suffered a devastating fire that burned it down.
The Pioneer Saloon was not just a bar but, even though there were many other saloons throughout the town, it was the social epicenter of Goodsprings.
In 1915 the Saloon was the scene of a deadly game of cards: a man called Paul Coski was shot dead after being caught cheating by his killer Joe Armstrong.
These were the rules of the West: “You don’t steal horses, you don’t cheat at cards”.
You can ask the Saloon’s staff to show you the bullet holes dating back to Paul Coski’s murder.
In 1942 the “Lombard Catastrophe” tragically made the world notice the Pioneer Saloon for the first time.
Carole Lombard, 33 years old Hollywood Star and Clark Gable’s wife, decided for a last-minute flight from Indiana back to home in Los Angeles, trip that was originally supposed to be by train. Right after a refueling stop in Las Vegas the plane crashed on Potosi Mountain, just outside Goodsprings.
Clark Gable immediately flew over to Goodsprings and spent some days at Pioneer Saloon, where the search party for Carole Lombard and the missing passengers was headquartered, sitting at the corner of the bar on a devastating wait, until eventually the party came back with the terrible news.
After more than 70 years a memorial room was dedicated to Carole Lombard and Clark Gable. In the room you can find a piece of the plane, pictures and newspaper articles about the accident.
You can ask the Saloon’s staff to show you the memorial room.
Throughout the years, the Pioneer Saloon was featured in many TV Shows like “Food Network”, movies and even in the world-famous videogame released in 2010 “Fallout: New Vegas”.
In 2007 the Pioneer Saloon was added to the Nevada State Register of Historic Places.