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Primitive Yreka Restaurants Always Served Whiskey

It's no secret that whiskey was about as essential to the early miners as beans and coffee.  They could buy whiskey wherever any supplies were sold, and some locations kept nothing else but whiskey shipped by the barrel on the back of a mule.

The usual price was 25 cents, although where it was scarce, whiskey easily sold for 50 cents or a dollar a shot.

Any saloon set up gaming tables, some built out of split logs or boards set on piles of rocks, with seats carved from logs.

Sam Lockhart kept the first saloon in Yreka, Calif.’s first mining camp, circa 1850.  It was nothing more than shakes nailed to pine poles with a canvas roof.  Mr. and Mrs. D.H. Lowry, who arrived via the Scott Bar mines, opened the first restaurant in Yreka.  Mrs. Lowry, the first Euro-American woman in the camp, was a first-class cook.  Brush and canvas covered her restaurant, built of poles.  A split pine log served as the table and pine stumps as the chairs.   Mrs. Lowry charged about a $1.50 for a meal consisting of bacon, rice or beans, biscuits and coffee.  

Whiskey was extra.

Source: Tyler, C. "Discovery of Gold and the Founding of Yreka." North-South Trail Three Pans of Dirt Sisc-Kaou-Siskiyou.. Ed. Cy Rippon. Spring ed. Weed: Cy and Sally Rippon, 1975. 60-63. Print.

Gail Fiorini-Jenner is a writer and teacher. Her first novel "Across the Sweet Grass Hills", won the 2002 WILLA Literary Award. She co-authored four histories with Arcadia Publishing: Western Siskiyou County: Gold & Dreams, Images of the State of Jefferson, The State of Jefferson: Then & Now, which placed in the 2008 Next Generation Awards for Nonfiction and Postcards from the State of Jefferson.