Thursday, June 22, 2006

"The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum" San Antonio, Texas

The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum has been in continuous operation since 1881. The history of this world famous establishment is an important part of the story of San Antonio.

1881 - Albert Friedrich opens his own business, Albert's Buckhorn Saloon, on Dolorosa Street. The Buckhorn opens with a standing offer to all patrons - "Bring in your deer antlers and you can trade them for a shot of whiskey or a beer." Albert's father, Wenzel Friedrich, provides handmade horn furniture for the saloon - the world's most unique collection of horns and antlers begins.

1880's - The Buckhorn Saloon collection of horns and trophy mounts grows as cowboys and hunters bring in animals of all kinds.

1891 - Albert marries Emilie Derr. Emilie expands Albert's offer to include rattlesnake rattlers and the tradition continues as thousands of rattlesnake rattlers are brought in as barter. Emilie fashions signs and artwork from the rattlers for display in the saloon.

1896 - The saloon prospers and moves to even larger quarters at Houston and Soledad Streets.

1898 - Teddy Roosevelt frequents the saloon and recruits Roughriders at the bar. Will Rogers visits the saloon as a cowboy and returns often, as does O. Henry.

1899 - The world's record whitetail "78 Point Buck" is acquired for $100 and put on display at the Buckhorn.

1914 - With the outbreak of World War I, many recruits visit San Antonio for training and take the story of the Buckhorn with them all over the world.

1920 - Prohibition becomes law and the Buckhorn Saloon becomes the Buckhorn Curio Museum.

1921 - The Buckhorn's primary competitor, Billy Keilman's Horn Palace, closes and Friedrich acquires the collection of the Horn Palace including "Old Tex", a world record longhorn steer. The Buckhorn becomes the undisputed largest display of horns and antlers.

1922 - The Buckhorn moves to a larger space at the southwest corner of Houston Street and South Flores Street. Friedrich acquires a full size gorilla, which he places in the front window for all to see. The gorilla is known as "The Guard" of the Buckhorn and the front window becomes a favorite meeting place in downtown San Antonio.

1932 - Prohibition is repealed and the Buckhorn Saloon is back in business. Many vaudeville entertainers frequent the Buckhorn since the State Theater rear entrance is across Flores Street.

1941 - World War II breaks out and once again San Antonio becomes the training ground for many soldiers, most of whom visit the Buckhorn and spread the story.

1956 - Lone Star Brewing Company purchases the world-famous Buckhorn Collection and opens the Lone Star Buckhorn Hall of Horns.

1964 - The Hall of Fins is added to the Lone Star Buckhorn Hall of Horns.

1968 - The World's Fair, Hemisfair, is held in San Antonio. At the close of the fair, Lone Star relocates the Hall of Texas History Wax Museum to the grounds of the Buckhorn Hall of Horns.

1973 - Hall of Feathers, exhibits of birds from all over the world, added to the Hall of Horns and Hall of Fins collections. Annual attendance reaches 400,000 as Lone Star's popularity reaches new highs.

1998 - The Lone Star Brewery in San Antonio closes and the new owner, Stroh's Beer, moves brewing of Lone Star to the Stroh's Brewery in Longview, Texas. In order to keep The Buckhorn collection in San Antonio, the granddaughter of Albert Friedrich, Mary Friedrich Rogers and her husband, Wallace Rogers, acquire the collection. On December 22, 1998, the new Buckhorn Saloon & Museum opens on Houston Street - a few blocks from the original 1881 location.

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