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Randsburg, Ca.

Saloons, Gambling Halls and Prostitutes



Saloons, Gambling Halls and Prostitutes, Rand Street Looking North 1896.

Water may have been a problem, there was, however, no shortage of liquid refreshment in the early camp. In 1896 approximately twenty-one different saloon keepers were in business at one time or another. These thirst emporiums and gambling halls attracted a rowdy crowd. There were "ladies of the night" working many of the establishments. Amongst this crowd was a group called the "Dirty Dozen" who were involved in some lot "jumping" incidents and shooting scrapes. The first shooting in Randsburg that resulted in a murder was the shooting of Charley Richards who, in partnership with Ed Starkey, was a saloonkeeper. This shooting occurred in September of 1896. In the latter part of October of that year another shooting occurred as a result of a fight over a card game. The shooting which occurred in the Thompson's Saloon, ended the life of an innocent bystander several blocks away when a bullet passed through the wall of the building and struck the man as he was walking up the street. A third and fourth shooting occurred within a day of each other in December. The third shooting occurred in the Elite Theater when Frank Stevens, a member of the "Dirty Dozen", shot and killed J. F. Davis, a gambler, who became the first man buried in the local cemetery. The fourth shooting was the result of a tragic accident, which resulted in the death of A. J. Klein. Mr. Klein was sitting in the front of the Capital Saloon when Constable Bohannon accidentally knocked his .44 Winchester off the back of the bar, causing it to discharge when it hit the floor, with the bullet passing through the wall and hitting the victim. These shootings led to newspaper headlines such as "A Man For Supper" and "Another Man For Dinner". The Mojave News carried a story which said: "A man came from Randsburg Sunday evening, and told the people that a man had died in town from natural causes. He was asked if all the buildings in town had fallen down at the same time, and he said no. He was branded a liar and severely punished for trying to deceive the natives. We might believe that an airship passed over town, but no amount of argument will convince us that any one died in Randsburg from the effects of anything but a knife and gun wound."


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  • Introduction
  • Randsburg, California - Circa 1896 - 1898
  • Earliest Known Photograph
  • Town Constable (Saloon Owner)
  • Stagecoach Arriving
  • The O.K. Lodging House
  • C. W. Tucker and Main Street Saloon
  • Loading Ore at the Yellow Astor
  • Tehachapi Milling and Trading
  • Rand Development Company
  • Stage Lines, Saloons & Construction
  • Saloons, Gambling Halls & Prostitutes
  • Rare Randsburg Winter
  • Randsburg 1897
  • Saloons and Stage Office
  • "Tent City"
  • C. W. Tucker Photographic Studio
  • Broadway Street
  • C. W. Tucker and Wife at Home
  • Amazing Activity on Butte Avenue
  • Randsburg Railway
  • C. W. Tucker's Home and Studio
  • Rebuilding After the Fire
  • Stagecoaches and Saloon
  • Snow Ball Fight and Construction.
  • Spring of 1897
  • Bird's Eye View
  • Saloons and Prostitutes
  • Excavation for first stamp mill
  • Dry Washing for Gold


    Retrieved 1/2/2019: Online Archive of California
  • ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - glossary
    ghost towns - gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - comments
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