OLD TIME SALOONS
In 1875, there were six licensed saloons in Keyser.
Five years later, the number was doubled.
Over the years, old-timers declare there were eight, nine or eleven saloons in town during the early years of this century. "Most of them on Armstrong St), is always added to their statements.
Saloons were men-only drinking establishments. Women in saloons worked there (or upstairs).
Women and blacks were served at the back door. Many women took buckets to the back door and had them filled with beer to have ready for their husbands when they got home from work.
Prohibition came along Jan 16, 1920 and closed the saloons. No one recounts the number of speakeasies in town, or the availability of bootleg whiskey, bathtub gin, home brew or hooch. Prohibition changed another aspect of away-from-home drinking - women patronized the speakeasies along with the men.
After repeal, Dec 5, 1933, saloons as such never returned. Instead, there were bars, private clubs, taverns and night clubs, usually patronized by both men and women. Today's Armstrong Street is pretty quiet.
City record books show that on March 16, 1908, the following were issued licenses to sell at retail "spiritous liquors, wines, pourtes (a Canadian type of ale), ales, beer and drinks of like nature in the town of Keyser...". and all were located on Armstrong Street.
In the Morgan Saloon building (the Crites Building that was torn down to make way for the parking lot across from the courthouse).
H D SPRINGER
In the Coniff building on the corner of Armstrong and Main
A G DIEHL
In the McGahen building (now the News Tribune Office).
J D DEVORS
In the Devors building on the corner of Armstrong and Mineral (was later the Conservation officer's office)
A J KEENAN
In the Halbritter building (next to the B&O station)
E D BOSLEY
In the Keenan building (now Larry's restaurant at the north corner of Armstrong and Davis)
M P MURRAY AND W G PAUL
Partners, trading as Murray and Paul, in the Merryman building.
CHARLES HIPP AND JOHN CROESS
Partners trading as Hipp and Croess, in the Pollic building.
Many remember saloons in the following locations:
THE AMTOWER BUILDING
Recently torn down, next to Calemine's Shoe Repair Shop.
THE KEYS HOUSE
A former hotel, still standing at the corner of East and Armstrong near the Courthouse.