Historical group E. Vitus Clampus salute historic Hotel, unique Penny Bar
Two Westside landmarks were honored by a fun-loving history group recently.
The Peter Lebeck Chapter 1866 of Ancient and Honorable Order of E. Clampus Vitus, a fraternal historic society placed a commemorative plaque on the front of the McKittrick Hotel and Penny Bar last week and dedicated it Saturday morning.
Mike and Annie Moore, owners of the hotel and bar, were on hand for the dedication.
Myrl Williams, the leader or Noble Grand Humbug of Peter Lebeck Chapter 1866 of Vitus Clampus.
The plaque recalls the history of both establishments.
The hotel, in one building or another, dates back to the end of the 19th century and was for a time a social center for oilmen of the westside oilfields and cattlemen from the Temblors.
Destroyed by fire and rebuilt at least twice, yet was more than a hotel through much of the 20th century with rooms, livery service, dry goods and food and drink.
"Though boom times and depression, the McKittrick Hotel and Cafe managed to stay in business.
The Penny Bar came along a century later, in 1998 when Mike and Annie purchased the both business (the hotel has been closed for decades).
According to the Clampers, the Moore's had actually leased the hotel for a time in the 1970s and once said that for "two cents" they would leave a business they owned in Eureka and buy the hotel and Penny Bar.
Finally, they did just that.
The Penny Bar has beome well known for more than a million pennies that decorate the bar, walls and just about any surface they could cover.
It's unique decorations have brought media coverage from all over.
E. Vitus Clampus is dedicated to preserving the history of the American West, particularly in California's Gold County, but its members are known for having fun while they do it.
In fact, its a long running gag among members: Are they a drinking historical club, or a historical drinking club.
Along those lines, The Penny Bar received another honor: It's now an official Clamper watering hole, one of two establishments to receive that honor from the local Clamper chapter, Sue's tavern in Frazier Park is the other.