Change roils through Two Pan on Pioneer Friday-1870
Events promise to become more heated with the Salt Lick Saloon’s move from canvas tents to a new wooden building. Owner, Silky Sue, hired settlers to erect her building in a two day house-raising. Settler wives carped about their husbands’ participation. “Because we haven’t even proved up our own land,” said Mrs. Bricker Spinrad. Miners, castabouts, and men on the street, helping with the move in, were rewarded two free drinks.
“Our whiskey is local made; not like the hooch across the street,” owner Silky Sue told the editor of the Two Pan Tattler. Since her recent arrival from San Francisco, Silky Sue has been at war with Big Opal who has serviced miners and mountain men with her 4 catwagons for the last year. Masons had laid part of the granite on Opal’s Palace, a bodacious 10-room bordello, when Silky Sue bought a parcel across the street and “flung up a saloon,” according to the ample-bosomed Madame, adding, “She’s a floozy in molt, and better stay outta my business.”
Last week the two women got in a slapping fight in the middle of the Mud Street when Silky Sue hired away Big Opal’s cook. “She shoulda paid her better,” the saloon owner said. “The Salt Lick is a safe place for any single woman to survive. If a woman’s divorced, widowed, or broke there’s no place she can work except my saloon—unless she wants to uncross her legs in Opal’s wagons.”
Settlers in the area disapprove of both establishments. “Well…maybe their wives do,” Silky Sue said with a smile. “But the pioneer men? I didn’t have any trouble getting them to build me a saloon.” When asked how she had the capital for this business venture, she intimated it would cost a lot of liquor to find out. “I know how to survive.” She winked. “We’ll see if Big Opal does.”