National Register of Historic Places in Tuolumne County
The Iron Door Saloon, originally known as the Watts & Tannahill Company Store or the Granite Store, is one of the oldest buildings in Tuolumne County and one of the oldest Gold Rush buildings in the Mother Lode.
It has undergone few significant alterations during its lifetime. It displays splendid craftsmanship, with solidly constructed native slate stone walls in the basement and carefully fitted granite blocks on the front and rear walls with slate stone for the side walls.
The building has been at the center of Groveland's commercial life, serving first as a mercantile store from about 1850 until the late 1880s and then playing a prominent role in the town's social life, serving continuously from 1896 to the present as a saloon except during prohibition when it was a "soft drink establishment.'
Adapted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 1995.
A plaque on the exterior wall of the Iron Door Saloon reads:
Iron Door Saloon
This building is the oldest liquor-serving establishment in the State of California. It began life in 1852 as "The Granite Store" built by Peter King. It operated as a general mercantile with, of course, the obligatory "plank over flour barrels" serving liquor to thirsty miners.
In the 1860's postmaster Jim Tannahill bought the store which also functioned as the town's post office for almost 25 years. In 1896 Giacomo de Ferrari turned the building into a full fledged saloon. It became named "The Iron Door Saloon" in 1937. Since 1985, it has been owned by Peter and Bettike Barsotti.
Dedicated by Matuca Chapter 1849 E Clampus Vitus Aug. 14, 1999 6004
Credo quia absurdum
Gold Rush Stonemasons
Mining camps started as clusters of tents and other makeshift shelters. If the mine was productive, wooden buildings were erected and a town was born.
Conflagrations were a recurring curse. Often entire town were repeatedly destroyed by fire. Stonemasons, especially Italian immigrants from Liguria, began building "fire proof" banks and stores of stone or brick with iron doors and iron window shutters to protect the contents from fire.
Many of these stone buildings survive. Some of them, such as the Butte Store, are the sole reminders of a lost mining town.
Some of these buildings are: