One of the most enduring icons of the 1800's is the old "wild west" saloon. Did you know the very first establishment to ever call itself a saloon was here in Wyoming?

Brown's Saloon was established in 1822 to serve thirsty fur trappers at the Brown's Hole trading fort along the Green River, near the present-day border of Wyoming, Colorado and Utah.

Like other watering holes of its era, they likely made their own whiskey using a variety of ingredients including tobacco, ammonia, turpentine and gun powder. The homemade whiskey was commonly referred to as "firewater", a term that fur trappers had adpoted from trading with local Native American tribes.

Many of the original old west saloons also brewed beer, which was served at room temperature until refrigeration came along in the 1880's.

In addition to a gathering place, the saloons also served as gambling parlors where trappers would wager their earnings in games of poker and faro. Although there is no official record, Brown's may have also been a brothel.

HIstorians aren't sure how long Brown's Saloon was in business. They do know that the area later became a hangout for Butch Cassidy and his legendary "Wild Bunch".

The oldest Wyoming saloon still in operation is the legendary Miners and Stockmen's in the town of Hartville, which was established in 1862.