"Normal" Places We Go

Marysville’s Silver Dollar Saloon & Bok Kai Temple – Part 1

Fortunately, good stuff can be found in even the most unexpected places and Marysville does have one worthwhile section – Old Marysville…

So, if you ever visit the area, as I do occasionally since my parents live in Oregon House, stop in at the Silver Dollar Saloon (1st and D Streets) and take a walk around the area which also encompasses Chinatown and the Bok Kai Temple (located behind the Silver Dollar). Walk up the stairs behind the Bok Kai Temple to the top of the levee and look around…

Amicus Books is just a couple of blocks down the street and is well worth a visit. Also, along the same street, there are good restaurants and coffee shops such as The Brick

For our most recent visit, we started out at the Silver Dollar Saloon… Built in 1851, the Silver Dollar Saloon of Marysville served as both a saloon and hotel. The upstairs brothel was the last of its kind in California, closing not that long ago – in 1972.

And even Black Bart was rumored to frequent the Silver Dollar Saloon (The famous stagecoach driver that shot Black Bart is buried at the nearby Marysville Cemetery):

Marysville’s Silver Dollar Saloon

An example of the architecture on the building exterior:




Brandon and Amanda:


This Elk head hangs over the entrance… (By the way, I apologize for the poor lighting in the pictures, but it’s a bar and not a photography studio):

silver-dollar-saloon-marysville (1)

The Interior:


The Bar:


The woodwork on the bar is exquisite. And supposedly nobody knows the origins of it:


The bar top has $1,014 in authentic silver dollars and Indian head pennies embedded throughout:


Now, men, you’re going to have to go to the bathroom for two reasons. Well, three if you actually need to go… But here are two if you don’t:

1) In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Silver Dollar Saloon was the Guadalajara Cafe, owned by Natividad Corona, the gay half-brother of serial killer, Juan Corona. Early on the morning of February 25, 1970, a young man named José Romero Raya was brutally attacked by Juan Corona with a machete in the restroom of the cafe. He was discovered by customers at 1:00 a.m., hacked about the head and face, and Natividad called the police (Raya filed a lawsuit against Natividad, winning a judgment of $250,000, which prompted Natividad Corona to sell his business and return to Mexico instead of paying).  As a result of this and other events in its past, some people allege that the Silver Dollar Saloon is haunted.  Corona’s killings of at least 25 local migrant workers and homeless men were, at the time, the largest case of serial killings attributed to one man in United States history.

2) You’ll have this girl for company…


Antiques and oddities are strewn about the restaurant:


Visionary Ownership:


Some of the gems from the Mustang Ranch:


Mustang Ranch Memorabilia:


Some more stuff hanging on the walls:


Everywhere you look there is something interesting:


And in case you wish to take things over the top:


If you do something awesome, you can get placed up on the picture wall:


This is the view looking out the window and is a great segue to the forthcoming Part 2:


This is the part of the door you push on the way out. A great way to exit:


The Silver Dollar is worth visiting for the interior alone, but it also has good food and a good selection of booze. Check it out.


7 thoughts on “Marysville’s Silver Dollar Saloon & Bok Kai Temple – Part 1

  1. The Silver Dollar Saloon wench is notoriously insolent and mouthy. You definitely have to keep your eye on her. Thank you for letting us know of her latest transgression.

  2. My daughter were looking around at the Bok Kai Temple after dark one evening. We walked up the steps to the river and back down. My daughter filmed a shadow figure behind me that night. We have not been back, but plan to.

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