The Bars of the 40s

Written by Ken Fisher
Originally published in the ECHO 5/1990

It’s grating when my history pictures copy badly. Fortunately those on the next page can be seen in original format in this May’s rotating Museum display in our Kings Mountain Country store.

After the Pioneer Era of logging and dairying, ending about 1910,Kings Mountain spent 40 years in its Summer Cabin Era–when its usage was recreational. Bar/restaurants were a natural. By the mid-1940s we had seven of them. There was the Bella Vista Sky Lounge, converted in the 1920s from a summer cabin by Lou and Mildred Boggio. It was then sold to Mattie Brown, a black woman viewed alternately with warmth and suspicion. It survived prohibition, supported prostitution and, via its view, and sole slot on the East side, evolved to what it is today. On the next page are two shots I spliced to show it and its two rentable former cabins–used mostly to overnight drunks. They, at times, were reportedly rented multiple times daily–sometimes four or five times.

At Swett Road’s northwest junction with Skyline (where the condos are now) sat Eddie’s Grand View (shown below the B.V.), run by Eddie Castleman. Phone Woodside–540. In 1950 it was remodeled to be a house of prostitution, but never actually opened up as one. Next (shown to the right of Eddie’s) came the King’s Mountain Inn, at the Northwest junction of Kings Mountain Rd. and Tunitas Creek Rd… Built in 1941, it sat about 30 feet south of where the Kings had their 1860s hotel (demolished in 1935). Built also by the Boggios, the edge where this Boggio bar sat has since landslided to the West. In 1948 Lou Boggio sold out to vic and Alberta Brock (cited in last month’s column) and it was known until it burned in the late ’60s as Brock’s Kings Mountain run and Brock’s King Mountain Inn (no “s” in Kings) and just plain old Brocks. It too had cabins uphill (to the North), and these too, at times, saw multiple daily use. Further north was the Sierra Morena Tavern, (later Kelly’s and Uncle Jon’s) run by Edward H. “Ned” and ‘ Leila Cowles, (shown at the bottom of the following page). And it too had cabins to its north (today’s condos just south of the modern Mountain House)–which will be on display at the Museum all May. And to their north was Kings Rendezvous (pictured below), today’s Mountain House, originally run by Alfred and Marguerite Pee. Phone Woodside—6009. Joked of at times as, “The place you drink–while watching Alfred Pee”, Marguerite was noted as the very able bouncer and nobody to mess with.

Kings Rendezvous
Bella Vista Sky Lounge
Eddie’s Grand View
Brock’s Mountain Inn
Sierra Morena Tavern