Wishbone Cafe/Silver Spur Bar & Lounge/O'Toole's

46°35'22.53"N 112° 2'16.91"W


The Wishbone Cafe, 330 N. Main, 1939


THE WES AND CAROL SYNNESS COLLECTION

This robot-faced art deco building would subsequently become the Silver Spur Cocktail Lounge, then O'Toole's Bar...

 

O'Toole's, 330 N. Main, 2011



1946 Ad for the Wishbone Cafe




Wishbone Cafe Owners Alice Synness Phelan & Byron Phelan with Actor George Montgomery


THE WES AND CAROL SYNNESS COLLECTION

Alice Synness Phelan and Byron Phelan pose with Montana-born motion picture star George Montgomery. In the background is the Super Ice Cream Factory at approximately 350 N. Main.

The Wisbone Cafe became the Silver Spur Bar & Lounge around 1947...



The Silver Spur sign, 330 N. Main St., 1954

This sign, now modified, currently sits atop steel poles outside the Silver Spur bar in Vaughn, Montana, a small town west of Great Falls, about 70 miles NNE of Helena. Scroll down for two recent photos of the sign.

 

Two ladies enjoying the Silver Spur's ambiance, 1950s


THE WES AND CAROL SYNNESS COLLECTION

Note the cuspidor on the floor, a common sight around Helena in those days. The lobby of the Federal Building, the public galleries in the State Capitol, and the Consistory Shrine also featured these conveniences.




1959 Move to 2000 North Montana Avenue
46°36'18.02"N 112° 1'13.89"W

In 1959, the Silver Spur moved to a large quonset hut at 2000 North Montana Avenue. The previous loaction at 330 N. Main then became O'Toole's.


November 9, 1971 Fire


PHOTO BY ARNIE ROGERS • COURTESY OF PATRICIA ROGERS GLISSON

A smouldering cigarette butt was to blame for the fire that gutted the silver spur during the early morning of November 9, 1971.

Owner Donald Wong re-opened the Silver Spur temporarily in the Knights of Columbus Hall at 14 North Park Avenue (now demolished). He was back in business at the repaired quonset hut by January 23, 1972.

 


The Silver Spur, 2000 N. Montana Ave., 1990s


COURTESY OF JEFF SHERLOCK

 


COURTESY OF JEFF SHERLOCK



The Silver Spur Being Moved, Date Unknown


THE WES AND CAROL SYNNESS COLLECTION

After the Spur closed down, the quonset was moved to a site on Green Meadow Drive in the Helena Valley, just north of the Lincoln Road. It fell into disrepair, and was dismantled in 2007. Thanks to Carol Synness for the update on the Spur's final resting place.

 



The Silver Spur sign in 2008, Vaughn, Montana
47°33'27.18"N 111°32'53.77"W


COURTESY OF KERRY BROWN

Photographed by Kerry Brown in June of 2008. Kerry writes:

"I was on a trip with my wife this weekend and as we were cruising along highway 200 thru Vaughn, Montana something caught my eye. It is the original classic signage from the old Silver Spur in Helena, unceremoniously mounted on two steel posts in front of the Silver Spur bar in Vaughn. We stopped and took some pictures for your site. It was good to see “an old friend” again. Hope these photos will embellish the section on the Spur."

Many thanks, Kerry, for the great pics!

 

 


COURTESY OF KERRY BROWN



54 years earlier, on Last Chance Gulch...



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