A reader sent a message this morning, “Ken, as I drove down 61 this morning, something was missing. I think the Silver Dollar Tavern has been razed.”
I needed to get an oil change and run some other errands, so it was almost dusk when I got up there. Indeed, the Perry county landmark was nothing but a heap of twisted, smoking debris.
I always liked seeing the old silver-clad tavern, but I have to admit that getting rid of it opens up a nice area for a park, something the town is talking about developing. As always, you can click on the photos to make them larger.
Demolition started Saturday
Larry Hull, whose trucking company was tasked with razing the building, said the city was afraid someone would get hurt prowling around inside the old structure or that vandals might torch it, with the danger that the fire could spread to other buildings.
They started tearing it down Saturday after making sure there were no environmental hazards that would create a problem.
Names left behind
I’m not sure if the names painted on the west basement wall are for three guys, Don, Jerry and Wood, or if Wood is a last name. Whoever they are, they were “Van’s Helpers,” probably referring to Van Ferral, who bought the tavern in March, 1965.
Basement will be filled in
Once the debris stops burning, the basement will be filled in and the bank smoothed down. Within a few years, only memories will remain of the old watering hole that had been around since at least 1948.
Earlier Silver Dollar Tavern and Old Appleton stories
- The history of the tavern
- The nude Silver Dollar Tavern
- The deadly Old Appleton bridge
- The Old Appleton quarry
- African Methodist Church Cemetery
- 1-2-3 Jump
Y’all owe me a pair of shoes
I was being very careful walking around the mud, trying as much as I could to stay on what looked like gravel. That worked great for awhile, but, eventually, I heard a “SLUURPPP” sound as my foot hit a spot that WASN’T gravel and I felt cold, wet mud the consistency of chocolate pudding well up above my ankle. It wasn’t gumbo enough to suck my shoes off, but I don’t think I’ll be wearing them to church any time soon.
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5 Replies to “Silver Dollar Tavern Kaput”
This was not a Cape Girardeau county landmark. Maybe you did not notice that it was north of the Apple Creek and you were in East Perry County, not to be confused the rest of Perry County, Missouri. I describe EPC as an unofficial, non-political subdivision of the county.
Fred, you are absolutely correct. I had a brain fart. That’s what happens when you post things in the wee hours of the morning. Maybe I could weasel out of it by saying I could SEE it from Cape county.
I really like that old siding. Wish I could have had a few pieces of it. Don’t know what I would have done with it maybe just look at it.
Beatrice, the fellow tearing the place down said the siding was sold to one of the shops io the Old Appleton side. Whether it has been sold after that, I don’t know. You might be able to get some if you do a little nosing around.
So sad to see this. My dad grew up in Old Appleton and he used to shoot pool at the Silver Dollar. Most of our family reunion fish fries in the 60’s and 70’s have the old bridge, mill and the Silver Dollar in the background. Per an excerpt on Old Appleton in a book by Mary Dillon on Altenburg: “The Silver Dollar…was built and operated by Barney Balsman about 1930….Barney and Gene Balsman owned it until about 1960 when Hershel Van Ferrel took it over….”