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18 Main Street (Pioneer Rex) - Jackson, California

Louis Tellier, probably jackson's first permanent resident, is a somewhat mysterious Frenchman .... Logan considers Tellier "mysterious" in the sense that there are certain key facts about the man - his appearance here and departure among them - which he hasn't ascertained.

Tellier shows up on no passenger or wagon train list immigrants. Nor does he appear (unless Logan missed it) in the recorder's doomsday book of deaths.

Who was this Tellier? Our county historian Jesse D. on tells us:

"The first permanent white resident of which any account can be found (in Jackson) is Louis Tellier, who resides on the first location...

Louis Tellier

"(His) first house was a log cabin covered with hide; he also had a large army tent which had been usedd in Mexico." (By him or someone else?) ... Mason also tells us - as do early deeds - that Tellier's pioneer saloon stood adjacent to that infamous live oak with several main branches - or the hanging tree.

You know where the sidewalk plaque marking the of the tree is: in front of the dining portion of the Pioneer Rex. Indeed, the Rex is on the pioneer site or Tellier's "first location" in Jackson.

Tellier first appears on the record in 1851 when carpenter Thompson filed a lien against him after building Tellier a wooden store house at that first location beneath the tree. In subsequent years that frame would be improved to become the well-known and oft-frequented St. Louis hotel (or house), a restaurant and bar. Why the name? Another unknown.

If swinging doors it had, they swung out to the tree where men swung from 1850 through 1855.

The c. 1855 lithograph (above) of Jackson is one of the earliest depictions of the town. You can see the famous "hanging tree" of Jackson, which once stood infront of the Pioneer Rex.

The name of the saloon is not known, but early visitors refer to a place called the "Frenchman's Hut." The establishment operated under various owners. This photo was taken in 1931.

Is the Pioneer Rex the oldest bar in California? Probably not, But we can't disqualify a place simply because in 150 years it has moved its business from one side of a lot to another! That's just and inch or so a year! Indeed, the facade of the former Tellier building has changed over time, but the top brickwork remains the same as when laid down in 1863.

Click here to return to our Jackson Tour or Click on our Miner to end your tour

Information, photographs courtesy of the Amador County Archives, The Historical Marker Database, The Chronicling America Database, and Larry Cenotto, Amador County's Historian