Jack Douglass Saloon
22718 Main St
Columbia CA 95310
It was a sunny but brisk day after Christmas and the main street was bustling with visitors. Children were panning for gold, the Blacksmith’s forge was roaring, a gentleman played guitar for tips and the locals were dressed in their period garb.
A friend of mine and I flew up to Columbia the other day, for him it was his first flight in a small aircraft and for me, it was an investigative trip to see if the hotel had reopened. Years ago the City Hotel was a wonderful place to have dinner. In fact, it was top on my list of places to go for dinner. Their house salad was a Caesar assembled at your table, the specialty of the house was chateaubriand for two and dessert was a soufflé, chocolate or lemon. Those were the days; it brings a tear to my eye to now see the place closed and vacant.
I have been cruising up to Columbia, CA by light aircraft for the last 37 years. It is a nice comfortable flight, about an hour, and the airstrip is long and well maintained. Over the years I have seen businesses come and go but the Jack Douglass Saloon has endured. The Jack Douglass Saloon was established in 1857 by John Douglass and is one of the oldest saloons in the west. Currently it is about the only place to get a light lunch on the main street. They normally have a nice selection of sandwiches and salads. Unfortunately, the day we visited, they were out of both roast beef and turkey. But, I made due with black forest ham and my friend with pastrami. The sandwiches were grilled (Panini style) and came with tomato, onion, lettuce and a dill pickle with your choice of cheese, at a very reasonable price.
The interior is rustic with wooden floors, tables, chairs and a large bar that runs the length of the room. A deer head is the center attraction above the bar and off to one side there are a collection of rattlesnake hides, locally grown. The snake hides are a reminder to watch your step while walking through the woods to and from the airport!
If you have never visited Columbia and you are interested in California history, it is well worth the trip. Besides a history lesson, the children will find and opportunity to ride in a horse drawn stage coach, pan for gold, visit a one room school house and enjoy some handmade candy.