Cold Spring Tavern~

In 1860 a stagecoach pass was hacked through the California wilderness over the mountainous San Marcos Pass to connect Mission Santa Barbara to The Santa Ynez Rancho.

A rest stop was built along the stage coach route high up on The San Marcos Pass, next to a naturally running cold mountain spring.

This stage-stop was, and is still called, Cold Spring Tavern.

Back in the day the tavern served hot meals and alcohol.

It still serves both today, and the experience of eating here is one we return to enjoy whenever we pass by this area.

There was a bunkhouse,

a small store, a stable, and several small homesteads, forming a town called Gopherville, which is now a ghost town.

The town even had a jail which could hold up to eleven (crowded) souls…. rowdy cowboys and such, who likely drank too much whiskey…..

Cheers to you from Cold Springs Tavern & the still wild west~

191 thoughts on “Cold Spring Tavern~

    1. Nah, I have outgrown souvenirs as my house is full of them, which is a good thing, because we came home yesterday to a completely flooded house. It has been utter chaos since, walls ripped out, flooring pulled up, teams here packing everything up that isn’t ruined. No more souvenirs for me! At least it is forcing Jim to throw out all his old saved professional journals…..and we did save on all those windows we were gonna have washed tomorrow!

      1. Oh, no! Broken pipes with no freezing? How did that happen? I think I would have cried, but it sounds like you took it in stride. An unexpected renovation that might be an improvement over what was before. Hope it goes smoothly!

  1. What an interesting place to visit. I love old buildings and seeing how the early settlers lived.

    There’s something appealing to me about the simple life, free from modern technology, crowds and traffic noise. No doubt it was a tough life though – having to manually haul water, grow food and keep homes and stock maintained throughout the seasons 🙂

    1. Yes, I feel exactly as you do. Sometimes it feels to me as if we have exchanged a life of hardship and simplicity as in the past, for a life of complexity and mass senseless violence in the present. This I guess is progress.

  2. It makes you wonder when your sitting there and realise just how tough it used to be Cindy…says I as I go out to my car to wander 60 miles down the road, not having to worry about my horse losing a shoe, feeding it or being held up by bandits 😀
    Mind you, that last one is in all the shops anyway, they just wait for us 😀

    1. True the bandits are in the online shops now too! I know exactly what you are resonating with. It is impossible to live your live your life in the American West without crossing and recrossing the pioneers trails, the stagecoach routes and stops, the old ghost towns, the lonely pioneer cemeteries. It leaves one with a strange set of conflicting feelings, on the one hand such deep admiration for their incredible bravery and fortitude, and on the other, a feeling of sadness for all we have lost in the process of becoming “civilized,” developed and technologically “advanced.”

  3. I love the description, and it makes me want to go see it. I’m in the West, so why not! The Wild West was WILD!

    What I love most about the photos is the fantastic detail of the image; every character of the rustic is captured. The authenticity is captured so perfectly. I LOVE THAT!

    SUCH A GREAT ARTICLE. History and image synch perfectly. Wonderful!!!

    1. If you are in the West, you are wild!!! So why not indeed! The west may be paved in lots of places, but she still has so much more left that is remote and still wild. Thank you for your very thoughtful comments. <3

  4. What a wonderful and fun piece of history. How sad that it turned into a ghost town like so many others. Such a cute building though. I’d love to have stopped by there for lunch. 😉 Have you ever been to the town of Julian? I know it’s been way to many years since I was there. Probably in the late 80’s, Can’t be far from you.

  5. So many interesting details for the curious eye to peruse through. Wonderful look at this quaint tavern, Cindy. <3 That jail is so scary-looking. I feel claustrophobic just thinking about being locked in there.

  6. This does look like a fun place to eat and browse in. I love antiques and old places with charm and history to its earlier days. What a fun place to visit. Love all of your pics and posts Cindy. I have tried to catch up on your latter ones I’ve missed as I have been behind in posting, writing and reading other blogs. Cheers right back to you and take care, friend.

    1. Hi Joyce! I share your appreciation and enjoyment of historical places and love the feeling of stepping back in time. No worries about being behind. I am also, due to The Holler flooding, and spending time with the grandtwins. Take care my friend & lovely to hear from you. <3

      1. So sorry about the flooding there. We have had a lot here in Nebraska too from recent storms. Hope things dry out and not a lot of affected damaged areas there where you live. I can relate to the joys of spending time with the ‘grandtwins’. My oldest grandchildren are twins, male and female and this month they turned 26. So hard to believe they are grown adults on their own now. But now I spend a lot of time with my youngest grandchildren in Nebraska, a boy 11, and girl, 8, the children of my youngest daughter. So thankful to be closer to them now to see more of them. They keep us all busy. 🙂

        1. Wow! Isn’t is amazing to consider what wonder you yourself have created. All these people who owe their life to you. Most women are pretty incredible when you think about it. We grow human life. We make sure this life survives infancy and childhood, and then we care for the future generations of our babies offspring, as they march on down the line of life. We now have active living grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and great-great grandmothers, and the generations of progeny they nurtured. You are remarkable Joyce. Men cannot do what we do. Not even the best of them, in every wonderful heartbeat. We are the bringers and sustainers of life. I am in awe of women like you.

          1. Thank you Cindy. That is One of the kindest and most appreciated things ever spoken by a friend. I think whatever good and honest work I’ve done in life I owe to God for if not for Him and my trust in Him for all I would be nothing. In the last three years especially with all I went through with a mentally sick husband and divorce and relocation I have just picked up the broken pieces of my life and moved on but yes one of the proudest chapters in my life was helping my daughter raid two wonderful twin grandchildren and now helping my youngest with her two children. They are all as all children are truly a unique creation in life. So we treasure what we have. 🙂

            1. So sorry for my typos in the last reply. Saw my misspell later reading it through, I meant to say “helping my daughter raise” my grandchildren, not “raid” them. 😄I have failing eye sight (AMD) and have to continue to edit and proofread every thing I write and still make such blunders and very embarrassing.

            2. Ah, thank you Joyce for such a kind reply. I love this sentence especially, “They are all as all children are truly a unique creation in life.” All children in this world are our joy and our responsibility. I feel this strongly and I know you do too. Love to you and God Bless you Joyce.

    1. Charles. Thank you for this. I appreciate the ‘pick me up’. We are in the desert now. We were visiting our new twin grandbabies in NorCal when a faulty shut off gauge in our main water control valve malfunctioned and flooded The Holler with an endless stream of nice cold drinking water, which we found when we walked in the door on return. The Holler is now essentially organized disaster, as teams work on it, and no one can live in it. We left to the desert which I have always loved in the summer, with it’s 112+ degree heat. There are few people here, but mountain goats, roadrunners, deafening cicadas, lizard, bugs, night time bats, and other wild friends. And don’t worry about us. This is only a slightly bad thing to happen to someone in the scheme of our lives. Thank you Charles for being such a good person and friend to so many of us.

          1. Relatively speaking, not as much to see preserved here as like in San Antonio, but the Old Bakery where I have art work is a grand example of early 1800s Austin; gorgeous limestone walls & big windows with views of the capital! 😊

              1. The best is still places like around Barton Springs, both Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center & Zilker Botanical Gardens (latter is close to Barton Springs), Laguna Gloria Museum area. Butler Park and the Hike & Bike Trail around Lady Bird Lake (both near Zilker Park & Barton Springs) make up the best I’m familiar with, but there are several other spots, like Mt Bonnel, if u can find parking 🙂

                  1. Of course, and what a treat it’d be to visit your name-sake, whether really related or not, right?! 😊 My last suggestion (I think) is don’t come in the summer, lol! Mid spring and late fall have the best number of wonderful days 🙂

  7. This place is so interesting via your lens, Cindy. So sorry to hear about your flooded house. How painful to see professional journals and other things got ruined…Hope cleaning and repairs are going smoothly.

  8. I don’t remember seeing this going to Solvang or Santa Barbara. It is truly my kind of place. So appreciate this post. Thank you for sharing. Always happy to see something older than I am (chuckles).

  9. Amazing, Cindy! Feeling like home. This is saving traditions. I just saw that you have a quote from Rene Descartes in the header. Did you know that Rene Descartes was a mercenary here in the Bohemian area during the Thirty Years’ War? I think it probably shocked him so much that he made that statement. Lol Best wishes, Michael

    1. Thank you for such interesting information. I knew he enlisted in his early twenties, and after an onerous battle, had a “night of visions,” where he came up with his core philosophy which really implies, “I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am”
      I imagine the war he witnessed may have contributed to his connection of doubt with thinking, and both with identity and existence. He is a fascinating person. I love the idea that doubt and thought are the core of our existence. Thank you for adding to my knowledge Michael.

  10. What a fabulous spot, Cindy. I was surprised when you wrote that they are still serving meals, judging from the outside of the tavern, but they are being true to the historical feel of the place!

  11. Cindy, I love this. I can imagine sitting there with my laptop and seeing what happens on the blank document… Such places have many stories and poems. 🙂 ❤

  12. Cindy, I love this. I can imagine sitting there with my laptop and seeing what happens on the blank document… Such places have many stories and poems. 🙂 ❤

Leave a Reply