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V12 2009 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 40, October 4, 2009, Article 28

MYSTERIOUS LEDGER SIX NINE FOUR: END OF THE SILVER DOLLAR BAR

In recent weeks Tom Kays forwarded an interesting series of submissions based on newspaper articles found pasted in an old ledger. Here are some more gems from that great collection. -Editor

Recall a few editions past the story about Silver Dollar Smith and his Essex Street Saloon. Here is the rest of the story from Ledger 694.

SALOON WHICH SMITH MADE FAMOUS
TO MAKE WAY FOR A NEW WAREHOUSE

New York, March 15 The old saloon of Silver Dollar Smith, which he made famous when he paved the floor with silver dollars to excite the wonder of the wealthy and the envy of the poor who patronized his bar, is shortly to disappear. It was sold yesterday by its owner, Alfred S. Engel, son of Martin Engel to Roth & Berkowitz of 409 Grand Street. They are going to tear it down and erect on the spot a furniture warehouse. Business in the place has not been good since the death of Silver Dollar Smith.

Although it is opposite the Essex Street Market Police Court, trade had drifted away, for there were no longer the silver dollars and the five-dollar gold pieces for the thirsty to walk upon. In the palmy days of Smith the saloon was the haunt of East Side politicians and one of the show places of the city. It was reported that the wealth sunk in the floor amounted $1000. There was a five-dollar gold piece in the center of each square of marble pavement on the floor and a silver dollar in each corner.

Smith kept a close watch on the dollars as long as he lived and nobody ever got away with one. After Smith died his widow needed money and took the dollars from the floor and the glory from the place. The money had been worn on one side by countless feet and was no good for currency. Mrs. Smith took it to the mint and disposed of it, according to one report, for half the amount it represented before it went to pave the floor. She ran the place for a year and then gave it up. John H. Martin has been running it for the last five years.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: MYSTERIOUS LEDGER SIX NINE FOUR: SILVER DOLLAR SMITH (http://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v12n35a10.html)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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