Posts Tagged ‘bar’

DISTRACTED RESEARCHER

June 25, 2011

With a temporary limit on travel, this month seemed a perfect time to work on research close to home– Highway 99 through Eugene.  Easy enough, come in from the south on Franklin Blvd. which briefly becomes Broadway then Sixth St all the way trough the city until it rejoins the traffic heading south on Seventh St. and again becomes Highway 99 connecting Eugene to Junction City.

Looking through the history of Eugene, my attention was caught by the “Club Cigar” established as a men’s resort in the 1800s.  No women patrons allowed.  In 1911, Ted Luckey Sr. purchased the business and renamed it “Luckey’s Club Cigar Store.”  A man could  go there to shop for a cigar, shoot pool, get a haircut and shave,  order a sandwich at the cafe in back, even play cards.  At one time the back room held two tables of poker and two of rummy players which were full from open to close. 

After Prohibition ended in 1933, Luckey’s became the first business in Lane County licensed by the newly formed Oregon Liquor Control Commision. 

In the 1930s, when downtown went neon, Ted Luckey splurged on a horseshoe-shaped neon sign.   When codes changed in the 1970s and the sign was too big for outdoor display, it was moved inside, one of the few neon signs that survived.

When Tad Luckey Sr. and co-owner Louis De Berg passed away in the 1940s, the business passed to their widows.  Ironic that the two women, Maude Luckey and Lucinda (Luckey) De Berg owned and operated a “man’s resort” that did not serve women or have a women’s restroom until the 1950s.

In 1973, when the old historic buildings of down town were being demolished in the “urban renewal” movement, BenRayovich, owner of Luckey’s at that time, purchased a dirt parking lot at 933 Olive St. and built an exact replica of the old Luckey’s.  He moved all the furnishings and fixtures, even the fir wainscoting, into the new building.  He added a few modern amenities:sprinklers, heating and air conditioning, and by OLCC insistence, a women’s restroom. 

Now owned by Jo Dee Moine, Luckey’s offers music in addition to the best of the features that have kept it in Business for a century and it serves women.

I found the Luckey’s story fascinating, with many of the elements I’m looking for– however, it had nothing to do with Highway 99.  It really doesn’t fit into my current writing project even though it has an impressive list of firsts in Eugene and even in Lane County.  I’m headed back to the books to find more about the Oregon Electric Railway.

Material excerpted from http:luckeysclub.com/hist5.php  

 

 

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