Beacon Tavern Karpen D & M Tile Top Dresser circa 1930 F2216
In excellent condition, tiles intact. Measures 44 1/2" x 38" x 20". The previous owner acquired the pair from the hotel when they closed in 1970.
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From the legendary Beacon Tavern in Barstow, when Barstow was a glamorous stage in a journey rather than a necessary pit-stop.
While ostensibly intended as a simple overnight stopping place for auto and air travelers shuttling back and forth between Death Valley, the Boulder Dam construction site or the newly developing community of Las Vegas, Nevada, Barstow’s Beacon Tavern had both the look and feel of a much higher end resort. Wilson & Merrill had done an admirable job of creating the atmosphere of a rambling, romantic Spanish hacienda with a profusion of variegated tile roofs, Monterey-style balconies, arches and colorful decorative tiles. This was later enhanced by the addition of an elaborate cactus garden, a favorite of visitors and the special pride and joy of resident manager Tom R. Wilson. All fifty guest rooms featured custom designed Spanish Colonial furniture, a fully tiled bath, a radio set and winter steam heating. A much appreciated amenity in the hot desert summer, no doubt, was the ultra-modern air-cooling system, which could cool the guest rooms to a full 18 degrees lower than the temperature outside. Dining facilities were readily available in the adjacent Beacon Cafe and, of course, the Beacon Tavern featured a full service garage for the use of every motoring guest. Rates for overnight accommodations were kept moderate at $3.00-$6.00 per night, not cheap, but not overly priced either.
Although construction on the next group of Beacon Taverns at Santa Maria, Capistrano and Visalia was announced to begin within a few months of the Barstow opening, the Depression killed off those plans and Barstow’s flagship Beacon Tavern proved to be not only the first, but also the last in the proposed chain. On its own, however, Barstow’s Beacon Tavern proved a big hit with travelers especially as Las Vegas gained in popularity in the 1940’s, with the Beacon Tavern making for a perfect halfway point along the journey. The Beacon Tavern even gained some popularity with a number of famous Hollywood celebrities with local legend claiming Mickey Rooney, Clark Gable, Norma Talmadge, Clara Bow, F. Scott Fitzgerald and many others, spent the night under the red tile roofs of the Beacon Tavern.