Friday, November 18, 2011

Welty Building - Temecula, CA, USA

Built in the 1890s by R.J. Welty and his wife, Mary, the building originally housed a store on the ground floor and rooms for rent on the second floor. 
It was purchased by Joe Winkels in 1902 and operated as a hotel, The Ramona Inn.  A barber shop and saloon replaced the store area and alcohol was illegally sold there during the prohibition era.  Gaming was offered in the form of pool tables, card games and slot machines.  Boxers Jack Dempsey, Jim Jeffries and Jack Sharkey were among those who trained at an upstairs boxing arena.  Buster Keaton, Fatty Arbuckle and other celebrities from Hollywood were known to visit The Ramona Inn.

On Christmas Eve 1907 Temecula's constable, Preston Van Swanguen, and a local businessman, Louis Escallier, were shot to death by Horace Magee while attempting to quell a barroom fight.

In later years the saloon was named The Stallion, and then The Stables.  A sandwich shop, The Corner, was located in the building in the 1970s.
The Welty Building was among the buildings in the historic district that were damaged in 1993 by a 3-foot-high wall of mud that resulted from the flooding of nearby Murrieta Creek.  It remained empty for years afterward.
The Temecula Olive Oil Company, a food and gift shop featuring a tasting bar, has occupied the ground floor since 2002.

Located in the historict district of Old Town Temecula on the southwest corner of Front Street and Main Street.

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