Details for Dawson Saloon (Atlas Number 5507018519)

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5507018519


Marker Number 18519
Atlas Number 5507018519
Marker Title Dawson Saloon
Index Entry Dawson Saloon
Address 190 W. College Street
City Stephenville
County Erath
UTM Zone 14
UTM Easting 575177
UTM Northing 3565050
Subject Codes
Marker Year 2016
Designations Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
Marker Location
Marker Size 27" x 42" with post
Marker Text Dating from the early 1880s, downtown Stephenville consisted of wood frame and masonry one-part and two-part commercial block buildings, oriented around the county courthouse. The Dawson Saloon building was constructed in the early to mid-1890s on a prominent corner of the square. Reflected in sanborn maps, the saloon was likely the earliest occupant of the building. Under the direction of owner and operator W.A. “Billy” Dawson (1851-1901) and with beer barrel seating along the sidewalk for cowboys, patrons and the public, the saloon was a popular watering hole for county residents. Following Dawson’s passing, the building was divided into a restaurant and a confectionery and tobacco shop. The longest tenant was Novit’s Department Store, owned by Belarus immigrant Morris Ytzhak Isaac Astonovitsky (1901-1998). Novit’s Department Store was one of the largest retail establishments in the downtown area until its closing in 1957. Subsequent uses of the building were a barbershop, retail shops and a restaurant. Built in the vernacular commercial architectural style, the building is constructed of limestone, a locally-sourced material. Minimal changes have been made over the years, including the removal of the limestone columns along the front façade in the 1950s; these have since been rebuilt. With its prominent corner location on the square and local craftsmanship, the Dawson Saloon building contributed to the growth and development of Stephenville with its variety of successful businesses that added to the culture of Erath county. RECORDED TEXAS HISTORIC LANDMARK – 2016