1897: F.B. Gardner: Bartender says to the boys: “What’s a tin roof?”

It was 1897 and the “Klondike [gold] fever” was running strong at the Elk Horn Saloon on San Gregorio Street in Pescadero. This slice of social history was signed by F. B. Gardner.

“Jehiel C. Coburn, Eddie Armas, Joseph and Jerry Hollised, John McDonald and Frank Pinkham walked into Mr. Gianola’s El Horn Saloon. Two of the boys went to the bar and called for a ‘tin roof.’ Mr. Gianola was confused. He had never heard of a drink by that name.

“‘I can give you a Klondike,’ he said but the boys mixed the drink themselves.

“‘Now, said Gianola, ‘Why do you call that a tin roof?’

“‘Because it is on the house,’ said the boys. ‘Good day.'”

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