29. A Saloon For Every 100 People?
In some parts of the country, saloons were especially thick on the ground. In Leadville, North Dakota, the 20,000 inhabitants could take their pick of so many drinking establishments, that there was one saloon for every 100 townspeople – women and children included. It was even worse in San Francisco, where there was a saloon for every 96 inhabitants.
San Francisco’s figure is derived from counting only the city’s 3000 licensed saloons: the city had another 2000 unlicensed drinking establishments. Across the country, men, women, and children, were often seen exiting the saloons with buckets of beer to take home. As one New Yorker put it: “I doubt if one child in a thousand, who brings his [bucket] to be filled at the average New York bar, is sent away empty-handed“.