National Register of Historic Places

College Inn Bar


Date Added to Register

Tuesday, July 10, 1979

Smithsonian Number


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The College Inn, established in 1906 by Theodore (Lee) Pringle, is unique in the fact that it is the oldest business in Douglas and Converse County continuing in one location. The bar's predecessor, a saloon begun in 1887 by this same gentleman - and thus known to early Douglasites simply as ''Lee Pringle's'' - was a frame structure which served for 19 years as Mr. Pringle's prime business establishment prior to being moved from North 2nd Street to make way for the new College Inn. On the College Inn's second floor were, at one time, nine lavishly furnished sleeping rooms - remembered by old-timers around Douglas as the ''best in town.'' A tenth upstairs room was designed for gambling, and had bar service by way of a dumbwaiter. These rooms are no longer used, although during the latter 1930s and early 1940s the Inn's owners of those years maintained a spacious upstairs apartment. The bar business in Douglas and elsewhere, affected first by Prohibition, then by the rationing of alcoholic beverages during World War II, has had its good years and its bad. But the College Inn has perhaps succeeded better than most businesses in Douglas by hanging on through thick and thin, achieving for itself the distinction of being Douglas' oldest business to have operated continuously in the same location.

Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources