Thursday, September 13, 2007


Please share you memories and photos of the Buckaroo. Email me if you need assistance with scanning or posting photos.

Luanne Thorpe has shared the following: This was taken in the new Buckaroo using the painting as the background. This was taken about two years before Fat died. To the left is our daughter Terry, then Todd, Fat, and our youngest daughter Tracy. Incidentally, none of them went into the bar business, although Todd works for Dakota Beverage, because they said that cleaning up that bar every Sunday morning, and bar tending at both bars we owned while they were in college, cured them of even considering going into the business.

The second photo:
This picture of my husband, Dale (Fat) Thorpe holding our son, Todd was taken in the summer of 1961. The man to the right of Fat (as you look at the picture) is Fat's Dad , Ralph Thorpe who used to be our daytime bartender.
Fat purchased the Buckaroo Bar from Harry Wiese in, 1958 or '59...I'm not sure which. The painting was by an artist named Seal VanSickle and was painted especially for the Buckaroo Bar. The painting was then sold to Alan Miller when he opened the "new" Buckaroo in what used to be the old Drug Store and Floyd Torkelson grocery store.
Before we closed the doors of the Buckaroo Bar, we held an auction. People from all over came to the auction to buy up everything including the wall posters. Many of the buyers of the various articles were former patrons of the bar who wanted something to remember the fun times they had in there. The bubbles in a tube that decorated the old juke box was always playing and it sold to an antique dealer. You can see them now on The Price Is Right, but those are reproductions...this one that sat in the Buckaroo for so many years was the authentic juke box of its era. The building was sold to a man who used it for storage purposes and never operated as a bar again. Tony Rau wrote and said that his dad had many memories about the bar and used to say that "everyone knew they had a busy night at the old Buckaroo if the screen door was laying on main street Sunday morning".
Allen Miller opened the "new" Buckaroo and that beautiful old painting hangs in there today as a reminder of days gone by.
Luanne asked me if I had any other info on Seal VanSickle, the artist who painted the western scene now hanging in the new Buckaroo. Mr. Vansickle and and his brother Tom were early Sioux County pioneers and originally settled in Calliope IA. He was a sign painter by trade but was appointed Marshal of Calliope in the late 1880's. He built the Van Sickle building in Hawarden in 1908 and went into the sign painting business with EG Fairbrother. He later owned and operated a "moving picture show" and the theatre was called the "Airdome". He had a tavern in Hudson and Hawarden called "Seals Tavern #1 in Hawarden and Seals Tavern #2 in Hudson. He later owned a bowling alley and produce market. In 1929 the family left Hawarden and settled in Kansas City where they owned and operated a restaurant. The paintings in Hawarden and Hudson are believed to have originally been hung in the Seal taverns. Luanne T responded and said: "I believe the Hudson Seals Bar was later named Ann’s Tavern. Ann was Harry Wieses wife. He had the Buckaroo and she owned the tavern. The stone firplaces in both the Hudson and Hawarden back rooms of the two bars are almost identical, as is the rock on the front of the buildings".

1 comment:

Joe Miller said...

I would like to add that there is another picture painted by Seal Van Sickle at The Buckaroo it's located in the dining room side and it's titled "Seals Tavern"