Buckhorn Saloon

By: Donald E. Everett

Type: General Entry

Published: November 1, 1994

Updated: June 21, 2020

Albert Friedrich of San Antonio began his exotic horn collection in 1881, three years before the founding of the Lone Star Brewery, the future home of the Buckhorn Saloon. Friedrich, whose father made horn furniture, began to display his collection at a saloon that he acquired on Dolorosa Street. He moved his business to what became the Buckhorn Saloon, at Soledad and West Houston streets, in 1896. There he maintained one of the most respectable saloons in San Antonio during one of the city's rowdiest eras and acquired the antler collection of a famed hunter, Capt. Ernest Dosch. As a result of prohibition, in 1922 Friedrich moved his business to 400 West Houston Street, where it was first known as Albert's Curio Store and subsequently as the Buckhorn Curio Store and Cafe. Three decades later, in 1956, the Buckhorn Saloon, with its mirrored back bar intact and a facsimile of the main bar, was restored at the Lone Star Brewery. Quaint machines and trick mirrors were brought from the old Buckhorn, along with the Friedrich collection, which was housed in the adjacent Hall of Horns. The collection included trophies of big game hunts throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. The Texas Room, crowned by a chandelier composed of over 4,000 horns from the old Buckhorn Saloon, featured such world champions as a longhorn with an eight-foot spread (see LONGHORN CATTLE) and a deer head with seventy-eight-point antlers. Stuffed freaks of the animal world were found alongside a huge gorilla and memorabilia of the "world's greatest" sharpshooting team, San Antonians "Plinky" and Adolph Toepperwein. A number of unusual framed artistic designs at the saloon were made by Friedrich's wife, who was a rattlesnake-rattle artist. A shark collection, the Hall of Fins, was added in 1964 and a bird collection, the Hall of Feathers, opened in 1973. In 1977 the Lone Star Brewing Company was sold to Olympia Brewing Company. The Buckhorn collection was sold five times over the next twenty years. In 1997 Albert Friedrich's granddaughter, Mary Friedrich Rogers, and her husband, Wallace, purchased the collection and entered into a lease agreement with Twisthorn Holdings and the Buckhorn Museum and Saloon Limited to manage the enterprise. The Buckhorn collection was moved from the Lone Star Brewery to a 33,000 square foot site at the corner of Houston and Presa streets in 1998. In addition to the collections, the Buckhorn hosts live entertainment and features the Hall of Texas History Wax Museum, a gift shop, and an arcade.

Charles W. Ramsdell, San Antonio: A Historical and Pictorial Guide (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1959). Fritz A. Toepperwein, comp., Footnotes of the Buckhorn: A Lone Star State Landmark (Boerne, Texas: Highland, 1960).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Donald E. Everett, “Buckhorn Saloon,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 09, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/buckhorn-saloon.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994
June 21, 2020