The 1888 Café & Pub became a reality from a dream in June of 2017 when Tricia Carver from New Orleans, Louisiana stumbled upon the, “old 1888 Yancey building” in her now hometown of Mineola, Texas. Situated across from the train station at the corner of South Johnson Street and Commerce Street, it has since become a historic landmark of the business district in the heart of Mineola, Texas.
Mineola was established in 1873 with the coming of the Texas and Pacific Railways and International Great Northern Railroad. The ground of the 1888 building before being rebuilt held numerous businesses including saloon, hotel, café, drugstore, chiropractor, furniture store and more.
The building now known as the, “Old 1888 Yancy Building,” was built in 1888. Owned by Nathan and Hyman Sodekson, in its heyday was a brothel upstairs and saloon with a dance hall downstairs for the railroad employees and service men. When prohibition went into effect, the saloon closed leaving only the brothel behind. Nylons dating back to 1929 were found in the walls of the building and will soon be found in the new 1888 Café & Pub.
Jim Yancy purchased the building in 1913.
In May of 1908, the second story balcony was destroyed during a cyclone and subsequently removed and sadly never restored.
From 1911 – 1912 Mr. J. L. Beckham rented the 1888 for $30 a month while the Beckham hotel was rebuilt after a fire. Mr. Beckham then purchased the building in 1912 and turned it into a hotel and chiropractic office.
In 1917 John Knox and Guy Warren used the building to house their blacksmith business. A horseshoe was found in the debris of the building during demolition and will find its forever home above the entrance to the new café.
In 1920 the 1888 building caught fire leaving the building in ruin. The rebuild left behind many charred beams and woodwork that is being reused along with the original doors, windows and wood where possible.
After the fire in the 20s and the rebuild, the building was occupied by Dr. Sam Heart and converted to a drugstore. In 1922 a pharmacist named Walter Kelly Thompson purchased the 1888 building, then known as the Bradford Drugstore. It was a popular hangout for many and housed an ice cream parlor. Medicine bottles from the drug store era were found and will be displayed in the café.
When the 1930s rolled around the infamous Bonny and Clyde made an appearance in Mineola. It is rumored they killed a man in the back alley, and drug his body into the 1888 building. They subsequently shot two rounds into a wall declaring, “Our eyes are on you!” Bullet casings were also found in the walls and will be proudly displayed in the café.
Mineola, and her historical monuments are fraught with intrigue and mystery. Many mysterious happenings are still claimed to this day. Along with the many artifacts discovered in the demolition of the 1888 building, a weathered diary presumed to have been owned by Elizabeth, a long time urban legend who allegedly died after falling down the staircase of the Beckham Hotel just up the street. Some even claim that she still appears on Mondays at 3:00 a.m. The diary is currently being evaluated by the Historical Society.
All kinds of stories, fun, great food and good spirits abound at The 1888 Café & Pub coming in the spring 2018. You will be able to hang out at the full-service bar, enjoy the scenery in one of our dining rooms, or experience the outside balcony off the French doors. No matter what your preference, you can find it all at The 1888 Café & Pub. See ya soon!