Ched Liman of Whitefish, Montana and John Brown of Yakima, Washington established R.F. McDougall’s in 1979.
Our exquisite back bar was designed and built in the 1860’s in Brunswick, New Jersey by the Brunswick Corporation, famous for their all-wood construction. If you’re thinking the name sounds familiar, it is … think bowling!
This particularly handsome bar started its career by being transported by boat from the east coast all the way around Cape Horn to Fairbanks, Alaska before settling in “Yukon Lil’s”, a saloon in the heart of gold country. Still visible today are four bullet wounds sustained as a result of a gunfight over 5 ounces of gold during the Alaskan Gold Rush.
In the early 1970’s the bar continued its travels by truck via the Alaska-Canadian highway – where drivers must yield the road to landing aircraft- to Richland, Washington. R.F. McDougall’s was built around the bar to compliment our beautiful setting on the Columbia River.
The painting “La Chat” joined the eclectic collection of art and antiques on the walls of R.F. McDougall’s when it opened in 1979. The first owner, Ched Liman, originally purchased “La Chat” in the 1960’s from an antique store in Beverly Hills, CA. At a friend’s suggestion, Liman had the painting appraised in the 1980’s, which revealed an intriguing story:
“La Chat” was painted in the 1880’s by a Belgian artist and exhibited in Brussels in the early 1900’s. The illuminating story told by the painting is revealed by its name.
“La Chat” refers not only to the woman’s cat, but also to the front room of her “Cat House” (house of prostitution). The grinning masks of the men’s faces displayed on the back wall are of her most frequent clientele.
Delighted by the story, Liman relocated the original to his home in Park City, UT and had a reproduction made for the wall of R.F. McDougall’s.