The barber shop was where “the action was” on Saturday night. The miners would come into town, dirty from the mines, displaying shaggy hair and whiskers. They were a rough-looking bunch. Their first stop was the barber shop to get a shave, haircut, and a much needed hot bath. This was the place “the boys met,” to get spruced up for a night on the town.
The building was constructed in Fairplay in the early 1870’s and relocated in 1960. It houses the barber shop and a dentist office with waiting room. In this frontier barber shop, there are two wooden barber chairs with well worn deep red cloth seats. On the wall in small cubby- holes are individual shaving mugs of the customers. Bottles of sweet smelling cologne stand on a cabinet nearby. A spittoon rests on the floor next to the arm chair. A stand with pitcher and basin is located within arm’s length of the barber’s chair. In an adjoining room, two tin bathtubs wait to be filled with hot water. No hot water faucets here! The water had to be heated on top of a stove by the pail full, and then emptied into the tub. Surely not the easier way to get a bath but well worth it to be rid of the sand and grime. Imagine the tales that were told in this all-male emporium as the men scrubbed themselves with long- handled brushes. The talk of a new gold strike, a recent hanging, or some intriguing town gossip was sure to be discussed. After all the cleaning there would be dancing and drinking at Rache’s Place, with gambling at the card tables.