The History of the 4th Ward’s Tavern goes back to the City of Marysville’s very first years. In 1861, one of Marysville’s several Fire Departments was built on this site; however, what happened to that building, is uncertain. The current building was built in 1870 by Western Pacific Railroad as a waystation for company personal. It was a full functioning tavern with company companions and ten bedrooms upstairs. There was no running water or plumbing of any sort in the building until the early 1900’s, meaning all water had to be carried in and thrown out in an outhouse in the back yard. When plumbing was installed, a common wash room with tub was retro-fitted into an upstairs room on the north side of the building, and a ‘flushing’ outhouse was built upstairs for the tenets. Their only obstacle of using the facilities, was to walk out onto the single story roof of the Hotel, where a small shed was plumbed for use (currently the upstairs south deck). Downstairs the Washroom/Outhouse was attached to the back of the building, leaving everyone to still walk outside, to use the then modern bath facilities. This Plumbing was still somewhat usable, but was recently removed in a remodeling project in 2014.
It is unclear if the Hotel was open for public use, or if it was completely reserved for railroad employees. Either way, if you picture a ‘Spaghetti Western’ Themed movie with a bar; men playing cards and women to keep them company in the rooms upstairs, then you can imagine what this place may have looked like.
The first county recorded name of “4th Ward Tavern” is 1904. The current address system as we know it today, was not in place. The City was divided into ‘Wards’ for voting purposes. This building was known as ‘Building 91 of the 4th Ward’, or ‘the 4th Ward’s Tavern’. The name stuck until 1952 when two brothers, Bob and Sam Stassi, bought the business and slightly altered the name. During the Stassi’s family tenure, there were many interesting and unique aspects of the building, and business within. The Bar office was a small room under the staircase behind the main bar mirror. The rest of the down-stairs, currently known as the ‘Smoking Room’ and ‘Mid Bar’ was a separate residence with living room, dining room bath and kitchen. The entrance to the residence (on 7th street) was shared with a separate business in the northwest corner of the building.
In the main portion of the bar, Patrons got rid of their loose change by throwing it above the bar mirror. The reason why has been lost to time, but when the Stassi’s family sold the business to a local PG&E employee, Roy Newlove, in 1991, It was rumored that enough change was collected to fill five large pails full to the top. Rumor has it there is still loose change of various denominations and style in the wall behind the bar. In May of 2014 a local Fireman, Brad Hudson, bought the business with a plan to honor the history of the building and the town, while fixing up the building to be a fun venue for everyone to enjoy. Please enjoy the history of Marysville on the walls, and feel free to share the story of Stassi’s 4th Ward Tavern.