This photo is believed to have been taken in 1926. “Harry Knapp’s mother is in the picture … on the stairs holding Harry’s sister, Acklin ‘Knap’ York,” columnist Randy Hunt reports. “Acklin was born in 1925, so the picture is 1926.” Central Kitsap History Club

This photo is believed to have been taken in 1926. “Harry Knapp’s mother is in the picture … on the stairs holding Harry’s sister, Acklin ‘Knap’ York,” columnist Randy Hunt reports. “Acklin was born in 1925, so the picture is 1926.” Central Kitsap History Club

A history of the Old Town Pub | Past & Present by Randy Hunt

The Old Town Pub recently made news when it was reported that Kitsap County declared the building unsafe and set a deadline for it to be vacated. The building is owned by the Port of Silverdale.

We do not yet know this 106-year-old building’s fate. But you should know its story.

John J. Emel built the three-story building, 3473 NW Byron St., from 1911-13 for his Emel’s Livery Stable & Hall. The stable was located on street level, the Silverdale Community Hall occupied the second floor, and a lodge occupied the third floor.

Upstairs, the community hall had dances and movies once a week for a nickel. Silverdale High School’s 1915 graduation ceremony took place in the hall. Some people think the ceremony took place in the Yeoman’s Hall building, but in 1915 the Yeoman’s Hall building was still on pilings out off the beach, not in its present location on Washington Avenue, nor was it this large of a facility.

City directories of the day document some of the building’s first-floor uses. The livery and feed stable business was conducted here until automobiles and trucks reduced that business. In 1926, Emel opened Silverdale Restaurant on the first floor, with a beer parlor. At one time, the building housed a grocery store; a small addition on the west side housed a barber and beauty shop.

A horse enthusiast, in 1922, Emel built a fairgrounds and race track on 40 acres northwest of Silverdale. It included a grandstand, dance pavilion, tennis court, and football and baseball fields in the center. Emel sold the 40-acre site to Joseph B. Yoder in 1928. It’s now the site of Central Kitsap Middle School.

Silverdale Restaurant was located at the former Emel’s Livery Stable from 1926 to 1941, the year Emel died. It became Pickles Tavern in 1946, and operated under that name until 1969. There are rumors of other activities happening in the building during WWII, legitimate as well as not.

In January 1946, Al and June Graden moved to town from Michigan, taking over his father’s business. In 1948, Al’s Shoe Service, owned and operated by Graden, moved to what was now the Pickles Building. Silverdale Taxi also had a stand here.

Pickles Tavern later became the Stables Tavern, owned by World War II Navy veteran Guy R. Leahy. He also owned the Wheelhouse Tavern and the Anchor Tavern in Bremerton. In 1973, the building was purchased by Fred K. and Mary T. Lanouette and the tavern became the Old Town Pub.

About John J. Emel: the brother of Lone Rock’s Peter Frank Emel, John was born in February 1871 in Carrick, Ontario, Canada. In 1889, he and Anna L. Nilson, a native of Sweden, married. He died on Sept. 19, 1941, according to the Bremerton Sun, “at the Port Orchard hospital.” He was survived by his wife, a niece, and four nephews. He was interred at Ivy Green Cemetery. Mrs. Emel passed away in 1951 in a Tacoma rest home and also was interred at Ivy Green Cemetery.

— Past & Present is written by Randy Hunt of the Central Kitsap History Club.

More in Life

A little parade watcher exchanges a wave with a princess on a float. (Bob Smith | Kitsap News Group)
Summer weather returns just in time for Fathoms parade

Absent for two straight summers, parade watchers soak in the fun and sun

Cake4Kids bakes tasty treats for underserved kids

Nonprofit is looking to expand into Central and South Kitsap

Concerts by the Bay summer series starts Thursday

Buck & Elizabeth, a Bob Dylan tribute group, will perform at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 2.

Get ready for some splashin’

McCormick Village Park’s splash pad opens May 28

First place winner in Oil/Acrylic category: Shirley Sakatani, “Honey”
‘Seven’ mixed media piece wins Judge’s Choice in Helen Norris Art Show

51st Helen Norris open art competition at Sidney Art Gallery

Mediascape: ‘Schitt’s Creek’ is guaranteed to lighten today’s grim mood

Sublime cast and writing put a bow on one of television’s finest sitcoms

Spring Daze Craft, Garden and Gift Show is May 14-15

Event returns after two-year absence in Port Orchard

Escape from the horrors in Ukraine

Mother and her sons make a harrowing journey out of war-torn Kyiv to South Kitsap

Orchard Heights girl soars in WWCA’s ‘The Crucible’

Alyssa Kusherets also has her sights on a career in space

Hot dog! Wiener dogs strut their stuff at Gateway Park

This group of dachshunds gets their little legs moving for fun and exercise

‘Soup Crawl’ in Port Orchard set for Friday and Saturday

Six restaurants along Bay Street participating in foodie event

Heart cofounder brings megaband’s hits to Roxy New Year’s Eve audience

Heart by Heart takes Bremerton theater’s stage at 10:30 p.m.