Bella Union History

The Colorful History of the Bella Union

The original Bella Union, owned by Henry Breitbarth, started out as one of seven saloons in Jacksonville, Oregon.

Henry owned this "center of social meeting place" from 1864 to 1871. Henry was born in Oberdoria, Prussia in 1832 and immigrated to America as a young boy. In 1852 he arrived in Jackson County responding to the lure of gold.

The Bella Union was a popular name for drinking and gambling establishments in early mining towns, but it is believed Henry borrowed the name from the infamous San Francisco Bella Union gambling House.

The beginning of the end for the Bella Union was the shooting incident between Senator James D. Fay and V.S. Ralls over the lovely Hannah Ralls.

Fire destroyed the Bella Union in the early morning hours of April 14, 1874. From that point on, the building served as various businesses... as a saloon, machine shop, saddle shop, deli, and back again to a restaurant and saloon. In June 1988, the Bella Union reopened under the present ownership and management of Jerry Hayes.

Bella Union is now one of Jacksonville's premier dining establishments and once again the "center of social meeting".

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