One of the most enduring icons of the "wild west" was the saloon. Did you know the very first establishment to ever call itself a saloon was here in Wyoming?

Brown's Saloon was established in 1822 to serve thirsty fur trappers at the Brown's Hole trading fort along the Green River, near the present-day border of Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah.

Like other watering holes of its era, they likely made their own whiskey using a variety of ingredients including tobacco, ammonia, turpentine, and gun powder. The homemade whiskey was commonly referred to as "firewater", a term that fur trappers had adopted from trading with local Native American tribes.

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Many of the original old west saloons also brewed beer, which was served at room temperature until refrigeration came along in the 1880s.

In addition to a gathering place, the saloons also served as gambling parlors where trappers would wager their earnings in games of poker and faro. Although there is no official record, Brown's may have also been a brothel.

Historians aren't sure how long Brown's Saloon was in business. They do know that the area later became a hangout for Butch Cassidy and his legendary "Wild Bunch".

The oldest Wyoming saloon still in operation is the legendary Miners and Stockmen's in the town of Hartville, which was established in 1862.

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.