The 101 Nite Club was perhaps the liveliest of the four roadhouses between Susanville and Westwood. It is also the least documented, providing a challenge to unearth its story. The club took its name from the 101 Ranch and was located directly across from the ranch house. The operators leased the property from the McKenzie family, owners of the 101, but what the arrangements were is open to speculation, since those documents were never recorded.
The 101 was established in late 1937 or early 1938 by Old Town resident Steve Actis. It was a large structure containing a bar and dance floor and live music was a part of the routine operation. In addition, there was a separate gas station and restaurant and a number of cabins behind the club. The cabins were rented out to loggers, but also provided housing for the musicians who performed there.
In 1941, one those musicians, Ray Orlandi, along with his new wife, Dina, took over the operations of the 101. However, it was not until June 6, 1942 that a bill of sale was recorded wherein Orlandi paid Actis $2,000 for the establishment. The Orlandi’s tenure would be brief for they decided to purchase Tony’s a bar in Susanville, later known as the 802.
In 1943, succeeding the Orlandi’s were Dom and Pearl Falletti. As Jacqueline McKenzie Leininger recalled her father, Jack and his brother Abner leased the 101 cattle operation from their mother, Lulu McKenzie. Lulu was not pleased with the bar, especially the fights and the loud music it generated on Saturday nights. Jacqueline fondly remembers the Folletti’s and noted: “Dom and Pearl ran the 101 Bar, and their daughter Betty was Bobi Lynn McKenzie’s [Abner’s daughter] best friend. There were little houses in back of the bar where loggers lived. Pearl was known for her Italian meals and Dom would take care of the bar. There were terrible fights, one night a man was sliced open with a knife and rushed to the Westwood hospital.
“Abner and his crew of cowboys would use the back part of the bar to tie their horses and hide them from Shirlie, Abner’s wife. They made the mistake of tying the horses too close to the bar and Shirlie could see the horses switching their tails. Bobi would be sent across the road on her horse to fetch the men home for lunch.”
For reasons unknown every couple of years there was always a change in the operators of the 101. In May 1946 Falletti’s sold to Paul Fenoglio and Everett Curry. Whatever happened to Curry is not clear, but in June 1947, long time Westwood resident Earl Felion replaced Curry as Fenoglio’s partner. In January 1949, Felion bought out Fenoglio. Earl, with his wife, Ruth became the last operators of the 101. On April 26, 1952, the Felions sold the inventory and fixtures to Duane and Mary Bouchard for $1,500. The 101 Bar, not the building, was relocated to Standish to become known as the Wayside Inn.
To learn more about the roadhouses between Susanville and Westwood, see Volume 4 of the Red River series.
Note: This article originally appeared on April 15. I am selecting some early posts, to fill in http://www.tipurdy.org/subscribe/while I am on the road to recovery. For five dollars by subscribing, you can receive a daily email on that day’s topic, and in doing so, help preserve a bit of history.