Records show it was established in 1919 and incorporated in California.(6)
When Troop 5 of the Boy Scouts needed a post, the American Legion Log Cabin was conceived. Construction on Post 179 began on Lincoln’s birthday in 1933 from lumber and redwood logs. The self-appointed volunteer committee accomplished most of the building. A master mason who served in the German army from 1914 to 1918 built the massive fireplace, chimney and much of the cabin’s stonework.
Two 75-millimeter World War II-era artillery guns lie in front of the historic log cabin, which houses a spacious meeting hall and dance floor, a raised bandstand, a commercial kitchen, a separate ante room with a bar, an outdoor brick barbecue in a grassy picnic area, a full-service bar and a game room.(2)
This is essentially an authentic log cabin in the middle of a park amongst the redwoods in the west Marin 'burbs.
Upstairs is a huge cavernous hall that is just begging for an off-the-hook home skillet party. The joint is made out of actual logs. There are even pictures of Abe Lincoln. Lincoln logs were invented by John Loyd Wright, Frank Loyd Wright's son, not Abraham Lincoln. There's a Grand Poobah's chair on a little stage and photographs of all the American Legionairres plastered all over the walls. The place is drenched in history (and whiskey).(2)
The Historic Log Cabin in San Anselmo has a full kitchen, stage, working fireplace, full bar, and is available for rentals. There is also a full bar downstairs called the "Dugout" which is open to the public Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Drinks are cheap and the pool table is free. There is also a shuffleboard table, darts, dice pinball, and video games.(2)
It smells woodsy inside as well. The lighting choices are endless. Twinkle lights, chandeliers or spot lights are all in the main room. There are tables and chairs.(4)
Jerry performed here on
11/23/86 Log Cabin Boys (Sandy Rothman and David Nelson)
The Log Cabin Boys: Thanksgiving – 1986
David Nelson: By November, Jerry was getting out and doing stuff again. When it came time for the annual Grateful Dead Thanksgiving party, it was decided to have it at the Log Cabin in San Anselmo, CA. It’s an American Legion hall kind of place, but really nice – designed like a log cabin. And the three of us were the “Log Cabin Boys” for the night.
Sandy Rothman: We were all just sitting around a table with all the other families and people milling around in typical party fashion. Everybody was doing what they were doing and occasionally listening to us. I guess we were providing ambient music in the room, but it wasn’t like a performance – just a lot of fun.
David Nelson: Before the party, Sandy and I were saying to each other, “Jeez – Jerry’s just been to the ends of the universe and back; what’s he going to remember about those old tunes?” So the two of us tried to put our heads together: “Let’s try that song,” and, “I think I remember how that one goes.” By the end of the evening, we realized that Jerry remembered more of the words than we did! But that was the way Jerry always was: listen once; play it.
Sandy Rothman: Jerry was on the banjo at the Thanksgiving party, as well. I’m not sure where we were when the decision was made for him to play guitar instead of banjo. It had to have been at some get-together before the Poster Art Benefit we played at the Fillmore, though.(1)
"Well, how that actually came about was Jerry, before the time he collapsed and went in to the hospital; that was through dehydration and everything… I was at the gig, that’s a long story…I was at the gig before that, it was in Philadelphia or somewhere [editor’s note- possibly RFK Stadium in Washington DC, July of 1986]; I was in the van where we drove back to the hotel and it was really hot and the van couldn’t move because everybody was walking across the path and Garcia turns around to me and goes, “anybody got anything; any water or anything?” And I’m so dismayed to say I only had a beer. And I went, “oh geez, it’s all I got” and nobody in the van had any water and I handed it to him and he went, “bleeccchhh! Is that all you got?” Because that doesn’t really quench your thirst when you’re dehydrated; you’re totally, lack of water… Anyway, I said goodbye; he went home; [I]heard the next day he had a complete collapse and went to the hospital and was in a diabetic coma. That was just world shaking. This was, I guess, months before that. When he got out of the hospital, I went to see him, and the doctor said, “Bring tapes.” The doctor said to all his old friends, “bring something that is familiar from years past,” and so (laughs) I’m just the guy to ask for that. So, I had tapes of all the stuff we used to listen to and different things that were familiar to me and Jerry. I went over to his house and we sat there and listened to all this old stuff and he was just; we were just talking, we didn’t think of anything about it but shortly after that, within days of that, there was this thing of “we’re gonna have a Thanksgiving.” I know it was Thanksgiving; figure out which year that must’ve been, 86?
PG: That’s 86, yeah.
DN: Yeah. And Jerry called me and said, “Hey why don’t you bring Sandy, y’know? We used to play all that stuff. Why don’t you bring Sandy; John Kahn’s gonna be there.” Jerry’s been doing these duets with John Kahn. So the four of us sat down at the table after dinner at Thanksgiving at the log cabin in San Anselmo and play this; played all this stuff and here’s the thing; here’s an amazing thing about Jerry: me and Sandy are trying to remember words; we’re singing songs, he sings one and then I sing one and all this stuff and then Jerry sings one and he remembers every word perfectly, verbatim! It’s like, WHAT??? (Laughs) That was totally a flash; that was amazing."(7)
1.)^Robbins, Brian, Some Acoustic Jerry Memories With Sandy Rothman & David Nelson
2.)^Destination San Anselmo, 2011-2012 Community Guide and Business Directory
3.)^Jim L., http://www.yelp.com/biz/american-legion-log-cabin-dugout-bar-san-anselmo
4.)^Karen E., http://www.yelp.com/biz/american-legion-log-cabin-dugout-bar-san-anselmo
7.)^Nelson, David, KBOO Community Radio, Interview With David Nelson, http://kboo.fm/node/16741