James Tannahill was the first owner of the store that would become the Iron Door Saloon and served the Groveland community as the first Postmaster from 1863 to 1880, running the post office in the store.
The establishment became a saloon in 1896 when it was purchased by Giacomo DeFarrari and was named "Jake's Place."
In 1937 a second story was added and cards, billiards and pool were offered for an evenings diversion. The establishment was renamed "The Iron Door Saloon" after the hefty iron doors which had been hauled in on mule back across the Tuolumne River by way of Wards Ferry. These iron doors were manufactured in England and broung around the tip of South America by sailing ship and sold to the saloon as a fire protection device. The idea was that if the town was burning, you just shut the doors and waited it out.
The iron doors on the front of the saloon today are the same ones originally fitted.