Earl W. “Eddie” Bohn was born in 1902 to German immigrants in Denver. When he was 18, Bohn moved to California and started his boxing career. Soon after, Heavyweight World Champion Jack Dempsey hired Bohn to be his sparring partner and in 1924 Bohn himself was crowned the Rocky Mountain Heavyweight Champion. Bohn's success brought in prize money and with these proceeds, he opened a gas station on West Colfax in 1924. Slowly Bohn expanded his business to include a restaurant and bar, which he named the Pig N' Whistle. During this era, Colfax experienced a surge in auto-oriented traffic and to capitalize on the rise of tourists, Bohn added a motel to the Pig N' Whistle in the 1930s. At the time, it was Denver's second motel.
"The Pig," as the Pig N' Whistle was affectionately called, saw many legends pass through its doors. Boxers (Jack Dempsey, Max and Buddy Baer, Primo Carnera), sports' heroes (Yogi Berra, New York Yankees' manager Billy Martin, tri-athlete Babe Zaharias), actors (Roy Rogers), politicians (Governors “Big Ed” Johnson, Steve McNichols and Mayor Bill McNichols), astronauts (Wally Shirra) and musicians (Vic Jurgens, Eddie Howard, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey) all frequented their beloved "Pig." Bohn's famous Pig N' Whistle gave him the nickname "The King of West Colfax." "The Pig" was even featured in the Clint Eastwood movie "Any Which Way but Loose." Bohn's reign lasted until he shuttered the Pig N' Whistle in 1991 and Bohn passed away the following year. In 2010, the building burnt down but the iconic "Pig N' Whistle" sign still stands on 4801 W. Colfax Ave.
Image Credit: Eddie Bohn Real Estate