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Arizona Charlie’s Decatur sign to get new home at Neon Museum

Arizona Charlie is moving downtown.

The 17-by-8-foot sign at Arizona Charlie’s Decatur, featuring an old west portrait of the real Arizona Charlie, will be moved later in the summer to the Neon Museum.

The sign had been in place since 1988 at the neighborhood casino now operated by Golden Entertainment Inc. An upgraded, more contemporary Arizona Charlie’s sign with a new logo has been installed at the property.

The Neon Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for educational, historic, artistic and cultural enrichment.

“It is a deeply impactful addition to our collection,” Aaron Berger, executive director of the Neon Museum, said Wednesday. “Donations like this continue to tell the stories of Las Vegas and tell the history of Las Vegas in the most unique and unusual way.”

Emily Fellmer, a collections specialist at the museum, said the Arizona Charlie’s sign “is an honor for the museum to save.” She first saw the sign when she arrived in Las Vegas a few years ago, but there are details of the sign she really likes.

“I’ve always loved the bubbly font the sign has,” Fellmer said. “In our collection, there are many different typefaces, but this one stands out with its cute bubbles and it does look very ‘80s, which was when it was designed.”

And like many who have seen it, she was fascinated by the face on the sign.

It’s the image of Abram Henson “Arizona Charlie” Meadows, a distant cousin of the Becker family that owned the property before it eventually was acquired by Golden Entertainment.

Fellmer said Meadows was a contemporary of Buffalo Bill Cody and wanted to be a Wild West Show performer. A showman and sharpshooter, Meadows eventually developed his own show.

Meadows lived on a ranch near Payson, Arizona, and died at age 73 in Yuma, Arizona, in 1932.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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