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Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:55 pm
by nrobertb
The Sea Wing disaster occurred on July 13, 1890 when a strong squall line overturned the excursion vessel Sea Wing on Lake Pepin near Lake City, Minnesota. Approximately 215 people were aboard the vessel when it overturned and as a result of the accident 98 passengers drowned. An excursion barge that was being towed by the Sea Wing was either cut loose or broke loose and survived the disaster with its passengers unharmed. It is one of the worst maritime disasters that has occurred on the upper Mississippi River.

While tornadoes had occurred earlier in the evening farther north in the Twin Cities area it is believed that downburst winds from a thunderstorm was the cause of the accident.

On the morning of the excursion, 13 July 1890, the Sea Wing left Diamond Bluff, Wisconsin at 7:30 am for its trip to the encampment south of Lake City towing a covered barge named the Jim Grant which would carry a number of the day's passengers. The Sea Wing first stopped at Trenton, Wisconsin at 8:30 am and then arrived at Red Wing at 9:30 am where approximately 150 waiting passengers at Red Wing got on board. Captain Wethern's family was already on board as well as a string orchestra that played for the passengers while the ship was en route. After leaving Red Wing the ship then stopped at Frontenac, Minnesota and then proceeded on to her destination arriving around 11:30 am that morning. The passengers disembarked and spent their time picnicking, visiting the troops and listening to a band concert later in the day.

The return trip was scheduled to leave between 5 - 6 pm that evening but the national guard had scheduled a dress parade for the visitors. Captain Wethern agreed to delay the departure, after being asked by a number of passengers, until after the parade at 7 pm. Shortly after the parade began the weather conditions changed and began to look ominous. Captain Wethern began sounding the ship's whistle to recall the passengers and by 8 pm the passengers were on board and the ship was made ready to leave. The captain had been advised to delay his departure by other river men, because they felt that a storm was heading their way, but Captain Wethern felt that the weather looked like it was clearing. The Sea Wing left port and headed on to its first stop at Lake City. A half hour into the voyage Captain Wethern noticed a gale heading toward them from the Minnesota shore. He turned the Sea Wing to meet the storm but a large wave struck the ship tilting it on a forty-five angle. While still tilted the ship was struck by strong winds that capsized the ship.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:45 am
by nrobertb
Little known western movies:
Frontier Badmen is a 1943 American Western film directed by Ford Beebe and produced and distributed by Universal Pictures. Several members of the cast are offspring of silent screen stars.

Plot: A Texas cattle rancher (Robert Paige) and his sidekick (Noah Beery, Jr.) break up a buying monopoly in Kansas.

Robert Paige as Steve Logan
Anne Gwynne as Chris Prentice
Noah Beery, Jr. as Jim Cardwell
Diana Barrymore as Claire
Leo Carillo as Chinito Galvez
Andy Devine as Slim ; Cowhand
Lon Chaney, Jr. as Chango
Thomas Gomez as Ballard
Frank Lackteen as Cherokee
William Farnum as Dad Courtwright

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:29 pm
by nrobertb
The Alabama Hills are a range of hills and rock formations near the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada in the Owens Valley, west of Lone Pine in Inyo County, California. Though geographically separate from the Sierra Nevada, they are part of the same geological formation.

The Alabama Hills are managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as the Alabama Hills Recreation Area. The area is managed as a protected habitat for public enjoyment.

The rounded contours of the Alabamas contrast with the sharp ridges of the Sierra Nevada to the west. Though this might suggest that they formed from a different orogeny, the Alabamas are the same age as the Sierra Nevada. The difference in wear can be accounted for by different patterns of erosion.

There are two main types of rock exposed at Alabama Hills. One is an orange, drab weathered metamorphosed volcanic rock that is 150–200 million years old. The other type of rock exposed here is 82- to 85-million-year-old biotite monzogranite which weathers to potato-shaped large boulders, many of which stand on end due to spheroidal weathering acting on many nearly vertical joints in the rock.

Dozens of natural arches are among the main attractions at the Alabama Hills. They can be accessed by short hikes from the Whitney Portal Road, the Movie Flat Road and the Horseshoe Meadows Road. Among the notable features of the area are: Mobius Arch, Lathe Arch, the Eye of Alabama and Whitney Portal Arch.

The Alabama Hills were named for the CSS Alabama, a Confederate warship deployed during the American Civil War. When news of the ship's exploits reached prospectors in California sympathetic to the Confederates, they named many mining claims after the ship, and the name came to be applied to the entire range. When the Alabama was finally sunk off the coast of Normandy by the USS Kearsarge in 1864, prospectors sympathetic to the North named a mining district, a mountain pass, a mountain peak, and a town after the Kearsarge.

The Alabama Hills are a popular filming location for television and movie productions, especially Westerns set in an archetypical "rugged" environment. Since the early 1920s, 150 movies and about a dozen television shows have been filmed here, including Tom Mix films, Hopalong Cassidy films, The Gene Autry Show, The Lone Ranger and Bonanza. Meanwhile, Classics such as Gunga Din, The Walking Hills, Yellow Sky, Springfield Rifle, The Violent Men, Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), the Budd Boetticher/Randolph Scott "Ranown" westerns, part of How the West Was Won, and Joe Kidd. In the late 1940s and early 50s the area was also a popular location for the films of B-western actor Tim Holt.

More recent productions have been filmed at "movie ranch" sites known as Movie Flats and Movie Flat Road.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:59 pm
by nrobertb
Two pairs of spurs by Oscar Crockett.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:19 am
by nrobertb
Mount Elbert is the highest summit of the Rocky Mountains of North America and the highest point in the U.S. state of Colorado and the entire Mississippi River drainage basin. The ultra-prominent 14,440-foot fourteener is the highest peak in the Sawatch Range and the second-highest summit in the contiguous United States after Mount Whitney. Mount Elbert is located in San Isabel National Forest, 12.1 miles southwest of the City of Leadville in Lake County, Colorado.

The mountain was named in honor of a Colorado statesman, Samuel Hitt Elbert, who was active in the formative period of the state and Governor of the Territory of Colorado from 1873 to 1874. Henry W. Stuckle of the Hayden Survey was the first to record an ascent of the peak, in 1874. The easiest and most popular climbing routes are categorized as Class 1 to 2 or A+ in mountaineering parlance. Mount Elbert is therefore often referred to as the "gentle giant" that tops all others in the Rocky Mountains.

Originally measured as 14,433 feet in height, Mount Elbert's elevation was later adjusted to 14,440 feet following a re-evaluation of mapped elevations, which sparked protests. The actual change was made in 1988 as a result of the North American Vertical Datum of 1988; it seems the original measurement resulted from the Sea Level Datum of 1929. A matter of some contention arose after the Great Depression over the heights of Elbert and its neighbor Mount Massive, which differ in elevation by only 12 feet. This led to an ongoing dispute that came to a head with the Mount Massive supporters building large piles of stones on the summit to boost its height, only to have the Mount Elbert proponents demolish them. The effort was ultimately unsuccessful and Mount Elbert has remained the highest peak in Colorado. The first motorized ascent of Elbert occurred in 1949, when a Jeep was driven to the summit, apparently to judge suitability for skiing development.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:42 pm
by nrobertb
Great western character actors:
Paul Koslo (June 27, 1944 – January 9, 2019) was a German-born Canadian actor.

Koslo started his career in such 1970s cult films as Nam's Angels a.k.a. The Losers, (referenced in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction), Vanishing Point and The Stone Killer. He also appeared opposite Charlton Heston in the science fiction cult-classic, The Omega Man, in an unusually sympathetic co-starring role. He portrayed villains in Joe Kidd (1972, starring Clint Eastwood), Mr. Majestyk (1974, starring Charles Bronson), and The Drowning Pool (1975, starring Paul Newman). He and fellow Omega Man co-star Anthony Zerbe also appeared in Rooster Cogburn (1975) with John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn. After a solid supporting part as a Jewish concentration camp survivor in the critically acclaimed Voyage of the Damned (1976), as well as the mayor in Heaven's Gate (1980), he began a long run of portraying villainous types in productions such as Roots: The Next Generations and The Glitter Dome.

Starting in the late 1970s, Koslo appeared (usually as a villain) in a string of television shows such as The Rockford Files, Mission: Impossible, The Incredible Hulk, Quincy, M.E., Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, T. J. Hooker, The A-Team, The Fall Guy, Dallas and Hunter. He also appeared as Jesse James in The Dukes of Hazzard seventh-season episode "Go West, Young Dukes". More recently, along with television appearances, he appeared in several independent action films. He was also in Loose Cannons (1990) with Gene Hackman and Dan Aykroyd and appeared as the Russian battle-robot pilot Alexander in the cult science fiction film Robot Jox (1990).

Koslo met his wife, Allaire Paterson Koslo, at the MET Theatre in Hollywood, when he produced a one-woman show, Purple Breasts, a critically acclaimed play she co-wrote and starred in. They married in 1997 and have one child together.

Koslo died on January 9, 2019 from pancreatic cancer at the age of 74.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:29 am
by nrobertb
Some wooden wagons had brakes, others didn't. These were large blocks of wood that pressed against the steel wheel rims when the driver moved a lever.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:27 pm
by nrobertb
Pearl Zane Grey (January 31, 1872 – October 23, 1939) was an American author and dentist best known for his popular adventure novels and stories associated with the Western genre in literature and the arts; he idealized the American frontier. Riders of the Purple Sage (1912) was his best-selling book.

In addition to the commercial success of his printed works, his books have had second lives and continuing influence when adapted as films and television productions. His novels and short stories have been adapted into 112 films, two television episodes, and a television series, Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater.

Grey started his association with Hollywood when William Fox bought the rights to Riders of the Purple Sage for $2,500 in 1916. The ascending arc of Grey's career matched that of the motion picture industry. It eagerly adapted Western stories to the screen practically from its inception, with Bronco Billy Anderson becoming the first major western star. Legendary director John Ford was then a young stage hand and Tom Mix, who had been a real cowhand, was defining the persona of the film cowboy. The Grey family moved to California to be closer to the film industry and to enable Grey to fish in the Pacific.

After his first two books were adapted to the screen, Grey formed his own motion picture company. This enabled him to control production values and faithfulness to his books. After seven films he sold his company to Jesse Lasky who was a partner of the founder of Paramount Pictures. Paramount made a number of movies based on Grey's writings and hired him as advisor. Many of his films were shot at locations described in his books.

In 1936 Grey appeared as himself in a feature film shot in Australia, White Death (1936). At the same time he provided a story that was filmed as Rangle River (1936).

The success of Grey's The Lone Star Ranger (the novel was adapted into four movies: 1914, 1919, 1930 and 1942, and a comic book in 1949) and King of the Royal Mounted (popular as a series of Big Little Books and comics, later turned into a 1936 film and three film serials) inspired two radio series by George Trendle (WXYZ, Detroit). Later these were adapted again for television, forming the series The Lone Ranger and Challenge of the Yukon (Sgt. Preston of the Yukon on TV). More of Grey's work was featured in adapted form on the Zane Grey Show, which ran on the Mutual Broadcasting System for five months in the 1940s, and the "Zane Grey Western Theatre," which had a five-year run of 145 episodes.

Many famous actors got their start in films based on Zane Grey books. They included Gary Cooper, Randolph Scott, William Powell, Wallace Beery, Richard Arlen, Buster Crabbe, Shirley Temple, and Fay Wray. Victor Fleming, later director of Gone with the Wind, and Henry Hathaway, who later directed True Grit, both learned their craft on Grey films.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:03 am
by nrobertb
These chaps once belonged to author Zane Grey. The swastika has been used as a decoration by indigenous peoples for thousands of years. These chaps were made long before the Nazis adopted it.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:12 am
by nrobertb
Humphreys Peak is the highest natural point in the U.S. state of Arizona, with an elevation of 12,633 feet and is located within the Kachina Peaks Wilderness in the Coconino National Forest, about 11 miles north of Flagstaff, Arizona. Humphreys Peak is the highest of a group of dormant volcanic peaks known as the San Francisco Peaks.

Although Humphreys Peak has a higher peak elevation, Mount Graham in Southeast Arizona is larger from base to peak, with about 300 more feet of prominence.

The summit can be most easily reached by hiking the 4.8 miles long Humphreys Summit Trail that begins at the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort in the Coconino National Forest.

Humphreys Peak was named in about 1870 for General Andrew A. Humphreys, a U.S. Army officer who was a Union general during the American Civil War, and who later became Chief of Engineers of the United States Army Corps of Engineers. However, a General Land Office map from 1903 showed the name San Francisco Peak applied to this feature (apparently borrowed from San Francisco Mountain on which the peak stands). Thus the United States Board on Geographic Names approved the variant name in 1911. In 1933, the application of the names was rectified.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:01 am
by nrobertb
Here is another type of old wooden wagon: the grain wagon, with sloping sideboards to catch all the grain as it was thrown in, and a rear gate that can be lowered to scoop out the grain.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:44 pm
by nrobertb
Great western character actors: Hank Worden was raised on a cattle ranch near Glendive, Montana and was educated at Stanford University and the University of Nevada as an engineer. He enlisted in the U.S. Army hoping to become an Army pilot, but failed to pass flight school. An expert horseman, he toured the country in rodeos as a saddle bronc rider. During one ride, his horse landed atop him and broke his neck, but aside from a temporarily sore neck, Worden did not know of the break until x-rayed twenty years later. While appearing in a rodeo at Madison Square Garden in New York, he and fellow cowboy Tex Ritter were chosen to appear in the Broadway play Green Grow the Lilacs, the play from which the musical Oklahoma! was later derived. Following the run of the play, Worden drove a cab in New York, and then worked on dude ranches as a wrangler and as a guide on the Bright Angel trail of the Grand Canyon.

A chance encounter with actress Billie Burke at a dude ranch led her to recommend him to several film producers. Worden made his film debut as an extra in Cecil B. DeMille's The Plainsman (though a few later films were released prior to The Plainsman). By this time, Tex Ritter had become a star, and Worden played sidekick roles in a number of Ritter's Westerns. In several of his early appearances, Worden was billed as "Heber Snow", until he reverted to his real name. A small part in Howard Hawks's Come and Get It led to a number of later appearances for that director, who also recommended him to director John Ford. He appeared in episode 121 of the TV Series the Lone Ranger.

Worden eventually became a member of the John Ford Stock Company, and was directed by Ford twelve times in films and television. The connection with Ford led to an association with actor John Wayne, and Worden appeared in 17 of Wayne's films. Foremost among his collaborations with Wayne and Ford in The Searchers, the 1956 classic Western in which Worden portrayed his most memorable role, that of "Mose Harper," the Shakespearean fool who only longed for "a roof over [his] head and a rocking chair by the fire."

Worden's best performances were given for demanding directors. He had a striking appearance: tall, thin, bald, his voice and mannerisms unforgettable to anyone who saw him. He worked steadily in television as well as films, long outliving Hawks, Ford and Wayne, and achieving some late notice as a senile hotel waiter in David Lynch's Twin Peaks TV series.

In good health through his 91st year, he died peacefully during a nap at his home in Los Angeles on December 6, 1992.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:02 am
by Weffol
nrobertb wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:59 pm Two pairs of spurs by Oscar Crockett.

Wow, looks amazing! Would love to have these in my collection

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:21 pm
by nrobertb
Louis Dearborn L'Amour; March 22, 1908 – June 10, 1988) was an American novelist and short-story writer. His books consisted primarily of Western novels (though he called his work "frontier stories"); however, he also wrote historical fiction (The Walking Drum), science fiction (Haunted Mesa), non-fiction (Frontier), as well as poetry and short-story collections. Many of his stories were made into films.

L'Amour's books remain popular and most have gone through multiple printings. At the time of his death almost all of his 105 existing works (89 novels, 14 short-story collections, and two full-length works of nonfiction) were still in print, and he was "one of the world's most popular writers".

Louis Dearborn LaMoore was born in Jamestown, North Dakota, in 1908, the seventh child of Dr. Louis Charles LaMoore and Emily Dearborn LaMoore. He was of French ancestry through his father and Irish through his mother. Dr. LaMoore was a large-animal veterinarian, local politician and farm-equipment broker who had arrived in Dakota Territory in 1882.

Although the area around Jamestown was mostly farm land, cowboys and livestock often traveled through Jamestown on their way to or from ranches in Montana and the markets to the east. LaMoore played "Cowboys and Indians" in the family barn, which served as his father's veterinary hospital, and spent much of his free time at the local library.

After a series of bank failures devastated the economy of the upper Midwest, Dr. LaMoore and Emily took to the road. Removing Louis and his adopted brother John from school, they headed south in the winter of 1923. Over the next seven or eight years, they skinned cattle in west Texas, baled hay in the Pecos Valley of New Mexico, worked in the mines of Arizona, California and Nevada, and in the sawmills and lumber camps of the Pacific Northwest. It was in colorful places like these that Louis met a wide variety of people, upon whom he later modeled the characters in his novels, many of them actual Old West personalities who had survived into the nineteen-twenties and -thirties.

Making his way as a mine assessment worker, professional boxer and merchant seaman, Louis traveled the country and the world, sometimes with his family, sometimes not. He visited all of the western states plus England, Japan, China, Borneo, the Dutch East Indies, Arabia, Egypt, and Panama, finally moving with his parents to Choctaw, Oklahoma in the early 1930s. There, he changed his name to Louis L'Amour and settled down to try to make something of himself as a writer.

He had success with poetry, articles on boxing and writing and editing sections of the WPA Guide Book to Oklahoma, but the dozens of short stories he was churning out met with little acceptance. Finally, L'Amour placed a story, Death Westbound, in "10 Story Book", a magazine that featured what was supposed to be quality writing alongside scantily attired, or completely naked young women. Several years later, L'Amour placed his first story for pay, Anything for a Pal, published in True Gang Life. Two lean disappointing years passed after that, and then, in 1938, his stories began appearing in pulp magazines fairly regularly.

Along with other adventure and crime stories, L'Amour created the character of mercenary sea captain Jim Mayo. Starting with East of Gorontalo, the series ran through nine episodes from 1940 until 1943. L'Amour wrote only one story in the western genre prior to World War II, 1940's The Town No Guns Could Tame.

L'Amour continued as an itinerant worker, traveling the world as a merchant seaman until the start of World War II. During World War II, he served in the United States Army as a lieutenant with the 362nd Quartermaster Truck Company. In the two years before L'Amour was shipped off to Europe, L'Amour wrote stories for Standard Magazine. After World War II, L'Amour continued to write stories for magazines; his first after being discharged in 1946 was Law of the Desert Born in Dime Western Magazine (April 1946). L'Amour's contact with Leo Margulies led to L'Amour agreeing to write many stories for the Western pulp magazines published by Standard Magazines, a substantial portion of which appeared under the name "Jim Mayo". The suggestion of L'Amour writing Hopalong Cassidy novels also was made by Margulies who planned on launching Hopalong Cassidy's Western Magazine at a time when the William Boyd films and new television series were becoming popular with a new generation. L'Amour read the original Hopalong Cassidy novels, written by Clarence E. Mulford, and wrote his novels based on the original character under the name "Tex Burns". Only two issues of the Hopalong Cassidy Western Magazine were published, and the novels as written by L'Amour were extensively edited to meet Doubleday's thoughts of how the character should be portrayed in print. Strongly disagreeing -- L'Amour preferred Mulford's original, much rougher characterization of Cassidy -- for the rest of his life he denied authoring the novels.

In the 1950s, L'Amour began to sell novels. L'Amour's first novel, published under his own name, was Westward The Tide, published by World's Work in 1951. The short story, The Gift of Cochise was printed in Colliers (5 July 1952) and seen by John Wayne and Robert Fellows, who purchased the screen rights from L'Amour for $4,000. James Edward Grant was hired to write a screenplay based on this story changing the main character's name from Ches Lane to Hondo Lane. L'Amour retained the right to novelize the screenplay and did so, even though the screenplay differed substantially from the original story. This was published as Hondo in 1953 and released on the same day the film opened with a blurb from John Wayne stating that "Hondo was the finest Western Wayne had ever read". During the remainder of the decade L'Amour produced a great number of novels, both under his own name as well as others (e. g. Jim Mayo). Also during this time he rewrote and expanded many of his earlier short story and pulp fiction stories to book length for various publishers.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:23 pm
by nrobertb
The undercarriage of a wagon is called the running gear.