Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Quonset Huts

Quonset hut near Lazbuddie, Texas
Quonset huts were used by the military during World War Two. Prefabricated out of corrugated galvanized steel, they served just about any structural need the military could dream up. Over 150,000 were manufactured during the war years and after peace broke out, they were sold off to the public. I don't know how many are still in use on High Plains ranches, but it's probably in the thousands. Variations on the theme are still being manufactured today.

"Losing Eden: An Environmental History of the American West" by Sara Dant

(Santa Fe New Mexican) ... “Native peoples generally lived lightly on the land but sometimes pressed it beyond its carrying capacity,” she writes. “When Europeans and later Americans arrived, then, they were engaging not with undisturbed nature, as so many argued until the 1990s, but these immigrants nevertheless portrayed the West as an ‘Eden’ or Promised Land destined for them. … For some, the West fulfilled this divine ‘land of milk and honey’ vision, but for many, the region constituted a harsh and unforgiving desert of aridity and struggle.” Continued

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Signage: Cuervo, NM

Cuervo, one of the most popular "ghost towns" on old Route 66, is not entirely deserted. Many, perhaps most, places described as ghost towns have a few people living there.

Preservationist and former Indian captive Rebecca Fisher dies

(Texas Day by Day) On this day in 1926, Rebecca Fisher died in Austin. She was born Rebecca Gilleland in Philadelphia in 1831.
Her family came to Texas around 1837 and settled in Refugio County.
In 1840 Comanches attacked their home, killing Rebecca's parents and taking Rebecca and her brother. The children were rescued by Albert Sidney Johnston and a detachment of Texas soldiers. Continued

Monday, March 20, 2017

John Wayne in Clovis

Think you're a big John Wayne fan? Got all the movies and a bunch of posters to boot? Well, you can't hold a candle to a friend of ours in Clovis, NM, who has a 16 foot mural of The Duke in her back yard.
The mural was done by noted local artist Charlie Hager, who's work can also be seen at the Billy the Kid museum and gravesite in Ft Sumner.
The scene was inspired by the movie Hondo, and by John Ford's favorite western location, Monument Valley.

Ned Buntline

(Wikipedia) Edward Zane Carroll Judson Sr. (March 20, 1821 or 1823 – July 16, 1886), known as E. Z. C. Judson and by his pseudonym Ned Buntline, was an American publisher, journalist, writer, and publicist.
He reputedly commissioned the Colt firearms manufacturer to make a customized revolver, which came to be known as the Buntline Special, but no evidence of his involvement in its production has been found. Continued

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Old House 73

Homesteaders loved their trees. It's hard to find an old place without any. Trees provided a break from the wind, much needed shade, and, for many, a reminder of a home far away.
Back in the 20's, my great-grandmother left Tucumcari to visit Washington D.C. for the first time. While she enjoyed the Smithsonian, the Washington Monument, and other famous sites, her favorite was the National Arboretum - a tree museum.

Charles Russell

(Wikipedia) Charles Marion Russell (March 19, 1864 – October 24, 1926), also known as C. M. Russell, Charlie Russell, and "Kid" Russell, was an artist of the Old American West. Russell created more than 2,000 paintings of cowboys, Indians, and landscapes set in the Western United States and in Alberta, Canada, in addition to bronze sculptures. Known as 'the cowboy artist', Russell was also a storyteller and author. Continued

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Country Churches: Santo Nino de Atocha, Cuervo, NM

Was there a real Josie Wales and did he really go to Texas?

(North Texas E-News) The story of Bill Wilson has been told throughout the Ozark Mountains since he began his bloody career in 1861 to the present day. He is a true folk hero. The Ozarks were full of men who took to the bush and waged a single man to a small gang warfare on the union soldiers, red legs, jayhawkers and spies for the Union. Although there were a lot of these men, if someone said, “The Bushwhacker,” “The Great Bushwhacker,” or the “Famous Bushwhacker,” everyone knew that they were talking about Bill Wilson. His daring deeds are still considered miracles due to his never being wounded once. He is remembered for his superior skill with revolvers and clever tactics in surprising his enemies. The writings and movie about Josie Wales are based on the real bushwhacker, Bill Wilson. Continued

Friday, March 17, 2017

Old House 72

"Dangerous Dan" Tucker

(Wikipedia) Dan Tucker, better known as "Dangerous Dan" Tucker, (1849 – unknown), is a little-known lawman and gunfighter of the Old West.
Author Bob Alexander, who wrote the biography Dangerous Dan" Tucker, New Mexico's Deadly Lawman, proclaimed Tucker was more dangerous and more effective than better known lawmen, including Wild Bill Hickock and Wyatt Earp. He was supported in this claim by historian Leon C. Metz. He was also a subject in the book Deadly Dozen, by author Robert K. DeArment, who included Tucker as one of the twelve most underrated gunmen of the Old West.
Tucker first ventured into New Mexico Territory in the early 1870s. Continued