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Western Americana

Western Americana Book List

Cover of 'Suicide or Murder?'

Suicide or Murder?
The Strange Death of Governor Meriwether Lewis
By Vardis Fisher

The death of Meriwether Lewis is one of the great mysteries of American history. Was he murdered at Grinder’s Stand or did he commit suicide? Vardis Fisher meticulously reconstructs the events and presents his own version of the case with the precision and persuasiveness of a fine trial lawyer. But Fisher was also a great novelist and it is his sense of character that serves him best here.

American History · Literary Studies · Biography · Western Americana · History

Cover of 'Weather Pioneers'

Weather Pioneers
The Signal Corps Station at Pikes Peak
By Phyllis Smith

At 14,110 feet, the weather station atop Pikes Peak, Colorado, was the highest in the world in 1873. Young men trained by the Signal Corps took turns living year-round on the isolated mountain, where they endured loneliness, primitive living conditions, lack of financial support and appreciation, and deteriorating health. Most did so with dedication and good humor.

American History · Western Americana · History

Cover of 'Timberline Tailings'

Timberline Tailings
Tales of Colorado’s Ghost Towns and Mining Camps
By Muriel Sibell Wolle

History · American History · Western Americana

Cover of 'Goldfield'

Goldfield
The Last Gold Rush on The Western Frontier
By Sally Zanjani

“The discovery of Goldfield, Nevada, in 1902, along with the earlier discovery of Tonopah in 1900, marked the revival of mining in Nevada. Mining production, which had escalated after the discovery of the Comstock Lode in 1859, dropped to almost nothing with the decline of the Comstock in the 1870s. Without continued mining production, the state entered what proved to be a twenty-year depression period that ultimately led some observers to suggest that Nevada be deprived of its statehood.

History · American History · Western Americana

Cover of 'Sea of Grass'

Sea of Grass
By Conrad Richter

Richter’s novels and stories are filled with the fire of poetic prose and the drama of real lives. This is a reissue of the 1937 tale of cattle ranching on the high-grass plains of New Mexico at a time when a single man could control, if he were fierce enough, a ranch as big as some eastern seaboard states, but perhaps not hold the woman he loves as fiercely as the land.

Literary Studies · Fiction · American Literature · Western Americana

Cover of 'Stories from Mesa Country'

Stories from Mesa Country
By Jane Candia Coleman

An excerpt from Stories from Mesa Country: "They are coming back from the burial ground. I can see them walking, two abreast, along the narrow track by the wash. Tom has his head down, his hands in the pockets of his black suit. Beside him, Reverend Sherman is talking, waving his arms, trying, I'd guess, to comfort. Behind them come Enid and Faith, square shapes in best blue dresses, and then Seth and Arch, leggy as colts, uncomfortable in Sunday suits, in the shadow of tragedy.

Literary Studies · Fiction · Western Americana

Cover of 'Tales Never Told Around the Campfire'

Tales Never Told Around the Campfire
True Stories of Frontier America
By Mark Dugan

Ten outlaws, ten states, ten stories of nineteenth-century fugitives remarkable because the events really took place. Mark Dugan’s latest outlaw chase reins in enough evidence to corral the cynics. There is new information on the strange relationship between Wild Bill Hickok, his enemy and victim, David McCanles, and the beautiful Sarah Shull of North Carolina. Was Tom Horn a hired killer for the big cattlemen in the unsolved Wyoming ambush? How much do we really know about Deputy U.S.

American History · Literary Studies · Biography · Western Americana · History · Creative Nonfiction

Cover of 'Sunrise Brighter Still'

Sunrise Brighter Still
The Visionary Novels of Frank Waters
By Alexander Blackburn
· Foreword by Charles L. Adams

Novelist and critic Alexander Blackburn credits Waters’s novels such as The Man Who Killed the Deer, Pike’s Peak, People of the Valley, and The Woman at Otowi Crossing with creating a worldview that transcends modern materialism and rationalism. Central to Waters’s vision, he suggests, is the individual in whom are concentrated the creative powers of the universe.

Literary Studies · American Literature · Literary Criticism · Western Americana

Cover of 'Knight of the Road'

Knight of the Road
The Life of Highwayman Ham White
By Mark Dugan

The American public has long been fascinated by the Old West and the so–called heroes that it produced. Even before the days of Jesse James, Billy the Kid, and the dime novel, the public’s heroes have always been somewhat tainted. Numerous stories of chivalry and gallantry have been accredited to outlaws, but all tales have been based upon folklore and legends. Mark Dugan, however, gives us a bona fide American Robin Hood with Ham White.

American History · American Studies · Western Americana · History

Cover of 'Treasure Tales of the Rockies'

Treasure Tales of the Rockies
By Perry Eberhart

Here is a whopping collection of tales of lost mines and buried treasure to stir the blood of any adventurous spirit and to satisfy the most lively imagination. Maps and photos galore accompany the stories. Perry Eberhart gathered and researched almost 150 treasure tales and tells them with the same thoroughness, engaging style, and lively anecdotes that distinguish his other major contribution to Colorado lore and history: Guide to the Colorado Ghost Towns and Mining Camps.

Western Americana · Essays · American History, West

Cover of 'Ghost Towns of the American West'

Ghost Towns of the American West
By Robert Silverberg

The story of the American mining frontier can be traced in the ghost towns — from the camps of California's forty-niners to the twentieth-century ruins in the Nevada desert. They mark an epoch of high adventure, of quick wealth and quicker poverty, of gambling and gun-slinging and hell-raising.

History · American History · Literary Studies · Creative Nonfiction · Western Americana

Cover of 'Pilgrimage'

Pilgrimage
A Journey Through Colorado's History and Culture
By Stephen J. May

From Cripple Creek to the Santa Fe Trail, Mesa Verde to the mountain towns of Leadville and Steamboat Springs, Colorado provides travelers and natives with a spectrum of beauty that is both awesome and austere. Drawn by the lingering mystique of conquistadores and wild, hot-blooded boom-town mining camps, Stephen May takes us on a physical and spiritual journey, through a Colorado alive with a sense of its rich frontier history.

Western Americana · History

Cover of 'Buckeye Rovers in the Gold Rush'

Buckeye Rovers in the Gold Rush
An Edition of Two Diaries
By H. Lee Scamehorn
· Edited by Edwin P. Banks and Jamie Lytle-Webb

When “California Fever” raced through southeastern Ohio in the spring of 1849, a number of residents of Athens County organized a cooperative venture for traveling overland to the mines. Known as the “Buckeye Rovers,” the company began its trip westward in early April. The Buckeye Rovers, along with thousands who traveled the overland route to California, endured numerous hardships and the seemingly constant threat of attacks from hostile Indians.

History · Gold Rush · Diaries and Journals · United States · North America · Americas · Western Americana · Ohio and Regional · American History · 19th century

Cover of 'The  Buffalo Book'

The Buffalo Book
The Full Saga of the American Animal
By David A. Dary

The journals and memoirs of 19th century explorers and travelers in the American West often told of viewing buffalo massed together as far as the eye could see. This book appropriately covers the subject of the buffalo as extensively as that animal covered the plains. Other recent accounts of the buffalo have focused on two or three aspects, emphasizing its natural history, the hunters and the hunted in prehistoric time, the relationship between the buffalo and the American Indian.

Nature · Western Americana · History

Cover of 'Klondike Women'

Klondike Women
True Tales of the 1897–1898 Gold Rush
By Melanie J. Mayer

Klondike Women is a compelling collection of historical photographs and first-hand accounts of the adventures, challenges, and disappointments of women on the trails to the Klondike gold fields. In the midst of a depression near the turn of the twentieth century, these women dared to act on the American dream.

Gender Studies · History · American History · Western Americana · Women’s Studies