Sheep in the Old West

September 19, 2023

Columbus, Cortes and other explorers brought sheep to the Americas. The California gold rush miners needed food; sheep was the answer. "Uncle Dick" Wootton bought 9,000 sheep, after a fight with a Ute Chief and crossing the Sierra Nevadas he made a $50,000 profit.  

Tom Fitzpatrick, The Legend of Broken Hand

September 12, 2023

He was leader of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. He stared down a grizzly bear, recovered stolen horses from Shoshone Indians, escaped from some Gros Ventre warriors, escaped from Blackfeet warriors. Later he guided wagon trains and was an agent for the several Indian tribes and died at the age of fifty-five. 

Buffalo Bill's Mining Adventure

September 5, 2023

He made a lot of money with his Wild West Shows, but always seemed to be short on money. He thought mines would be easy money, it wasn't. He poured a lot of money into several mines, none of which ever produced a profit.

Steamers on the Colorado

August 29, 2023

In 1852 the first attempts to transport goods up the Colorado River to Fort Yuma failed. Capt. George Johnson succeeded with the General Jesup, then added a second stern-wheeler. He discovered the Colorado River could be navigated 400 miles upriver from Fort Yuma. He retired a wealthy man.

Ivy Baldwin

August 22, 2023

He taught himself to walk the high wire and hired on with a circus. His career took him around the world riding hot air balloons, walking tightropes, parachute jumps and high diving into nets. He was shot down in a hot air balloon serving in the Spanish-American War. He was the star attraction for thousands with his daring high wire acts.

Saddle Mountain's Lost Mine

August 15, 2023

A cry for help caused Harry Penol to find Frank Fosterson, trapped under a ton of rock. Penol carried him to Salmon Idaho, but it was too late. Before Fosterson died he told Penol there were five sacks of gold in the cave which had a very rich vein of gold. Penol returned the next year but was never able to find the lost gold.

Leadville’s Ice Palace

August 8, 2023

Once the richest mining town, the boom didn’t last. The citizens decided to build an ice palace to make money. Under one roof, an ice-skating rink, two ballrooms, a band, a restaurant, food concessions, paintings, sculptures, curling contests, speed skating, dance contests and ice hockey tournaments. It was a financial failure and with an early warm weather left it a pile of watery mush.

The Children’s Blizzard

August 1, 2023

The blizzard of 1888 struck in the afternoon while children were still in school. Some miracles occurred that saved lives. Unfortunately, over 200 people perished. Seven year old Martha tells her story of survival and the tragedy of the death of a baby.

Shoshone Riverboat on the Snake

July 25, 2023

1866, the 136 foot long, 300 ton stern wheeler steamboat, the Shoshone, was built near Fort Boise. The owners wanted to supply men and goods to the gold fields. Hells Canyon proved hazardous, but she made it to Lewiston and down the Columbia.

Virgil Earp

July 18, 2023

Virgil joined a posse in Prescott, Arizona. He helped take down two outlaws with sharpshooting from his Winchester rifle. That was the beginning of his experience in law enforcement. A year later he rose to fame with his brothers in a gunfight at the OK corral.