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What were the top towns of the Old West?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by 17thAirborneSon View Post
    I use to live in Leadville and it is a nice little town. Other than being known as a famous Old West Town it also has the distinction of being the highest incorporated town in the U.S. at 10,152 feet above sea level.
    “When you're in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, 'Damn, that was fun'.”
    ― Groucho Marx

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    • #17
      El Paso and Laredo, frontier towns on the border, and an easy escape route to the South.

      Cheyenne, Wyoming.

      Central City and Blackhawk - gold mining.

      Tin Cup - gold mining.

      Telluride and Ouray - gold mining.

      Durango.

      Virginia City - gold mining.

      Carson City - home of the Comstock Silver Lode.

      Sierra City, California - gold mining

      Downieville and Goodyear's Bar - gold mining.


      Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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      • #18
        It depends on the era. Most people think of "Old West" as meaning the post-ACW era and most of the towns mentioned so far reflect that. Pre-ACW, the Spanish towns were very important. San Antonio was rightly mentioned but Taos, Santa Fe and Los Angeles were important too.

        Many Rocky Mountian trappers wintered and resupplied in Taos throughout the glory days of the fur trade. The California Rancheros produced a lot of cattle so Los Angeles was important for shipping. Oddly, I don't think LA shipped that much beef, I think it was mostly hides and tallow. I'm not sure what the significance of Santa Fe was but it's a very old town so it must have been serving a purpose.

        I'd say the west was just as wild or wilder during the fur trade era or when all the aristocratic Spanish dandies carried blades and were ready to duel as it was during the gunfighter era of popular imagination.
        Last edited by KRJ; 04 Sep 11, 19:58.
        "Shoot for the epaulets, boys! Shoot for the epaulets!" - Daniel Morgan

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        • #19
          I thought of Atchisson,Kansas You know 'Atchisson,Topeka,and Santa Fe. And Cheyenne,Wyoming. I remember Cheyenne from the song 'Old Paint' or some call it 'Good Bye Old Paint' One man in the service said it was called 'I'm Leaving Cheyenne' So who knows. What we need is a attacks like the pinups of old cowboy songs and standards of that age,like 'Sweet Betsy From Pike' You know?
          This bass guitar kills TERRORISTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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          • #20
            Any town between Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas and Miles City, Montana was significant and especially so if you were forkin' a horse on the Great Western Cattle Trail between 1874 and 1886. Every town along the trail that had a U. S. Post Office was significant because in that Post Office you might have a letter in the "Will Call" box from your sweetheart back home or from the family telling you about how things were going back home on the ranch. Life on the trail was lonesome. Besides every town had a mercantile that might have in stock exactly what you needed to make the trip up the trail just a little bit more pleasant. There was also a saloon most likely where you could have the barkeep pour you a shot so you could wash some of the dirt out of your craw.
            Follow the highway out of Brownsville to San Antonio, to Kerrville, Brady, Coleman, Albany, Vernon, Altus, Oklahoma to Carmargo, Fort Supply, Dodge City, past Ogallala, Nebraska and up the Platte and through Miles City and you will pass through one significant town after another. You won't be sorry you did, either.

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            • #21
              Silverado

              I use to live near the town of Silverado California. In the movie Silverado, the main characters state that they are planning to leave Silverado to travel west to California. Was there ever a real old west town called Silverado?

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              • #22
                The Montana short list is as follows:
                Bannack MT. First Territorial Capitol Founded 1862
                Virgina City MT. Second Territorial Capitol founded 1863/64
                Lauren, Mt founded in 1840's by a French fur trapper
                Stevensville , Mt / Fort Owen 1840's Jesuit missionaries
                Helena, MT Now state Capitol 1864
                Butte, MT mid 1860's originally Silverbow Morgan Earp was a police officer in Butte before moving to Tombstone
                Deer lodge Montana 1860's
                Lewistown, Montana 1879 most of the Texas cattle that went north ended up here or nearby.

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                • #23
                  What about Clovis, Ca?

                  “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” -- Albert Einstein

                  The US Constitution doesn't need to be rewritten it needs to be reread

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                  • #24
                    Muscogee Oklahoma. More lawmen killed within 20 miles of this town than any other in the west!

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by vytautus View Post
                      The Montana short list is as follows:
                      Bannack MT. First Territorial Capitol Founded 1862
                      Virgina City MT. Second Territorial Capitol founded 1863/64
                      Lauren, Mt founded in 1840's by a French fur trapper
                      Stevensville , Mt / Fort Owen 1840's Jesuit missionaries
                      Helena, MT Now state Capitol 1864
                      Butte, MT mid 1860's originally Silverbow Morgan Earp was a police officer in Butte before moving to Tombstone
                      Deer lodge Montana 1860's
                      Lewistown, Montana 1879 most of the Texas cattle that went north ended up here or nearby.
                      Lewistown, that was probably *the center of the Judith Valley cattle area.
                      There was a gunfight c. '83\'84 between two rustlers and towns people that led to the "Stranglers" vigilante actions.
                      Miles, farther east, also became a major center that "Teddy Blue" caroused quite a bit in.

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                      • #26
                        Here's a few lesser known but important ones from Arizona:

                        Charleston. Near Tombstone. Was sufficently lawless and rough that it regularly made the papers back East. Destroyed in an 1887 earthquake. Just ruins today.

                        The Vulture Mine and Vulture City. In the 1880's to about 1930 was the largest gold mine in the US. At its peak Vulture City had over 5,000 residents. The mine operated into the late 40's.

                        Harshaw: A mining town for silver rivaling Tombstone. By 1890 the town was all but abandoned as the mines played out.

                        Crown King: 15 Gold mines surrounded this town which at its height had over 500 buildings including 2 Chinese resturants. It was an early user of electricity and electrified by 1897. The post office closed in 1954.

                        Congress. Another gold mining town. Current population is about 1700.

                        Stanwix Station: This is the site of the western most Civil War skirmish / battle.

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                        • #27
                          Cripple Creek - on e of the top gold producers of all time and still operating today.

                          Deadwood - the Hearst mine is till in operation as well.

                          Many of the top frontier towns became rail centers for the growing traffic to the West as the frontier moved onwards.


                          Wherever they were, they were often lawless and violent to begin with.
                          Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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