Tag Archives: American Old West

GUNFIGHTERS: TWO MORE MALE AND FEMALE GUNSLINGERS FOR FRONTIERADO

Balladeer’s Blog presents another look at the legendary tales of two more underappreciated Wild West gunslingers since the Frontierado holiday is fast approaching! Friday August 1st will mark the event, the yearly celebration of the myth of the old west, not the grinding reality. And tonight the American Heroes Channel debuts their series Gunslingers to tie in with the Frontierado holiday!  

Eleanore Dumont1. MADAME DUMONT – Decades before Poker Alice and Lottie Deno Eleanore “Madame” Dumont made a name for herself as a blackjack-dealing gambler and gunslinger. Much of the Madame’s early life is unknown but she supposedly was born in France around 1830. In 1854, when the record of her activities becomes more concrete, she arrived in Nevada City, CA as the Gold Rush was still at its peak.

The charming and aristocratic Madame Dumont had already acquired a small fortune in gambling winnings after playing cards and slinging lead in mining camps throughout northern California. Eleanore’s cash and her nascent reputation for being able to maintain order with her own guns if necessary made it easy for her to immediately open her casino named Vingt- et-Un (“21”) right on legendary Broad Street itself. Continue reading

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GUNSLINGERS: FOUR MORE NEGLECTED MALE AND FEMALE GUNFIGHTERS

Klondike Kate

Klondike Kate

The Frontierado Holiday is coming up this Friday August 2nd! Here’s another seasonal post examining forgotten gunslingers of the American West who deserve a lot more attention than they generally receive. Remember, Frontierado celebrates the myth of the West, not the grinding reality.

4. KLONDIKE KATE – Kate Rockwell eventually became one of the Continue reading

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FOUR COOL BUT FORGOTTEN GUNSLINGERS FOR FRONTIERADO

Bear River Tom Smith

Bear River Tom Smith

The Frontierado holiday is coming up on Friday, August 2nd and Balladeer’s Blog continues presenting holiday- themed articles. I know that in reality the gunfighters of the old west were thugs and worse but Frontierado is about the myth of the American west, not the grinding reality. 

As the glorious day approaches and we are all making our holiday preparations enjoy a sampling of this group of colorful characters who don’t get the attention – or movies – they deserve.

1. BEAR RIVER TOM – That’s our top-ranked figure in the photo to your left. One of the few actual gunmen to wear a fancy two-gun holster, Bear River Tom Smith’s myth begins with his birth in 1838 in New York City. He either did or did not serve in the Union Army in 1861 (accounts vary) but was definitely part of the NYC police force by 1862. In 1867 he headed west, working as a laborer laying track for the Union Pacific Railroad  in Nebraska.

By 1868 the crew he was with had reached Wyoming, where the Hell On Wheels town of Bear River sprang up around their work camp. Bear River was to wild, lawless railroad towns what Dodge City, Kansas was to wild, lawless cattletowns. Bear River Tom put his guns, fists and law enforcement experience to Continue reading

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THE TOP “DEITIES” IN WILD WEST MYTHOLOGY

 The exaggerated stories that surround the figures of the American West appeal to me as a classic example of the human tendency toward embellishment. In my non-believer’s heart I genuinely feel this tendency lies at the core of nearly all the superstitious nonsense in each of the world’s “holy” books and in all of ancient mythology.

After all, these figures of the Wild West were in action less than 200 years ago, yet look at all the superhuman deeds  that are ascribed to them and the outrageous drama that we’re told their lives were filled with. These real-life characters who were often just thugs and criminals have been  posthumously transformed into icons whose sagas now bear little resemblance to their actual lives.

I feel that serves as a blueprint for how all mythic belief systems operate. When you magnify the distortions of just 200 years by 10 times or more you can see what tiny little kernels of truth may actually lie buried in the accounts of gods and demigods who are said to have roamed the world ages ago.

All of which Continue reading

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THE TOP GUNSLINGERS FROM FRONTIERADO SAGAS

 The Frontierado holiday is coming up on Friday, August 3rd! What would that holiday be without those Wild West figures who blazed their way into the Frontierado Pantheon of Gunslingers? Here are the women and men who earned a spot in Balladeer’s Blog’s Valhalla with their gunplay, courage and resourcefulness. Included are links to the custom Sagas I wrote for each of them:

1. THE BLACKWATER KID – A Civil War veteran from the Union side who went on to be a bounty hunter – https://glitternight.com/2011/05/21/frontierado-saga-the-blackwater-kid/

2. AMARILLO ROSE – The cattle queen whose skill with a rifle helped her faction win the Amarillo Range War – https://glitternight.com/2011/05/23/frontierado-saga-amarillo-rose/

3. DUSTY MURTAUGH – The first female Wells Fargo shotgun rider, who Continue reading

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FOUR FORGOTTEN GUNSLINGERS WITH COOL NICKNAMES

Bear River Tom Smith

Bear River Tom Smith

The Frontierado holiday is coming up on Friday, August 3rd and Balladeer’s Blog continues presenting holiday- themed articles. I know that in reality the gunfighters of the old west were thugs and worse but Frontierado is about the myth of the American west, not the grinding reality. 

As the glorious day approaches and we are all making our holiday preparations enjoy a sampling of this group of colorful characters who don’t get the attention – or movies – they deserve.

1. BEAR RIVER TOM – That’s our top-ranked figure in the photo to your left. One of the few actual gunmen to wear a fancy two-gun holster, Bear River Tom Smith’s myth begins with his birth in 1838 in New York City. He either did or did not serve in the Union Army in 1861 (accounts vary) but was definitely part of the NYC police force by 1862. In 1867 he headed west, working as a laborer laying track for the Union Pacific Railroad  in Nebraska.

By 1868 the crew he was with had reached Wyoming, where the Hell On Wheels town of Bear River sprang up around their work camp. Bear River was to wild, lawless railroad towns what Dodge City, Kansas was to wild, lawless cattletowns. Bear River Tom put his guns, fists and law enforcement experience to work protecting the Continue reading

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THE SHOCKING ORIGIN OF FRONTIERADO!

 With Frontierado rapidly approaching this August 3rd you’re running out of shopping days!

What is Frontierado?  Frontierado is a holiday my Continue reading

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