Aug 7, 201210:38 AMThe Telegraph
The Premier Blog of the West
Western Words: August 7, 2012
Visions and Voices: Montana's One-Room Schoolhouses, by Charlotte Caldwell
The one-room schoolhouse was a staple in every frontier town founded during the era of western expansion. Happily, some of them have been preserved and offer a window into the lives of pioneer families.
Photographer Charlotte Caldwell has released a marvelous look at these picturesque buildings in Visions and Voices: Montana’s One-Room Schoolhouses. The photos are accompanied by first-hand stories from former teachers and students, recalling a way of life that has largely vanished. To make sure these landmarks are still standing for future generations, Caldwell has donated all proceeds from book sales to the Preserve Montana Fund, a campaign of collaboration between the Montana Preservation Alliance, the Montana History Foundation, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The last time you watched Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, did you take particular notice of one member of their outlaw gang played by Lurch himself, Ted Cassidy, and think, “I wonder what his story is?”
Well, wonder no more. Mark Smokov has released a remarkably detailed biography of Harvey Alexander Logan, also known as Kid Curry. He grew up in Kansas City hoping to be a cowboy, but let his temper take over in a conflict with a neighboring rancher, and soon had a price on his head. Seeking refuge in the Hole-in-the-Wall valley in Wyoming, Curry became one of the boldest bandits in the Wild Bunch.
He Rode with Butch and Sundance reveals that, as with many outlaws, Kid Curry’s reputation for leaving a trail of corpses behind is exaggerated, and the only crime for which he was ever convicted was forging and passing stolen banknotes. But for the people he knew and the times in which he lived, Logan’s story will certainly be of interest to any Wild West enthusiast.
Rock Bottom, by Sarah Andrews
Since 1994, Sarah Andrews has been chronicling the adventures of Wyoming forensic geologist Em Hansen. Rock Bottom, book #11 in the series, opens with Hansen confronting her fear of water, when husband Fritz suggests a white-water rafting trip through the Grand Canyon. But when one of the rafting party goes missing, and a corpse is found floating downstream, Em finds herself with more pressing problems than hydrophobia. Can Em find the killer in their midst? Sarah Andrews, who is also a geologist, has a knack for both Agatha Christie-style mysteries and the kind of Western scenery descriptions that will have readers making travel plans.
Whether it’s a busy urban street or the wide open spaces, there really is no better way to take in one’s surroundings than by walking. Walking Salt Lake City, the most recent release in the Walking series by Wilderness Press, offers 34 tours designed by Utah natives Lynn Arave and Ray Boren. The directions and maps are easy to follow, and every tour contains information about great places to eat and shop along the way. You’ll also find out where to catch public transportation if you need a break from traveling on foot. While primarily intended for first-time visitors, even Salt Lake City natives may find new revelations about landmarks on familiar paths.
Who doesn’t love a good ghost story? The Old West has inspired quite a few, and Matthew Mayo has collected a diverse assortment perfect for reading around the campfire after a long day’s ride. Just don’t expect to sleep too well afterward.
Among the legends chronicled in Haunted Old West is that of Big Jack Davis, a respected businessman by day and thief by night. Shot in the back while robbing a stagecoach, Davis still protects his earthly treasures as the Bandit Ghoul of Six Mile Canyon. There’s also the story of Garnet, a Montana ghost town from which, on certain nights, people have reported hearing music in the saloon and the ringing of the blacksmith’s anvil.