The Wild West is full of myths

The Wild West is the setting for my novel, The Cowgirl Murders, which I wrote about in previous posts. I hope you read it, whether in print or as an e-book, but if not, please note that it is now available as an audiobook.

What is it about? See my previous post for an overview. If you want a taste of it, here’s an audiobook of a short story, Lost on the Trail, involving some of the characters. It is set about halfway through the novel.

The cover of the audiobook of The Cowgirl Murders, set in the Wild West

The cover of the audiobook of The Cowgirl Murders, set in the Wild West

Ten surprising facts about the Wild West.

  1. Historians generally consider the “Wild West” era  to be the period from the end of the Civil War in 1865 to the early 1900s.
  2. The term “cowboy” originally referred to young men who tended cattle, not to all the various gun-slinging heroes of the movies.
  3. The famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona,  lasted about 30 seconds.
  4. The Pony Express, which delivered mail across the western U.S., operated for only 18 months before the telegraph replaced it.
  5. Wyatt Earp, famous lawman, and gambler, worked as a referee in boxing matches in his later years.
  6. The famous outlaw Billy the Kid’s real name was Henry McCarty, and he was born in New York City.
  7. The first recorded baseball game in Arizona took place in 1873 at Fort Grant.
  8. The Wild West saw the rise of “boom towns” that grew rapidly around gold or silver mines. These became  “ghost towns” when everyone abandoned them as they ran out of gold or silver.
  9. The Apache leader Geronimo surrendered to the U.S. Army in 1886. That marked the end of the major Native American resistance in the Southwest.
  10. The famous phrase “Get out of Dodge” refers to Dodge City, Kansas, which people said was particularly lawless in the 1870s.

I hope you find my novel The Cowgirl Murders more realistic than a lot of westerns as well as being a good read. Let me know what you think.