Society of the Old West

From early westward expansion through the early 20th Century.

All Blog Posts (46)

Going home

Well, it is a done deal.  The Missouri place sold to the first looker, at our price.  We have purchased an rv to begin the next phase of our lives in New Mexico.  The Missouri (misery) weather is literally killing me.  So, then, we return to where our hearts are and that life is possible without the misery.  The whole lifestyle here is just wrong.   We did what we were told, but do not fit the mold.

Adios, misery.…


Added by dirtrider on May 12, 2017 at 6:37am — 3 Comments


When you begin a great work you can't expect to finish it all at once; therefore do you and your brothers press on, and let nothing discourage you till you have entirely finished what you have begun.

Now, brother, as for me, I assure you I will press on, and the contrary winds may blow strong in my face, yet I will go forward until I have finished, and I would have you do the same ...

Though you may hear birds singing on this side and that…


Added by dirtrider on April 5, 2017 at 6:37am — 1 Comment

New Western on TV

I count myself fortunate in having the Encore Western channel. Recently I was privileged to view episodes of the TV Western program "Tales of Wells Fargo." Although not totally true to the Old West record, and the files of Wells, Fargo & Company, I find the programs educational and entertaining. Sure it's old viewing, repeats, to some of you but to me it's all new as I missed this program while I was growing up.

In any case it sure is a lot better than the ton of garbage that is…


Added by Carbine on March 17, 2017 at 8:42pm — 1 Comment

Still here, after all these years.......

It's good to see members are trickling in by one's and twos. Glad to see some old friends here and am looking forward to meeting new ones. We are a small group, compared to most, who cherish and share history of The Old West as we do our best to keep the legacies, lore and tales of The Old West alive.

It's been a struggle going from the old SOTOW to FB and back to the "new SOTOW" on ning again. It ain't been easy but I, for one, appreciate all of you staying in the saddle and riding…


Added by Carbine on March 10, 2017 at 10:10pm — 1 Comment

In the shadow of mighty men

As you all know, we have decided to live as close to pioneer days as we can in the ghost town of Cuchillo, NM.  There are 30 or so folks still working the ground, some pecan trees, and some beef.  The valley of Cuchillo is deep enough to keep the curious from finding it by chance.  Only going to Winston or Chloride, old mining towns can one come across this place.  Warm Springs, aka Ojo Caliente, is only 20 miles by crow.  Now, living in the shadow of the…


Added by dirtrider on February 15, 2017 at 4:02pm — 1 Comment

Made it to Cuchillo, NM

We got the herd into NM with no major setbacks.  Settled in behind the Cafe, which is now closed.  Spent many afternoons here with Tony and Melissa, sitting in the shade, between visits by customers.  Those folks grew fewer and fewer, until the Cafe could no longer cover the expenses.  Now it is empty of all things, but memories and idle equipment.

We are in a 110+ year old house of mud brick and adobe.  It too, in the night, resounds with the voices of days gone by.  We have our…


Added by dirtrider on February 1, 2017 at 3:41pm — 1 Comment


 You might be a cowboy if: It never occurred to you to be offended by the phrase, ' One nation, under God.'

You might be a cowboy if: You've never protested about seeing the 10 Commandments posted in public places.

You might be a cowboy if: You concern yourself with your country and family over yourself

You might be a cowboy if: You believe that you can take care of your own affairs without any help from the government

You might be a cowboy if: The best government…


Added by dirtrider on January 27, 2017 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

Apache wisdom

Think freely.

Practice patience.

Smile often. Savor special moments.

Make new friends. Rediscover old ones.

Tell those that you love that you do.

Feel deeply. Forget trouble. Forgive an enemy.

Hope. Grow. Be crazy. Count your blessings.

Observe miracles. Let them happen.

Discard worry. Give. Give in. Trust enough to take.

Pick some flowers. Share them. Keep a promise.

Look for rainbows. Gaze at stars. See beauty everywhere.



Added by dirtrider on January 24, 2017 at 8:37am — No Comments

We're Baaack!

Hi everyone:

I got an email yesterday afternoon from ning. They've realized the error of their ways, (i.e. they're now under new management), and they are bringing back the ning mini. As soon as Dirtrider returns we'll get the site all pretty again.

I will also be signing the site over to Dirtrider. He's been running the place for the past few years, while I've been having some serious issues with my vision. It started with a bad fall I had in the summer of…


Added by Gayle Martin on January 20, 2017 at 11:30am — 3 Comments

Historic Earp Cabin Destroyed

The massive Blue Cut fire in Cajon Pass, 60 miles east of Los Angeles, California, has scorched at least 37,000 acres and and destroyed 105 homes and 213 out buildings, so far. The fire started Tuesday morning August 16th and quickly grew to over 18,000 acres in less than 24 hours.

Sometime on Thursday it reduced to ashes a cabin that was often used by Virgil Earp while he hunted Deer in the 1880s with his friend Almon Clyde. In 1863 Almon Clyde purchased the 160 acre homestead from…


Added by Carbine on August 20, 2016 at 6:43pm — 1 Comment

Geronimo Speaks.....

"You are the false White-Eye who came to the Chiricahua Reservation a year ago and broke the peace treaty made by the Great Chief (Cochise) and Taglito (Tom Jeffords) and the one-arm general (O.O. Howard). Do not talk to me about breaking treaties-you and your sick brain!"

So said by Geronimo, upon his capture and being put in chains at Ojo Caliente, New Mexico, to John Clum April 21, 1877. Events went down hill for Geronimo after this verbal exchange. It would end with a train ride…


Added by Carbine on July 9, 2016 at 8:38pm — 1 Comment

SOTOW Milestone

Seems while we have all been pursuing our studies into the Old West, and historical dates and events of that fond era, we have missed an important event that relates to us all indeed. It was on December 3, 2009 that Gayle Martin brought down the Thunder and created this home for us to partake.

They said SOTOW wouldn't last a week, a month or a year. SOTOW started with 10 charter members on that day and has grown to 70 plus members since then. Of course some have come and gone but we…


Added by Carbine on December 18, 2015 at 6:53pm — 3 Comments


Over here in Southern California, or as we affectionately call it - SOCAL, we are deep in the throes of a four year drought. Brush is tinder dry while fires blaze closing roads and campgrounds over this long Labor Day weekend.

Nearly 30,000 firefighters are battling flames, setting back fires, keeping an eye on "widow makers" and avoiding rolling boulders while protecting lives and property throughout the west. There is no rain in sight at this time but the promise of an El Nino event…


Added by Carbine on September 5, 2015 at 8:30pm — 4 Comments

Fire in the Pass

Native Americans were the first people who came through the pass centuries ago. They hunted in the area year round and built shelters that became their homes in the warm summer months to escape the valley heat below.

Later Spanish explorers and missionaries followed the Indian trails in search of converts. They were followed by the Mountain Men, most notably Jed Smith in 1826 - 1827, searching for the elusive but lucrative Beaver. Traders and Teamsters from Santa Fe  brought goods…


Added by Carbine on July 18, 2015 at 7:25pm — 1 Comment

Yes I'm Alive and Well

Well, sort of.

I've been busy writing romance novels under the name Marina Martindale, and running my book publishing company, Good Oak Press. Five Star Publications, who published my Luke and Jenny historical novels for young readers, has taken the books out of print, and I've been hesitant about…


Added by Gayle Martin on July 1, 2015 at 1:00am — 3 Comments

Mounting Up

Putting the "Horse before the Car" here - so to speak....... not that I'm losing any sleep over the issue but is there any reason to why we usually put our left foot in the stirrup, throw our right leg over the saddle, and mount the horse on it's left side? Then we go to get behind the wheel of our vehicles, open the door and first step in with our right foot, and control the beast from the left, drivers, seat?  Is this a American tradition, just coincidence or is there a reason to the…


Added by Carbine on May 1, 2015 at 8:29pm — 4 Comments

Copper Plates

I know this might post date the Old West by a few decades but I think some of you might be interested in knowing about it as it happened just 20 years after Arizona became a state in 1912- it took them that long to convince Washington that most the outlaws had been tamed, jailed  or run out of the territory. Thus for your further  consideration....... 

In 1932 the state of Arizona issued vehicle license plates made of Copper. They did this for a number of reasons including to boost…


Added by Carbine on April 25, 2015 at 5:52pm — 2 Comments

Australian Aboriginals & Native Americans

I recently watched Quigley Down Under. I've been to Australia a few times and found the folks right friendly down under - fact I even had one of the best steaks ever in some restaurant I couldn't now name to save my life (it was 1980 something).

Seems our cultures share a lot in common. They talk about Ned Kelly like we do Jesse James. They raised a bunch of cattle and so many sheep their near impossible to count. I'd wager that they still eat more mutton today then the good Ole US of…


Added by Carbine on April 11, 2015 at 9:15pm — No Comments

Billy's $545,000 Hideout

I just read that a house built in Lincoln, New Mexico in 1878 is for sell. Billy the Kid allegedly hid out in the adobe during his Lincoln County war days. The article doesn't say who built it or who or owned it at the time Billy hid under a bed or climbed into a flour barrel in the kitchen to escape a posse.

Located in Lincoln's historical district one can now buy…


Added by Carbine on February 16, 2015 at 1:34pm — 2 Comments

Jim Pettengill's Lake Valley

I just read Jim's fine article, Lake Valley, New Mexico in Wild West magazine. He writes of some choice nuggets dealing with the history of the town that began in 1878 and saw it's last residents depart in 1994. He even mentions the link of the silver town to such notables as Walt Whitman, "Longhair Jim" Courtright, the Great Diamond Hoax of 1872 and a rich pocket of horn silver that was dubbed the "Bridal Chamber" - one of the richest pockets of silver ever…


Added by Carbine on November 27, 2014 at 8:43pm — 1 Comment

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