Thursday, June 12, 2014

Great Links for Western Lovers - @JacquieRogers

I spent a lovely five days with a writer friend, Judith Laik, on the shores of Lake Chelan, Washington.  We plotted and brainstormed the whole time--at least, when we weren't partaking of fine wine.  Oh wait, it was that fine wine that helped with the brainstorming...  Ahem.  

Like most authors, I have several projects lined up waiting to be written.  Each of these stories requires a different knowledge set, and it's always necessary to do at least a little research for the next story.  Some people think this is work, but I call it fun, and in fact I have to limit myself.  Same with visiting museums.  Doncha just love museums! 

Anyway, take a look at some of the sites I visited this week:

Hungry Cowboys
Head on over to the Cowboy Showcase if you want to learn how to cook on the trail.  Dutch Oven Cooking with Floyd Crandall tells you how to heat, use, and clean a dutch oven.

Oregon Trail
At the Pathways of Pioneers site, historian Don Shannon tells about the tragic experience of a wagon train at Castle Butte, Idaho Territory, and their forty days of hell until 16 of 44 immigrants were finally rescued at what now is called Starvation Camp.

There's Gold In Them Thar Hills
Think the gold rush is over?  Someone forgot to tell that to about 367 members of the Idaho Gold Prospectors Association.  If you want to prospect for gold and have a little fun besides, check 'em out.

Gnarly Mountain Men
The first lucrative enterprise of the American West was fur trapping and trading.  John Jacob Astor made a pile of money from this business.  Jim Bridger (left) and his friends wanted in on the action and formed the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. 

Dressed in buckskins, wearing coonskin caps, and packing scalpin' knives, these men explored and trapped in every area of the West.  Some of the later "explorers" used these men's maps and lore.  Learn all about the trade, the men, and the business from Legends of America, Fur Trading in the American West.

Back East...
Another site that I frequent, especially when writing the Wolf Creek stories for Western Fictioneers, is the Kansapedia.  The cowtowns, several of the famous lawmen and outlaws, and lots of wheat aren't the only things you'll find in Kansas.  Besides, Matt and Miss Kitty were there... oh wait...

And Home Again
Since my stories are mostly set in Idaho, I do a lot of research there.  For a brief overview, go to the Visit Idaho Site.  For more in-depth information, go to Idaho State Historical Society Digital Collections, and here's an overview of Owyhee County history.  Of course, the best thing to do is ride a horse in the Owyhee Mountains and smell the sagebrush, but if that's not in the cards, a visit to the Idaho State Archives is in order.  They have a grant to digitize many of their newspapers, so that will be a boon to me since I live in Seattle now.

To be released Fall of 2014:
Much Ado About Mustangs


Caroline Clemmons said...

Jacquie, how I would have loved to be with you and Judith for your plotting. Thanks for the links. Another I use is the Handbook of Texas Online, sponsored by the Texas State Historical Association and maintained (I've been told) by grad students at the University of Texas Austin.

Jacquie Rogers said...

Caroline, I've used that site as well, and often. The entire Legends of America site is good, too, including a glossary of old west terms.

Unknown said...

I love western genre books. I have the first 3 listed.