Sunday, March 25, 2012

Chicken Dinner: Branding, Ladies Wanted, & Boxing

Spanish-grant brand

Spring has sprung in the Pacific Northwest. Beautiful weather here, so it must be calving season, and that means the work begins (actually, it never stopped) for ranchers. Come autumn, it'll be time to brand those little critters. Yep, the USA's first use of trademarks. The practice came to us from Mexico to Texas, and spread nationwide. Here's an article that will help: The History of Cattle Brands and How to Read Them.

Ever heard of an Idahoan named Gutzon Borglum? Maybe not, but you've probably heard of Mount Rushmore. Borglum was a pretty interesting guy, if not necessarily amicable, and he liked his work in a big way, so to speak. You can read about him in the South Fork Companion.

Here's a snippet of an article from The Owyhee Avalanche(Owyhee County, Idaho), printed March 9, 1872 and reprinted March 7, 2012:
SOUTH MOUNTAIN. Spring has made its appearance both as regards month and weather, and the hills are getting bare about a mile from Bullion City. There have been new discoveries made two miles below town, but how rich or extensive cannot be told. Mr. Nutter intends to commence work on his road right away; he will begin at Camp Three Forks and work this way as fast as the snow will permit, so that by the middle of May teams can get to Bullion City. Then we will want merchants of all kinds, boarding houses, blacksmith shops--plenty of them--livery stables &c., and no doubt but an invoice of the fair sex would be acceptable. As an inducement for ladies to settle here, it is arranged that the first female woman who becomes a permanent resident of Bullion City, shall have 200 feet in some good ledge to be called after her name. Therefore, ladies, come one and all, both small and tall, for there is room for all in South Mountain.
More news from South Mountain--it seems that boxing outranked the ladies in order of acquisition:
The Spring fights commenced before the ringn was completed. The first combat came off at 9½ o'clock A.M., Monda the 4th inst., for the championship of South Mountain. One of the pugilistic aspirants is from Silver City, the other of South Mountain. The contest only lasted a few minutes. The silver City bully stepped up to the South Mountain champion as though he intended to give him a side-winder, when the latter closed in, giving him a few licks on the head and one under the eye. When Silver City got the blow under eye, he said, "let me up." "Holler enough" said South Mountain. "I never did holler enough by Jases and never will do that same thing." Some bystanders said to South Mountain, "let him up," and so he did, when Silver City made tracks down Main Street like a kettled dog. The ring is now finished. It is 400 feet long and 150 feet wide. If you have any more champions in Silver City, send them along, for South Mountain holds the belt.
We don't see a whole lot of boxing matches in western historical romance, but it was an extremely popular sport and many a man bet his ranch or mine on a single bout.

Contest Winner!
This week's drawing was for the winner's choice:
either a print or ebook copy of
Dawn Comes Early
by Margaret Brownley

And The Winner Is...


  1. I'm thrilled Jacquie, thank you so very much!!!

  2. You're welcome, Melissa. Margaret's book looks wonderful and is a definite To Read! I hope you enjoy it. :)

  3. Enjoyed the post, as always, Jacquie! Only one western historical romance comes to mind with a pugilist hero. "Conor's Way" by Laura Lee Guhrke. It was free a while back so I downloaded it, but haven't had time to read it yet.

  4. Another Idaho writer. :) I'll have to pick up her book and see how she handled it. I'm not at all enthusiastic about boxing, and a lot of readers aren't either, so I'm really curious how she worked this in a romance. She's such a good writer.


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