Let me ask you a question—how much do you really know about the most famous Old Western stuff?

Buckle up dear! Sit somewhere comfortable, make yourself a drink and allow me to present to you Five Extraordinary Facts of our favorite Old Wild West which will give you the chills!

The Western Good Luck 

We all have our lucky charms! A symbol, a jewellery, a photograph that is important to us. In the same way, people of the West World had their lucky charms too. And I am referring to the well-known horseshoes

Of course their history as symbols goes way back to ancient greek, celtic and egypt history, but, during the Old West, their popularity increased massively. This happened because horses had an extremely important role back then, thus so did their horseshoes. Rumors have it, they were driving away all the evil spirits and the old ghosts, when they were nailed or hung above a surface—a door, on a ship, etc. Soon this whole spirit superstition started to fade away, and the horseshoe became a common symbol of good luck and prosperity of the West!

The Bird of Death

Well, it couldn’t be other than the total black crow! 

The Native Americans and later the frontiersmen believed that there was a specific small black bird, named the Death Bird. Before a death, it was believed that this bird would appear and cry. Its cry could mean two things: either that there was time for a person who was almost dead to be saved, or that it was too late…

The years passed and the Death Bird became a ghostly, spiritual sign. It wasn’t necessary for someone to see it…they could hear it! Its cry, a death of help warning. Can you hear it now? Geez, I hope not!

This Drink is Strong!

Saloon Blackhawk, 1897

Harsh West, strong drinks! We couldn’t expect any less after all! 

Have you ever wondered how all those fights at the Saloons got started? Alcohol of course! And what was the western whiskey? It was a mix of burnt sugar, pure alcohol and chewing tobacco. Well, we can imagine how strong this would be! 

It was also being called firewater by those who were in selling and trading business and that was because, at the time, the merchants were throwing it to the fire to prove to the Indians that their products were extremely high in alcohol. Firewater and other drinks like, for example, cactus juice (which was a mix of tequila and tea) were mostly responsible for shotguns, fights and saloon disasters. 

One thing was certain: the Sheriffs would never get bored! Alcohol, it is!

One Western Photograph Can Easily Trick you…

Billy the Kid, ferrotype

I am talking about Billy the Kid and his famous photograph which made him look like he was left-handed. It was a ferrotype photograph of him during late 1880. This photograph made historians believe that he was left-handed, holding his gun on his left side. 

However, a ferrotype photograph was reversing reality and the sides. Years ago, they found a Winchester that belonged to Billy the Kid, with only the right loading gate loaded—not the left. Later they realised that, the prototype of the ferrotype photograph also, before it reversed sides, was showing Billy the Kid with his gun on his right side. 

And for the end…

An Adventurous Woman Full of Bizarre Love Stories

Pearl Hart was a strong, fearless and independent woman of her Era. At the age of 17 she left home and eloped with Fredrick Hart, a charming—at first!—man who proved to be a gambler and an abusive husband. 

She left him and moved to Arizona, where she met and fell in love with Joe Boot. Because the couple couldn’t make enough money, they planned and successfully pulled off a stagecoach robbery in 1899. Pearl was the one who formed the plan! And they would have made it if they didn’t get lost in the desert after the successful robbery. Well, at least they stayed together…

This is it for today, dearies!

Ah, the Western period…so harsh but so appealing at the same time…An old, wild world full of adventures, risks, crime and love

But of course, let’s not forget that behind the fights, the saloons and the dangerous situations, unique love stories also flourished and sweet mysteries as well, in every western corner, city, ranch, desert…and of course inside our hearts!

Thank you for staying with me until the very end and, please, let me know what you thought of this article by leaving my your comments below!

Written by Cassidy Hanton

76 COMMENTS

  1. I enjoyed reading these historical facts. I love to hear about our history. On my Mother’s side of the family, her Grandmother was a full-blooded Choctaw Indian. On my Dad’s side, they say my Grandfather was named after Jesse James because his Dad would leave for periods of time running with Jesse James.

  2. Interesting article. I knew about the horseshoe and the superstitions about it (I grew up on a ranch in California) but I didn’t know the rest. Thanks for an interesting article.

  3. That was really informative, I really enjoy your facts that no one else know, keep them coming, helpful and enjoyable.

  4. What a time to be alive in the Old West! The stories intrigue us with their hard times of living a successful life. Things were rough and tough for that time in our history’s past! Thanks for the history lesson.

  5. Well I guess there wasn’t anyone to ask for directions as I’m sure Pearl Hart would have asked for them.

  6. Most of these I have already read/heard about but the one about Billy the Kid really was fascinating. Fancy not realising that the type of photograph reversed the actual image! Fascinating stuff. Well done Cassidy.

    • You will find so much information, Joanne!
      Thank you for your comment! There might be a surprise for you in our future articles!

  7. I loved the article, you have made me think though about the blackcrow! We have a crow from the local church yard which visits our garden for food. I have heard it call once or twice, not too often thank goodness, no ill has befallen our family.

  8. Interesting facts about the Old West. A few I knew about, but the rest was intriguing. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Very interesting article! I enjoyed reading and learning some things that I didn’t know! I love to read about Westerns and history!

  10. Very interesting. I never paid too much attention to the Old West; but after reading some books, I started to like reading more.

  11. I enjoyed reading the facts about the West and love reading Cassidy’s books. I agree with one of the previous comments. Keep ‘em coming!!!

  12. I found this story be absolutely delightful a very informative I knew a couple things but there was a lot I didn’t know as well thank you for the enlightenment. Blessed Be

  13. Loved it some things I knew some I did not. Thank you for the information. That was a very interesting time period. Sometimes I thing I would have loved to live then

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