While swarms of people flocked to California in search of gold, the state of Colorado’s natural beauty and vegetation remained undisturbed. That is until the gold-rush fever spread to Colorado. During the late 19th century, miners started searching Colorado’s mountains for gold.
In this photograph from the 1870s, we see a group of miners camped in the San Juan mountains scanning the landscape for a trace of gold. Interestingly, it was not gold that the prospective miners would find but silver. And towards the end of the century, Colorado experienced a silver boom.
Well what do you know? They kept dogs as pets in the old West too! Well, in this case, this dashing young man has this sweet pooch as an assistant on an upcoming hunting trip. Still, we think the two were great friends even when they weren't sunning around, looking for targets to shoot.
This guy is decked out in all the things necessary for some time in the outdoors, searching for turkeys or grouses or what have you. He's got the hat to protect him from the sun, high boots to protect him from potential snakes, and a lever-action rifle complete with a beltfull of exra bullets.
Judge Roy Bean's Courthouse/Saloon
There's probably a reason why the Old West was called the Wild West. It would be hard to believe that a courthouse could also trade as a saloon. We’re guessing not the most thorough of examinations took place. Yet, if you go back in time to 1882 to Langtry, Texas, you will find just that – a courthouse that also acts as a saloon.
Perhaps, it is not all that hard to believe. There is, after all, that saying “in vino veritas,” translating to “there is truth in wine.” This could be the way Judge Roy Bean got his confessions.
Did you notice that the patrons of this bar are sitting on chairs that are seemingly made from bear coats? That’s right – this bar’s furnishings include bear-lined seats. The story behind the seats is the barman, Seth Kinman. Apparently, this barman had a passion for hunting, specifically grizzly bears. It is claimed that during his life, he killed 800 grizzly bears.
This scene from his bar in California in 1889 seems to suggest that Kinman’s exploits are true, especially since the proof is in the pudding, or rather in the whiskey.
This grizzly photo (no pun intended) shows the result of a bear hunt in 1874. In a Black Hills expedition, General Custer and Colonel Ludlow killed the first grizzly bear of their hunt.
At the time, the Old West was in the throws of converting wild lands into livestock pastures, so free-roaming bears became fair game for landowners and those looking to prove whatever point they felt they needed to prove.