The Real Wild West: The 101 Ranch and the Creation of the American West
Founded in 1893, the 101 Ranch was famous across the country for its touring Wild West shows, which featured countless cowboys and cowgirls, including Buffalo Bill, Geronimo, and Bill Picket. Playing to packed arenas from coast to coast, and even in Europe, the 101 Ranch show came to embody the spirit of the frontier for the entire nation. The Miller brothers, who owned the ranch, also found themselves involved in the formation of Hollywood and western movies, and the ranch produced many of the earliest western film stars, including Tom Mix and Buck Jones. Ten years in the making, this epic story of the 101 Ranch is nothing less than a sweeping history of the West of myth and reality. Indeed, the history of the ranch begins in Kentucky in the early 1840s and continues through most of the first half of the twentieth century. Describing the legendary cattle drives from San Antonio along the fabled Chisholm Trail, as well as the hardscrabble life of cattlemen, Michael Wallis paints an indelible portrait of the frontier as it expanded westward in the middle of the nineteenth century. Colonel George Washington Miller, the founder of the 101, participated in these cattle drives, and Wallis follows Miller from Kentucky through Missouri and Kansas and into the Cherokee Outlet in northern Oklahoma, where he founded the 101 Ranch on the banks of the Salt Fork of the Arkansas River. Although the 101 was an enormous, viable ranch that produced huge profits for the Millers, the family became best known for its touring shows, in which ranch hands showed off the kind of bronc-busting activities they performed on the ranch. Their re-creation of life in the West captured the imaginations of Americans across the country who longed to preserve the frontier, even as it began to disappear. The massive popular interest in the West, evidenced by the crowds at the 101 Ranch shows, also sparked a growth in western movies, and the Miller brothers were there to participate. Dozens of Hollywood's earliest films were shot on location at the ranch, and man of the 101 Ranch cowboys starred in these motion pictures. Following the Miller brothers through their barnstorming years, Wallis also portrays the origins of the mass entertainment industry that flourishes today, and shows how this industry helped to undo the West of reality and preserve it as a popular mythology. Full of incredible characters and unbelievable stories, this is an evocative reflection of the story of America itself, in all its grandeur and all its foibles.
Specifications of The Real Wild West: The 101 Ranch and the Creation of the American West
|Publisher||St. Martin's Press|
|Number Of Pages||640|
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