Pioneers came by the thousands, drawn by the promise of wealth in the Rocky Mountains. The dry, arid plains were a pass-through to most, but a few hardy souls saw potential in the region. They faced the harshest conditions; howling winds, little rainfall, intense heat followed by bone-chilling cold, isolation, and hostile Native American tribes were constant threats to survival. The pioneers of Morgan County were men and women of vision, perseverance, and inner strength. They were problem solvers who dug reservoirs and irrigation canals, built roads and railroads, and created an economy out of what others refused to see. Today, Morgan County is a place of an active agricultural lifestyle, supported by the businesses in the area. Its rich cultural diversity encompasses residents whose countries of origin span the world.
Wyoming is so closely identified with ranching that it is often known as “the Cowboy State.” The prosperity associated with the cattle industry drew wealthy investors to Wyoming Territory in the 1870s and early 1880s. They stocked the range with thousands of cows and made considerable fortunes until the harsh winter of 1886–1887, when the cattle market collapsed. Many of those early ranchers left Wyoming, which opened the door for the establishment of what would become a huge sheep business. During the 1890s and the early decades of the 20th century, the various Homestead Acts drew others to Wyoming in search of a brighter future. As most of Wyoming’s land was suited for grazing, not farming, smaller ranches began to play a more important role in the state’s growth. Wyoming’s Historic Ranches provides a rare glimpse of the cattle baron ranches as well as the more modest operations that are tucked away along remote valleys and streams, not visible to the average visitor or resident of the state.
Incorporated in 1909, Huntington Beach remained a sleepy seaside town until the city's legendary oil boom in the 1920s. Wells sprang up overnight, and in less than a month, the city's population more than doubled. As the area developed culturally through the decades, the once tiny farming community increased its size with 25 miles of annexations to become one of Southern California's major tourist destinations. Pictured here in nearly 200 vintage photographs is the evolution of this small seaside village into a classic, Southern California beach city, known as Surf City to nearly a million tourists a year. Showcased here are images acquired from city records, including shots of the famous Huntington Beach Pier as it evolved over the century, rare amateur photos of one of the largest gushers in city history, vintage beach scenes, rarely seen historic aerial views, images of the turn of the century "Tent City," the infamous flood of 1938, and nostalgic shots of the Saltwater Plunge.
Where The West Lives! Golden's motto sums up the colorful history of the small town set at the entrance to the storied gold fields of Colorado. The scenic valley that shelters Golden caught the notice of some of the most famed pioneers of the West: explorer Major Stephen Long, world traveler Isabella Bird, showman Buffalo Bill Cody, and brewer Adolph Coors. Chronicled here in over 200 vintage images is the history of this quintessential "rough-and-ready" Western town. Serving as the territorial capital from 1862-1867, Golden was primed as the perfect business opportunity due to its proximity to the mining districts. Entrepreneurs with a vision of Manifest Destiny worked diligently to civilize the frontier town, and it soon became a major player in the state's mineral extraction, education, and railroad industries. Boasting more saloons than any other structure in town, Golden also had its share of coal mines, gold smelters, a paper mill, and several railroad lines. Featuring many historic images of the town's past, including original panoramic views by William Henry Jackson and images of Buffalo Bill Cody's Masonic funeral, this book captures the heart of a town where the spirit of the West never died.
The rugged coastline and wild rivers of Del Norte County were once home to the Yurok and Tolowa Indians, who built their dwellings with planks cut from virgin redwood. The Klamath River was an early supply route to the gold mines, but its treacherous waters were soon abandoned in favor of the ocean port at Crescent City. Although its lighthouse guided many heavily laden ships to safe harbor, famous shipwrecks still lie off Del Norte’s rocky coast. Pack mule teams streamed east, bound for mining camps, and ranches in the Smith River and Elk Valleys developed to supply them. River salmon became a major industry, and later the ocean’s bounty supported fishermen. Redwood groves fed a thriving timber industry for over a century. Never lacking in drama, Del Norte’s history includes a U.S. oil tanker sunk by a Japanese submarine in 1941 and, in 1964, a tsunami that swept through Crescent City, destroying almost all of its downtown.
In the early 20th century, there was no better example of a classic American downtown than Los Angeles. Since World War II, Los Angeles's Historic Core has been "passively preserved," with most of its historic buildings left intact. Recent renovations of the area for residential use and the construction of Disney Hall and the Staples Center are shining a new spotlight on its many pre-1930s Beaux Arts, Art Deco, and Spanish Baroque buildings.
When the first settlers arrived here in 1850, they could never have guessed that their tiny settlement would one day be home to over 100,000 souls, scores of factories, and the gateway to the California Delta with some of the most productive agricultural lands in the world. In earlier days, the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers were the main routes into the state’s interior, as the swampy delta land had yet to be tamed. Antioch and nearby Pittsburg served as major depots for supplies to the Sierra gold fields, stockpiling lumber, produce, hay, dry goods, medicine, and fuel from the Stewartville, Empire, and Judsonville coal mines. Named in 1851 after the biblical city in Syria, this town served for many years as the Bay Area’s easternmost outpost and provided its inhabitants with a bounty both man-made and natural.
Located along the El Camino Real at the crossroads of the Pacheco and Hecker Pass highways, Gilroy is surrounded by the rich farmland of southern Santa Clara County. The region boasts a mineral hot springs, prime grazing land in the eastern foothills, and redwood forests to the west. In addition to successful lumbering enterprises, vast cattle ranches, and thriving resorts, Gilroy claims to be "The Garlic Capital of the World." From the early settlements of the Ohlone, through the vibrant Rancho era and post "gold-fever" boom, to the present-day world-famous Garlic Festival, this book illustrates the unique history of this town at the southern end of Silicon Valley. Drawn from the archives of the Gilroy Museum and the albums of pioneer families are more than 200 vintage images of the businesses, dwellings, pastimes, hopes, and high-jinks of the individuals who made Gilroy what it is today.
Today’s Lafayette is a modern East Bay suburb with a long and intriguing history of people, agriculture, and commerce. The story began in the summer of 1846, when Elam Brown and 13 families left St. Joseph, Missouri, in wagon trains and embarked on a sixmonth journey west to establish new homes and lives. By February 1848, Brown and his family had purchased the Rancho Acalanes in Contra Costa County from a San Francisco financier and had established the settlement that would later became Lafayette. Gradually Brown sold his land to other settlers, and the community began to grow. Eventually homes, stores, roads, schools, and churches were built. In these pages, the genesis of Lafayette, along with the story of its creators and early residents, is revealed in stirring early imagery.
Byron Hot Springs is sometimes called the "Carlsbad of the West," after the famed European health spas. The resort hosted the famous, the wealthy, the infirm, and the curious alike during the early 20th century. The 160-acre property, in eastern Contra Costa County near the San Joaquin River, featured three grand hotels designed by renowned San Francisco architect James Reid. Amidst this stylish backdrop were prominent guests in 19th-century finery, early Hollywood royalty, Prohibition entertainments, mineral water "cures" for various ailments, and secret interrogations of World War II POWs (when it was known as "Camp Tracy"). Aside from the hot springs themselves, the resort boasts one of the oldest golf courses in the western United States.