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    North America: the Far West

General Resources - Pacific Northwest - Alaska - California - Oregon - Idaho - Montana - British Columbia  

Frontier teachers : stories of heroic women of the old West Chris Enss

975.739 COLEMAN 2014

Frontier Teachers tells the stories of a dozen courageous, intrepid women who faced down rooms full of children on the open prairies and in the mining towns of the Old West to bring them educational opportunities. 


Blazing a wagon trail to Oregon : a weekly chronicle of the Great Migration of 1843 / Lloyd W. Coffman.

978.02 COFFMAN 1979

Blazing a Wagon Trail to Oregon is the story of how a determined group of American pioneers set out on their own to accomplish what had never been done before. They would move their families on wheeled vehicles all the way from the settled frontier in Missouri to the far Pacific shore. Their incentive was simple enough. Times were tough in 1843 and they had heard of a lush new land existing in a place called Oregon just asking to be settled by hard-working farmers. A new life awaited them just over the horizon. But, none of them knew what a formidable horizon it was.

The overland journey from Utah to California : wagon travel from the City of Saints to the City of Angels / Edward Leo Lyman

978.08 LYMAN 2004

The wagon trail between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles is one of the most important but least-known elements of nineteenth-century western migration, favored because it could be used for travel and freighting year-round. It was, however, arguably the most difficult route that pioneers traveled with any consistency in the entire history of the country, leapfrogging from one sometimes dubious desert watering place to the next and offering few havens for the sick, weary, or unfortunate. <br> This book is the first history of the complete Southern Route and of the people who developed and used it. Based on extensive research, including many early travelers’ accounts, the book discusses the exploration and development of the Old Spanish Trail. Lyman’s discussions of relations between the Mormons and the Native American peoples of the region and of the Mountain Meadows Massacre offer fresh and important analyses of these vital aspects of the westward movement.

Women's diaries of the westward journey / Lillian Schissel, compiler.

978.02 WOMENS 1992

Through the diaries, letters, and reminiscences of women who participated in this migration, Women’s Diaries of the Westward Journey gives us primary source material on the lives of these women, who kept campfires burning with buffalo chips and dried weeds, gave birth to and cared for children along primitive and dangerous roads, drove teams of oxen, picked berries, milked cows, and cooked meals in the middle of a wilderness that was a far cry from the homes they had left back east. Still (and often under the disapproving eyes of their husbands) they found time to write brave letters home or to jot a few weary lines at night into the diaries that continue to enthrall us.



Color : Latino voices in the Pacific Northwest / Lorane A. West

979.5004 WEST 2004

Color presents a tapestry of poignant conversations with people who have come from various Central and South American cultures and backgrounds, all with the common thread of speaking the Spanish language. Their professions range from attorney to school bus driver. Whether about love, work, play, finances, or family, these accounts illuminate cultural differences in attitudes, rights, and values and pose intriguing questions about the effects of prosperity. West paints a very real picture of life for immigrants in the United States and, through her portraits, gives Americans a glimpse of themselves that may both surprise and challenge.

Fruit fields in my blood: Okie migrants in the west / Toby F. Sonneman.

College-educated spouses Sonneman and Steigmeyer rejected conventional careers to work for years as itinerant fruit pickers, beginning in the early 1970s. During that time, Sonneman's romantic notion of migrant life waned, but her respect for pickers' dignity and independence lasted, and this valuable book is the result. She terms "Okies" those pickers whose parents left Oklahoma and nearby states to follow the crops in the 1930s; she first relates that history. Though she sometimes weaves in her personal experiences awkwardly, Sonneman offers detailed accounts of migrants' lives, including their search for work and the rich but not-so-private sense of community in their trailer camps. Bosses still hold the cards, since legal and illegal immigrants will work for lower wages and ornery Okies resist organizing themselves into groups. Sonneman does not ignore the roles of sexism and fundamentalist religion, but she also defends migrants: her experiences lead her to argue against child labor laws with her liberal friends, and to explain how migrants feel stigmatized by shopkeepers and police. Steigmeyer's black-and-white photographs honestly and intimately portray the rugged existence of these people who self-mockingly call themselves "fruit tramps." 

New land, new lives : Scandinavian immigrants to the Pacific Northwest / Janet Elaine. Rasmussen.

979.5004 RASMUSS 1993

"NEW LAND, NEW LIVES tells in their own words the experiences of 45 immigrants (28 of them women) in the early years of the 20th century. Rasmussen's selections capture the textures and tones of ordinary life. They show how the cultures the immigrants had known in the Old World influenced life in the Pacific Northwest"


The Norwegian: a rollicking tale of wild trails and the lure of gold (the Alaska Adventures of a Norwegian Cheechako) / Harald Eide.

979.803 EIDE 1986

Born in 1896 Harold Eide first got off the boat in New York City in 1914 at age 18. He ended in San Francisco, Seattle and the gold fields of alaska where he finally found his fortune as well as an incredible story. 


Via western express & stagecoach / Oscar Osburn Winther.

979.4 W789v

This is the story of Stagecoach and express transportation in California before the "Iron Horse" came puffing across the Sierra Nevada. Also, it is the history of travel during a time when hordes of people from all parts of the globe rushed to California in search of fortune and fame, a time when the West was bumptious, raucous, and wild

The California gold discovery; sources, documents, accounts, and memoirs relating to the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill / Rodman W. Paul.

979.404 P324c

The most comprehensive book ever published on the California gold discovery, containing a detailed mass of accounts and sources relating to that momentous event, by one of the outstanding authorities in the field. All known accounts by the participants in the gold discovery are here, including variant accounts, by Marshall, Bigler, Brown, and Wimmer, plus the related testimony of Capt. Sutter. biographical and critical notes by Rodman Paul accompany each of the accounts.


Beckoning the bold : story of the dawning of Idaho /Rafe Gibbs

979.6 GIBBS 1976

$$a This is no ordinary history, but one that reads like a novel. Brought back alive are "Perpetual Motion" McKenzie, the massive trapper who broiled beaver pelts when food supplies ran out in Hells Canyon; Marie Dorion, "Indian Madonna" of the Old Oregon Trail," whose wits and courage kept her children alive during a snow-locked winter in the mountains; Captain Elias Davidson Pierce, who managed to stay engaged to a girl in Indiana for 20 years while he hunted for gold in the Far West; "Diamondfield Jack Davis, whose feuding with sheepmen led to one of th emost remarkable of frontier trials; Colonel William H. Dewey, who was convinced that a flourishing city would stem from his flowery hotel amidst the sagebrush - and did; Fred Herrick, the lumber tycoon, whose "board of directors" consisted only of  big-game trophies mounted on his office wall; Noah S. Kellogg whose stubborn burro received the credit for discovering a mountain with a silver lining. The unforgettable characters are many, and their stories told here, are never dull.

For better or worse : the legacy of William "Deadshot" Reed / Kathy Deinhardt Hill

979.6031 HILL 2003

The most comprehensive book ever published on the California gold discovery, containing a detailed mass of accounts and sources relating to that momentous event, by one of the outstanding authorities in the field. All known accounts by the participants in the gold discovery are here, including variant accounts, by Marshall, Bigler, Brown, and Wimmer, plus the related testimony of Capt. Sutter. biographical and critical notes by Rodman Paul accompany each of the accounts.


The Butte Irish : class and ethnicity in an American mining town, 1875-1925 / David M. Emmons.

978.668 EMMONS 1989

In this pioneering study, David Emmons tells the story of Butte's large and assertive population of Irish immigrants. He traces their backgrounds in Ireland, the building of an ethnic community in Butte, the nature and hazards of their work in the copper mines, and the complex interplay between Irish nationalism and worker consciousness.  From a treasure trove of "Irish stuff," the reports, minutes, and correspondence of the major Irish-American organizations in Butte, Emmons shows how the stalwart supporters of the RELA and the Ancient Order of Hiberians marched and drilled for Irish freedom---and how, as they ran the town, the miners' union, and the largest mining companies, they used this tradition of ethnic cooperation to ensure safe and steady work, Irish mines taking care of Irish miners. Butte was new, overwhelmingly Irish, and extraordinarily dangerous---the ideal place to test the seam between class and ethnicity.

The road to Virginia City: the diary of James Knox Polk Miller / James Knox Polk Miller

978.6 M648r

Three years of adventure in the West awaited young James Knox Polk Miller who traveled the Overland Trail from St. Joseph, Missouri to Salt Lake City, and on to Virginia City, Montana in 1864. He savored the drinking, gambling, gold frenzied atmosphere of Virginia City in its heydey as naturally as any other runaway nineteen year old. 

We pointed them north : recollections of a cowpuncher - E. C. Abbott

978.02 ABBOTT 1955

E.C. Abbott was a cowboy in the great days of the 1870s and 1880s. He came up the trail to Montana from Texas with the long-horned herds that were to stock the northern ranges; he punched cows in Montana when there wasn't a fence in the territory; and he married a daughter of Granville Stuart, the famous early-day stockman and Montana pioneer. For more than fifty years he was known to cowmen from Texas to Alberta as "Teddy Blue." This is his story, as told to Helena Huntington Smith, who says that the book is "all Teddy Blue. My part was to keep out of the way and not mess it up by being literary...Because the cowboy flourished in the middle of the Vicotian age, which is certainly a funny paradox, no realistic picture of him was ever drawn in his own day. Here is a self-portrait by a cowboy which is full and honest." And Teddy Blue himself says, "Other old-timers have told all about stampedes and swimming rivers and what a terrible time we had, but they never put in any of the fun, and fun was at least half of it." So here it is--the cowboy classic, with the "terrible" times and the "fun" which have entertained readers everywhere.


Conversations with bullwhackers, muleskinners, pioneers, prospectors, '49ers, Indian fighters, trappers, ex-barkeepers, authors, preachers, poets & near poets & all sorts & conditions of men : voices of the Oregon Territory / compiled by Fred Lockley

979.5 L816c

Compiled interviews of some of Oregon's earliest residents.

Conversations with pioneer women / Fred Lockley.

979.504 LOCKLEY 1981

compiled interviews with early women pioneers of Oregon.

Reminiscences of Oregon pioneers / Pioneer Ladies Club

979.5 PIONEER 1937

Personal interviews and reminiscences of the descendants of people who created the early days of Pendleton and Umatilla County, Oregon. From the mid 1800's on, these are the stories of the people who led the way in Umatilla County. Ranchers, business people, teachers, newspaper-men, ministers, doctors; these individuals from all walks of life remember how it was for themselves and thier families in those early days.


Hearts West : true stories of mail order brides on the frontier / Chris Enss.

978.02 ENSS 2005

Desperate to strike it rich during the Gold Rush, thousands of men traveled West to the emerging frontier, where they outnumbered women twelve to one. Only after they arrived did some of them realize how much they missed female companionship. Hearts West brings to life true stories of mail-order brides of the Gold Rush era. Some found soul mates; others found themselves in desperate situations. Complete with the actual hearts-and-hands personal advertisements that began some of the long-distance

Fields of toil : a migrant family's journey / Isabel Valle.

331.544 VALLE 1994

As a reporter on special assignment for the "Walla Walla Union-Bulletin," Isabel Valle spent an entire year with a migrant family, sharing domestic and other responsibilities. Every Sunday the newspaper published her award-winning, widely acclaimed reports on life with the Raul and Maria Elena Martinez family. As they resided and worked in the Inland Pacific Northwest and South Texas, Valle investigated topics such as the difficulties of asparagus cutting, drug smuggling and illegal aliens, children working in the fields, and Hispanic customs. She also examined cultural acceptance and language barriers. Her invaluable insights refuted stereotypes and replaced misconceptions.

Washington remembers World War II : personal accounts from the deadliest conflict in world history / John C. Hughes

940.53797 HUGHES 2016

The rescue of the lost battalion / The invisible marine / She gave them wings / 18 months in captivity / Sailor on the longest day / The odyssey of a "Battling Buzzard" / Gunner in the 94th / Missing in Buchenwald / Eyewitness to the Holocaust / Jewish boy in hiding / Country boy in the South Pacific / The atomic veteran / Washington Remembers World War II features a dozen gripping personal stories from the global conflict that changed who we are. The book is a tribute to the veterans and citizens who lived through horrors most of us cannot imagine and to the Rosie the riveters on the homefront who helped win the war. Six-thousand Washingtonians gave their lives to defeat tyranny. They're more than names on a wall. These are stories to remember. 

Behind the by-line Hu : a fiesty [sic] newsman's memoirs / Hu Blonk

979.732 BLONK 1992

A great variety of unusual events featured the long career of the editor and writer who was the man "Behind the By-Line Hu. This book describes them. Prominently featured are the building of the Grand Coulee Dam, which the author covered in person and his life in the honky-tonk town that sprung up describing the many colorful characters who lived in the area.


The curve of time / M. Wylie Blanchet

971.13 BLANCHE 1977

This is a biography and astonishing adventure story of a woman who, left a widow in 1927, packed her five children onto a 25-foot boat and cruised the coastal waters of British Columbia, summer after summer.Muriel Wylie Blanchet acted single-handedly as skipper, navigator, engineer and, of course, mum, as she saw her crew through encounters with tides, fog, storms, rapids, cougars and bears. She sharpened in her children a special interest in Haida culture and in nature itself. In this book, she left us with a sensitive and compelling account of their journeys. 

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