Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Our Favorite Old West Photographs, Part I

 October 19, 2022

   This coming January we, at True West magazine, will celebrate our 70th anniversary of continuous publishing. We are asking our writers, contributing editors and our readers to tell us about their favorite Old West photos. Here are a couple examples to get you going.

"For me it has to be the Civil War photo of George Armstrong Custer standing, almost in profile, his arms crossed across his chest, his face looking at you with all that long hair and mustache, and, he is what, 22 years old? The camera captures that feeling that no matter what happens, this kid is destined for Valhalla; and he made it!"
—Thom Ross

"The dead Daltons after their failed Coffeyville Raid (and there is that kid peering at the camera from the hole in the fence; this is NOT child abuse!  This is a fabulous photo of grim death being watched over by a child)."
—Thom Ross

Pearl Hart
Colorized by Gary Sheaf

   "I love the rifle-toting pic of Pearl Hart in the 'bandit' outfit she wore when she robbed the stage to Globe in 1889. She needed suspenders to hold up the pants; her boots were way too big, and if she hadn't cocked her dirty white hat, it would have covered her eyes. This is the 'tough' photo of her that captured the nation."
—Jana Bommersbach

   Believe it or not, one of our contributing editors has nominated a photo I took:

Shoutout at The O.K. Corral
Glenn Boyer And Ron Fischer
Confront Allen Barra, November 4, 2000

"In the True West Wyatt Earp issue (2001) there is the 'OKII Shoutout at Schieffelin Hall' article. There is an image of Ron Fischer standing over Allen Barra and I think this photo, perhaps above all others, demonstrates the huge shift in the field I saw from the Glenn Boyer years to the modern era."

—Erik J. Wright, contributing editor, Tombstone Epitaph

"Unlike Camilius Fly, I was ready and I took the photo."

—BBB, comparing the most famous gunfight in the history of the West to the nitpickers and footnoters who staged the second confrontation, which ironically was over the events at the first event


  1. Gary Sheaf12:21 PM

    Thanks for choosing my colourised image of Pearl Hart

  2. Gary, that is a stellar job! I will backdate in credit to you. Thanks for doing it and thanks for bringing this to my attention.


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