Smoke Signals newsletter

    Wild Wild West

Articles spotlighting people or events that help create our history and heritage. We will scan the visions of those who shaped our Western world, uncover stories from the many talented writers who keep our Western history alive - continuing the enriching process of understanding where we came from, where we are today and how the Wild Wild West will continue to evolve as a powerful influence around this country and the world. 

The Overlooked Rich History of the African-American Cowboy

It’s a little-known fact that one in four cowboys in the 19th century American West was black. American history has done an incredible job of bringing the romantic taming of the Wild West to life through images, both historic originals and modern day conjures of the sharpshooting, trailblazing, horse-back riding, saloon door swinging cowboys of American lore. But 25% of this powerful force is missing in history’s visual representation of how it really was.


Historic Front Street Ogallala, NB

“OGALLALY”! Queen of the Cow Towns

For a brief, exciting decade in the history of the West, the tiny town of Ogallala, Nebraska, was the Mecca for trail herds of longhorn cattle, “choused” out of the Texas brush country and pointed north on the long drives. And by the time the glory days of the cattle drives had passed, Ogallala had more than earned her reputation as Nebraska’s “Cowboy Capital,” and the “Gomorrah of the Plains.”


Mabel McKay

The Autry Museum of the American West opens most transformative project in its history

On October 9, 2016, the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles opened its doors unveiling its most significant and dynamic renovation since its doors first opened in 1988.This major transformative project, titled California Continued, spans nearly 20,000 square feet of redesigned indoor and outdoor spaces encompassing both temporary and core galleries, an ethnobotanical teaching garden, and an immersive media projection room.


Will James

The Will James Society: History and Heritage
Renewing its Purpose, Goals and Dedication

The Name Will James strikes a chord with most people. Artist? Author? Cowboy? No matter what the note, the name is familiar. 24 books from the pen of Will James has compelled little children to dream of becoming a cowboy (or cowgirl of course), sparked their imagination and peppered it with images he drew and tales he spun.


Henry Starr

The Saga of Henry Starr and Cherokee Bill

On a black July night in 1892, three men, all masked and carrying revolvers, entered the Missouri Pacific Railroad station in Nowata, Indian Territory. One of the bandits, a slim teenager with straight black hair and dark piercing eyes, walked swiftly up to the ticket window, and - for the first time in what would be a nearly three-decades-long career of crime - barked his signature command, "Thumbs up and stand steady!" Within minutes, they were mounted and firing their pistols in the air, $1700 richer, as they sped off into the darkness.


Bill Carlisle

The White Masked Bandit

I remember him clearly, an older gray haired man, slender with the kind of wind-worn face common to men who labored to make a living in the Wyoming of cowboys and railroaders. These were the men who scraped out a living in this often unforgiving land. Some of my earliest memories as a child come from listening to this man chat with my father while I sipped a grape soda. He operated tourist cabins on the east edge of Laramie and my father delivered Sinclair gasoline to his adjacent gas station. 


Shoshone chief Washakie

Witness to Her Times,
A Wyoming Pioneer Teacher

Mable Moudy was born in 1878 in Atlantic City, Wyoming. She told us of learning to speak Shoshone as a child, of visits to their home from Shoshone chief Washakie, and of wearing moccasins rather than regular shoes.


3 women sitting astride on horseback

Women Riding in the Far West

A correspondent to a saddle and harness journal in the spring of 1894 wrote about California women abandoning the side saddle to ride astride.  It comes as no surprise that independent minded women in the West might cast “aside” the proprieties of Victorian manners, and after all, even equestrian traditions had to adapt to the needs and environments of the American West.




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Mission Statement

Smoke Signals blows your way from High Noon Western Americana of Los Angeles, California, producers of the High Noon Antique Show & Auction for 25 years (1991-2014). Smoke Signals eMagazine was founded in 2010 from a desire to share thoughts and facts with the High Noon community and look at what is going on in the Western world while feeding our readers with great recipes and giving advertisers a chance to blow their own smoke.

And hopefully we educate along the way.

Linda Kohn Sherwood, Editor

Copyright © 2021 L A High Noon, Inc. All Rights Reserved.