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Albuquerque, NM

albuquerque nmThe railroad plans for construction to Albuquerque were quite daunting, as they had to plan around the flooding of the Rio Grande, and in 1880, the tracks finally reached Albuquerque. When construction began on the depot in 1901, it brought commerce that no one truly expected. After completion, the Alvarado Hotel opened and was considered the finest railroad hotel of its day.

Fresno, CA

fresno caThe Central Pacific Railroad was laid in 1872 through the San Joaquin Valley, and at the time, the track builders created a makeshift town, calling it Fresno Station for the name of the county (a name taken from the description of the trees that flourished in the area). A station was eventually built in what is now downtown Fresno. A nearby town, Millerton, moved 25 miles away to Fresno just so they could gain access to the new transportation.

Cheyenne, WY

cheyenne wyFor Cheyenne, Wyoming, the Union Pacific Railroad was a big deal when the track was laid in the city in 1867. The town already existed prior to the railroad and townsfolk were excited about the boom that the railroad would bring.

10 U.S. Towns the Railroad Established in the West

10 US towns that formed because of the railroadAround 1860, the first railroad towns began to appear east of the Mississippi River. They were part of a new frontier and brought our nation together through connectivity and communication. Supplies could easily be transported across the states faster and more efficiently than by horse and wagon. This led to the creation of a multitude of new towns, especially in the West. During the building of the railroads, workers needed places to rest, eat, sleep, and pick up more supplies. These stops along the way fruited some of the bigger known towns that the nation has today. Towns that already existed in the area noticed a dramatic increase in their population; goods and services quickly gave the towns the economic security they needed to survive. Some towns were created primarily for a depot junction, giving travelers in the surrounding areas a place to migrate to. These areas often became booming hubs that connected the nation. During the Civil War, railroad construction came to a halt, but production resumed in the latter half of the 1800s. The nation’s first transcontinental line (the Union Pacific-Central Pacific) was finished in 1871. Here we take a look at 10 towns that may owe their existence and livelihood to the construction of the railroad, and we will discuss what benefits arose in those areas that made them what they are today.


Bertha Blancett

legendary-women-in-western-historyBertha Blancett was the first woman to ride broncos in Cheyenne’s Frontier Days and was a pioneer for women performing in rodeo. A performer of the Miller Brother’s 101 Ranch show (among various other groups), she made a name for herself and allowed many following women to do the same, proving they could ride broncs with the best of men.

Mabel Strickland Woodward

legendary-women-in-western-historyMabel Strickland Woodward was known for founding the Association of Film Equestriennes and basically being one of the world’s best woman trick riders/rodeo performers. Her repertoire included steer riding, bronc riding, and tricks. She is also known for stomping out the competition wherever she went. She was introduced to riding by her father, at the age of 3, and immediately developed a passion for it.

Tad Lucas

legendary-women-in-western-historyTad Lucas, the youngest of 24 children, was a small-statured woman who was a big hit in the world of rodeo performing, bronc riding, and racing. She traveled the world as a trick rider, performing stunts in front of thousands and was constantly adding acts to her performance. Lucas performed in London, Mexico, The Chicago World’s Fair, and also funded charities such as the Red Cross with her rodeo talent.

Calamity Jane

legendary-women-in-western-historyFrontierswoman Calamity Jane has gone down in history as one of the most noted women during the days of the Wild West. A close friend to Wild Bill Hickok, and known for fighting off attacking natives, she was every bit the rough and tough woman we know her as today.

Annie Oakley

legendary-women-in-western-historyOakley got her start as a sharpshooter when she was just 15 years old. She beat her first opponent, Frank E. Butler, in a sharpshooting match and then later on married him. Together, they traveled with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, turning Annie into a legendary sharpshooter who entertained audiences all over the nation.

Belle Starr

legendary-women-in-western-historyBelle Starr’s reputation was pretty ruthless. A member of the James-Younger gang, convicted of being a horse thief (punishable by death in those days), and the overall mystery of her death is enough to make Belle a legend in the days of the Wild West. Belle ran with many notorious characters who were well-known for their outlaw way of life.


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