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Anita Lequoia
Author of The Campfire Chronicle, a Western lifestyle blog and founder of Stargazer Mercantile . . . cowgirl, and lover of all things equine, canine, feline and yes, even bovine!
Author of The Campfire Chronicle, a Western lifestyle blog and founder of Stargazer Mercantile . . . cowgirl, and lover of all things equine, canine, feline and yes, even bovine!
Anita's posts

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THE GALVESTON HURRICANE OF 1900: TAKING THE CITY BY STORM - As news arrives of Hurricane Joachim making landfall on the East coast, there is no denying that hurricane season is upon us again, and I am reminded of hurricanes past. It’s hard to believe it has been ten years since Hurricane Katrina blew through the Mississippi Gulf Coast and Louisiana. Thinking back on Katrina made me wonder about some of the other most damaging U.S. hurricanes. And by “wonder,” I mean it made me type, “most damaging U.S. hurricanes,” into Google. That’s when I discovered that Katrina isn’t the only hurricane with a recent anniversary. It has been just a smidge more than 115 years since the 1900 Galveston Hurricane, one of the worst natural disasters in American History.

In honor of Mother Nature and her wrath, we’re going to take a look back at the destructive path left by the 1900 Galveston Hurricane—a storm that is so old it didn’t even get a decent name, like future potential storms, Fiona, Shary, and Igor. As a matter of fact, most Galvestonians who survived the storm simply referred to it as just that: The Storm.

Read all about it in my blog today:

#Texas   #history    #hurricane  

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THE NOKOTA HORSES, A VANISHING BREED: On the high plains of North Dakota, there exists a herd of horses unlike any other in the world. They are The Nokota, direct descendants of the horses bred by the Lakota Sioux tribes in the 1800’s.  

The effort to save the Nokota began in the late 1970s when two ranchers from Linton, North Dakota, Frank and Leo Kuntz, bought some wild horses from a public auction after a roundup by the National Park Service at Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  The animals the Kuntzes purchased were different from any horses they’d ever seen. They were sturdy and big-boned with a sloping rump, two-colored eyes, white faces, and unusual coloring. The Kuntzes soon realized that their wild horses matched the descriptions of the treasured horses ridden by the northern Plains Indians nearly 150 years ago.   

Watch this wonderful video of The Nakota horses at Kuntz Ranch in North Dakota:

The threat of dispersal is hanging over the Nokota Horse Conservancy, a group dedicated to preserving the the last of the Nakota horses. Read about what you can do to help The Nokota here:

Have you ever seen the Nokota horses?

   #horses    #wildhorses    #nativeamerican    #Lakota   

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MARRIAGE IN THE OLD WEST: LOVE, HONOR AND OBEY. . .OR ELSE! - If random Facebook memes are to be believed, everything about years past was good. That’s what makes them the “good old days”, right? Marriages were stronger. Kids were heartier. Parents were wiser. And advice was just plain better. But was it really?

Some of the people posting those memes on Facebook might want to check out this book of advice for men, written by Rev. George W. Hudson in 1883, The Marriage Guide for Young Men: A Manual of Courtship and Marriage. Today, I would like to share some of Hudson’s “wisdom” along with some of my favorite funny quotes on marriage.

Read all about it in my blog today!

#women   #history   #womensrights  

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THE FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN MILITARY OFFICER, HENRY O. FLIPPER: He was born a slave in Thomasville, Georgia in 1856. But he saw a different life for himself, and calculated a new route. . .a route that took him from slavery, to a university education, to being the first African American to ever graduate from West Point, to being the first African American commissioned military officer in U.S. history, and beyond!

Read the story of the remarkable Henry O. Flipper in my blog today!

#history   #africanamerican   #military   #veterans  

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BREAKING BARRIERS: "YOSEMITE CLARE" HODGES, THE FIRST FEMALE PARK RANGER. Who is the first person that comes to your mind when I mention Yosemite? If it’s Yosemite Sam, then, Class, we've got us some book larnin’ to catch up on. Today, we’re not going to talk about the gun slinging, Looney Tunes prospector with the giant, red “moostache”, although, I have to admit that would be a fun topic. But, no . . . today we’re going to learn about Clare Marie Hodges, who was best known for being the first female park ranger. It seems that she and Yosemite Sam had absolutely nothing in common, if you don’t count the fact that he had Yosemite in his name and she made a name for herself at Yosemite.

Back in 1890, when Yosemite became a national park, women were pretty much a secondary part of the big cultural picture. It’s fair to surmise that between 1890 and 1918, the most important job women had when it came to Yosemite National Park was to fry up the chicken that went into the picnic baskets.

Then along came a woman named Clare Marie Hodges, and she changed it all. Read her story in my blog today!

#women    #history    #yosemitenationalpark  

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THE CRASH AT CRUSH, TEXAS: END OF THE LINE - This story is a little difficult to categorize, but basically I am thinking that we need to file it under the general category of “WHAT THE HECK WERE THEY THINKING?” This is one of those topics that reads like it must be satire, but it isn’t. In fact, whoever first said that truth is stranger than fiction must have known about a man named William George Crush, who is attributed with one of the most disastrous publicity stunts of all time. This story is proof that people have been coming up with misguided ideas for (at least) 109 years longer than YouTube has been in existence.

So. . .what happened on that day in 1896, at a location about fifteen miles north of Waco, Texas when 40,000 onlookers came to watch two  locomotives collide at full speed?  


#Texas   #history   #railroad  

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MARFA, TEXAS: THE CAPITAL OF QUIRKINESS -  How many of you remember watching the TV show Hee Haw? Oh, sure, it was as corny as all get-out, but one of my favorite parts of the show was when they would salute little, out of the way spots. Please tell me you remember when someone on the show would say something like, “Hee Haw salutes my hometown, Podunkville, Alabama, population 1,317!” And then the whole Hee Haw gang would simultaneously rise up out of the cornfield, wave their straw hats in the air and shout, “Sa-Lute!” You see, Hee Haw knew their fan base didn’t live among the skyscrapers and big city lights. Their fan base lived in the small towns and rural communities that make up thousands of little dots on the map.

I love knowing that every one of those little dots on the map has a story to tell. So today, in true Hee Haw fashion, I would like to offer up my own salute to a dot on the map with a tale worth telling. Are ya ready? Today the Campfire Chronicle salutes Marfa, Texas, population 1981! Sa-Lute! Grab your straw hats and start waving now! We’re going to find out why a town with a population of under 2,000 people has been featured on 60 Minutes, NPR, and in InStyle magazine. (Now, that’s a claim Podunkville, Alabama can’t make!)


#Texas   #history   #modernart  

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BROWNIE WISE, THE LIFE OF THE TUPPERWARE PARTY! Those of you who join me at the Campfire Chronicle with any regularity know there is a general theme around here. Western. I love all things Western. Sometimes a story doesn’t quite fit into the Western mold, but I still find myself unable to resist telling you about it. This is one of those times.

So, go ahead and tie up your horses because you won’t be needing them for the next few minutes. Today, I’m going to tell you about a lady named Brownie Wise, a mid-century housewife who became the creator of one of the most successful marketing programs in American history: The Tupperware Party. So, kick off your boots and untie your bandanna ’cause this story calls for kitten heels and a strand of pearls!

Read all about Brownie Wise and the Tupperware Party in my blog today!

#women   #history   #America   #marketing  

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THE KLONDIKE GOLD RUSH: A GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY.  I love any reason to celebrate. Seriously, you come up with an occasion and I’ll be there with my fork poised, ready to dig into some cake! Since August isn’t a big month for holidays, I’ve been going through cake withdrawal. Until now! I did a little research and learned that August marks a very special kind of Golden Anniversary.  But I’m not talking about the celebration of fifty years of marriage. I’m talking about the 119th anniversary of the date gold was discovered at Bonanza Creek, thereby starting the Klondike Gold Rush. If that doesn’t call for a cake, I don’t know what does! "Karat" cake, anyone?

Read all about the Klondike Gold Rush in my blog today!

#history   #western   #GoldRush  

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THE NATIVE AMERICAN BOARDING SCHOOLS: "KILL THE INDIAN, SAVE THE MAN" Many of us remember singing along with the Schoolhouse Rock song, “The Great American Melting Pot” on Saturday mornings. I will admit that I never found it as catchy as “Conjunction Junction,” but it did give us something to ponder. It was a fun little cartoon showing heartwarming scenes of immigrants bringing their own languages and customs and melting right in with thousands of other people to form a country. Meanwhile, the Statue of Liberty was standing by holding a recipe book. Everybody sing!

You simply melt right in, 
It doesn’t matter what your skin.
It doesn’t matter where you’re from,
Or your religion, you jump right in
To the American melting pot.
The great American melting pot.
Ooh, what a stew, red, white, and blue…

While other verses of the song mention English, Germans, Dutch, French, Italians and Russians, it never mentions Native Americans. Nope. There’s not one little mention about how U.S. government officials were bound and determined to throw the Native Americans into the melting pot, whether they wanted to assimilate or not.

From the late 1870s until well into the 20th century, Native American children were taken from their homes and forced to live in boarding schools. While there, they were abused and neglected, and punished for speaking their native language. They were not given an education,  rather, they were taught how to labor in a White man's world. It's a shocking chapter in American history, and not at all the kind of material that should be turned into a Schoolhouse Rock song. But it is definitely a story worth telling. Read about it in my blog today:

#NativeAmerican   #Americanhistory   #history   #America  
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