Western Influence on Rustic Casual Dinnerware
People Moved West
Americans traveled west for different reasons. Some traveled over mountains along dangerous wagon trails, seeking land for farming or ranches.
Wagon trains followed a few wagon trails that went over the Rocky Mountains and through passes. It was a hard journey and there were many dangers.
Others went west to seek their fortunes and make a quick buck. I’m sure you remember reading or studying about the Gold Rush in California and Alaska. There were many men who thought they would become rich, easily and fast, when they reached the far West.
Saloons and ladies of the night followed the fortune seekers. And then other services were needed: general stores for food and household necessities, liveries for horses, feed stores, physicians.
Transportation to the West Improved
Stage coaches soon followed covered wagons and brought people to the West.
Trains were eventually seen in the West. They carried necessary items for people who were living there.
You may have heard of the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe Railway. It was one of the largest railroads in the U.S. and one of the most well known.
The Taming of the West
At some point, homesteaders and farmers started to clash with their neighbors who let cattle roam as they pleased. The farmers’ objection was that the cattle tended to eat or trample the farmers’ crops. The ranchers knew that their cattle would find the best grazing and weather, by moving naturally to the best areas.
Barbed wire became a symbol of the struggles and turf wars between farmers and ranchers.
Barbed wire, cheap and easy to install, began to be seen along boundaries in the West. Fences also became a point of contention between the two types of settlers.
Sheriffs and deputies became necessary, to keep peace among the settlers and those passing through.
The American West Today
Today, many parts of the West and Southwest remain sparcely settled. There are ranches with huge acreages, and many of the people living in these areas are fiercely independent.
The history of the Wild West is the inspiration for many of the rustic casual dinnerware sets seen above.