Synopses & Reviews
Nearly 150 historic sites in twenty-one western states are described and illustrated in Landmarks of the West. Kent Ruth has included army forts, battlefields, missions (Catholic and Protestant), ghost towns and future cities in their “Wild West” stages, Indian Villages, fur trade posts and rendezvous sites, Oregon Trail posts—all of “which have an overwhelming claim to our attention.” Each site description includes text describing the historic background, a sketch map locating the site within the state, and two or three illustrations, early-day and modern. To add flavor, Ruth often quotes nineteenth-century visitors to the scenes.
The result is a fascinating and colorful tour of western history, from the California missions to the Custer Battlefield to odd St. Louis and to points throughout the Trans-Mississippi West. From a vast number of possibilities, Ruth selected the sites with the help of other historians, mainly officials of state historical societies. His book is a convenient and authentic source of information for the curious history buff and the busy scholar as well.
Landmarks of the West was originally published in 1963 as Great Days in the West: Forts, Posts, and Rendezvous Beyond the Mississippi. This revised edition uses some new photos, makes corrections in the text, and adds a new preface by the author.
About the Author
A free-lance writer, Kent Ruth is the editor of Oklahoma: A Guide to the Sooner State (1957) and the author of Touring the Old West (1971), and Window on the Past (1984), among other books. He is a member of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.