Right out of the chute, let me say how thrilled I am to be joining Petticoats & Pistols as a new Fillie! I’ve loved this site since the day it opened and now I get to be here among these fabulous western writers on a regular basis.
I love history. That’s no surprise, of course, to anyone who knows me. I not only enjoy writing about the past, but researching those bits and pieces that make the historical story I’m writing realistic, interesting and accurate.
Research comes in many forms. I can spend hours in a library, hunting through books. Or online, looking for one particular fact. But my favorite type of research is the kind I didn’t plan.
In my trips to research a story, I’ve come across some fun facts. Did you know there was a salt war in Texas? Neither did I was researching for this blog. Bonus: I discovered the Texas Historic Sites Atlas while looking for a picture of the marker.
Were you aware there was a Revolutionary War battle in St. Louis, Missouri? That’s right, halfway up the mighty Mississippi. The Battle of Fort San Carlos was fought when British-led Sioux, Sac, Fox and Winnebago warriors attacked a newly built French entrenchment in May of 1780. That historical fact came from a local newspaper article my mother forwarded.
Ever heard of Crash, Texas? It’s a town that was built for the express purpose of allowing spectators to witness a train crash up close and personal. A friend sent me that news story.
Then there’s the Great Santa Fe Trail Horse Race, begun in 1848 and revived in 1977. I found out about it when researching the coach stops along the Santa Fe Trail after visiting the Pony Express Museum in St. Joseph, Missouri.
Do you read the footnotes and attributions at the end of a historical research article? You might take a stroll through the archived blogs right here at Petticoats & Pistols –the Fillies have shared some wonderful research.I love running across obscure information while I’m researching something else. And you can find some of the most interesting—and mostly useless—tidbits in some unlikely places. ebay® is one place that surprised me. I found some cool info on china and crystal and Texas artifacts there while researching my latest release, Touched by Love.
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Now, you’ll have to excuse me. There’s a museum website I just heard someone mention.
What’s the most unusual fact you discovered in the most unlikely place?