It has been nearly three years since I started researching the remarkable women of early Western America who came to call themselves "cowgirls". Even the word, 'cowgirl', did not evolve easily nor without controversy. Like their male counterpart, women came west for most of the same good reasons; opportunity, wide open spaces, adventure - all that America had to offer a hard working, able bodied citizen of a new, developing country and with few of the restrictions of the polite, gentile society of the civilized east.
Some women who had never seen a prairie sunset found themselves employed by circus', broadway productions and wild west shows depicting the life of the western cowgirl. Newspapers, tabloids and books told of the adventures of plains weathered cowboys and plucky cowgirls who performed unbelievable feats of daring and skill out on the western plains. Movies were made, songs were written and elaborate stage productions were designed for the pleasure and amazement of all who could afford the small price of admission.
The stories of homesteaders, ranchers, cowboys, cowgirls and indians would become the stuff of lore. Shared as polite dinner conversation in the finest restaurants of New York City and among the wealthiest and most upstanding families in the east as well as royalty, worldwide. A uniquely American brand of entertainment had been born; Cut from the bones of simple survival skills learned and needed for everyday living on the plains, added to a healthy sprinkling of the spectacle of a wondrous circus, and finally, the monolithic grandeur taken from a myriad of wild west shows blended perfectly into the mix as they played regularly to enthusiastic crowds coast to coast and all points in between.
Stay tuned! As The Lone Cowgirl brings you the true, real life stories of Bertha Kaepernik, Prairie Rose Henderson, Bonnie McCarroll, Fannie Sperry Steele, Florence Adams, Lulu Parr, Claire Belcher, Ella Lazinka and other honest to goodness American heroes you may have never heard about before. It's time their stories were told and remembered for generations to come.
I am truly honored to have the opportunity to offer a small sampling from the stories about these wonderful women - The Buckin' Horse Suffragettes, from the upcoming documentary film and book, "Oh, You Cowgirl!" for your reading pleasure at The Lone Cowgirl Presents!
The Lone Cowgirl
Featured clips from the documentary film, "Oh, You Cowgirl!" will be shown exclusively in the upcoming exhibit in Portland, Oregon at the Oregon Historical Society Building. The exhibit will be open daily beginning March 3, 2010 through July 4, 2010 and honor the anniversary of 100 Years of the Pendleton Round Up.
Pendleton Round-Up At 100
Oregon's Legendary Rodeo
Michael Bales and Ann Terry Hill
This is a must have for all rodeo and western history fans. Well designed and beautifully written, it chronicles the first 100 years of cowboys, cowgirls and indians at the world famous Pendleton Round-Up. Let 'er Buck!
You can find your copy here: