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Old 07-29-2012, 10:48 PM   #1831
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http://i.imgur.com/rvETs.jpg


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Old 07-29-2012, 11:32 PM   #1832
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:36 PM   #1833
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SE Alberta Plains

Three weeks ago my wife and I rode to Havre, Montana for the start of her solo cross country trip. The land south of the Cypress Hills between the US border and the Alberta city of Medicine Hat is typical plains ...





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Old 07-30-2012, 12:41 PM   #1834
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Most of these photos were taken near Manhattan, KS. The last was taken SW of Lincoln, NE.













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Old 07-31-2012, 07:27 PM   #1835
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After the last Indian and Buffalo...

By the 1880s there were no more Buffalo in Gove County there were no more Plains Indians. But the grass still grew and the cattle drives had been pushed slowly west Caldwell, Wichita, Newton, Salina, were no longer cowtowns.

Narative From the History of Gove County.

Editor of the Express kept a partial record for 1880. In one day of that year 11,600 head arrived at Buffalo Park. Thirty thousand came in one week. By July 8 the arrivals numbered 89.220; by August 5 there were 165,220. After this date no more figures were given, but as the run of range cattle usually continues till fall it is evident the record is far from complete. The cattle did not all come to Buffalo Park; some herds crossed the railroad near Grainfield and Grinnell, and it is probably conservative enough to es-timate that a quarter of a million head of Texas cattle passed through Gove county during the one season of 1880.





Some of the cattle were shipped from the stock yards at Buffalo Park to the east or to the west, but most of the herds were driven on, to find their final stopping point in Nebraska or the territories of the northwest. The cattle moved leisurely, sometimes taking weeks for the trip, and often making long stops when the grass was good and water abundant. Some of the herds were known as "time herds," because they had been bought by the government to furnish rations for the Indians on the reservations and were under contract to be delivered at their destination by a certain time.

The Smoky she runs pretty shallow in the summer, and goes completly underground by the time it reaches the Colorado border.




The cattle drive soon became unpopular in Gove county for the same reasons that had caused it to be outlawed in the older counties. The cattle destroyed the crops of the settlers, who could collect no damages. It was charged that the cattle brought disease into the country. The cowboys went on sprees at Buffalo Park and Grainfield and once "shot up" the town of Grinnell; the cowboys got the worst of this affray (June, 1880) the net result being one cowboy killed and one citizen wounded. by 1883 the drives had been pushed further west. In 1883; the legislature of that year changed the law and removed the dead line to the westward of Gove, Sheridan and Rawlins counties, and the Texas cattle drive ceased to be any longer a disturbing factor in the history of Gove county.





But now for a few years the development of the country and its resources was to be in the hands of the cattle men. Such farming as was done was carried on in the northern part of the county near the railroad. The Shoen brothers ran a sheep ranch on the North Hackberry, but the whole southern part of the county was a void till the cattle men began to take possession. These cattle men met in the fall of 1882 and organized the Smoky Hill Cattle Pool.





The Pool was similar to other cattlemen's organizations then existing everywhere in the range country. Each member had his own cattle and his own brand, but the cattle all ran together on a common rang and were "rounded up" once a year. The organization had its officers and con-stitution, it hired range riders and other employes and incurred other necessary expenses which were met by assessments on the members according to the number of cattle each one had in the pool. The territory claimed by_ the Smoky Hill Cattle Pool was thirty miles along the Smoky and about twelve miles each way from it north and south, though this territory varied in extent at different times. The principal watering-places for the cattle were on the river, but drinking places were also maintained at the old Grannal Spring and Indian Spring on Indian creek and at various other places within the territory claimed by the Pool.





The Pool was organized in August 1882 at Farnsworth postoffice in Lane county. The first officers were S. S. Evans president, W. A. Sternberg secretary and treasurer, Noah Chenoweth and J. W. Felch directors. The Pool headquarters were at Farnsworth at first, but as its membership grew and its territory extended its headquarters were changed to Grainfield and E. A. McMath of that place was made secretary and treasurer. The membership of the Pool was never very large; it seems to have been its policy to keep the membership small and not overstock the range.





At the time of the organization of the Pool there were the following cow camps along the Smoky in Gove county from east to west: Felch, Evans, McCafferty & Swartz, Bowman Brothers and Sternberg. Bowman Bros, held their cattle on the site of old Fort Monument on the Butter-field Trail. Each member of the Pool advertised his brand in the Kansas. Cowboy at Dodge City,

Smoky Hill Trail looking east past the Monuments.




When organized the pool represented about five thousand head of cattle. This number increased till it was estimated at fifteen thousand head in 1884.
The Pool was prosperous. At the end of its first year, in the fall of 1883, it g:ave out a report showing that the expense for keeping- the cattle had been but twelve and one half cents a head per month. Fifteen hundred calves were branded that year and the number of cattle in the Pool had increased to more than. eight thousand. A contract was let to build a drift fence forty eight miles long on the south and east sides of the range. This fence was a substantial affair with galvanized wire and oak posts. Joshua Wheat-croft of Lane county was given the-contract to build the fence.





The fence proved its worth. In the spring of '84 it was ann.ounced that the cattle were badly scattered by storms but that the fence had held them on the range and kept them from drifting- away. Losses had not been heavy, though the cattle had been subsisting entirely on grass-There was fear that the range would be overstocked. Members were complaining that a "carpet bag" outfit was preparing to move in on the-range to take advantage, without paying, of the accommodations afforded by the pool.





Prosperity continued in 1885. At the first calf round up two thousand head were branded; the calf crop was estimated at three thousand for the season. "Jack" Thomas makes his first appearance in Gove county history; he is hired to 'ride the line" and keep the cattle from bothering the settlers on the Hackberry. During the season seventy four car loads of cattle were shipped from Buffalo Park, forty seven of them going in the month of October.





The winter of 1885-86 put the finishing touches on the Smoky Hill Cattle Pool. It was the hardest winter that western Kansas had ever known. The cold was long continued and intense, with frequent blizzards and the ground covered with snow; and without either feed or shelter only the strongest of the cattle could survive. Human lives were lost likewise in the storms of this winter. August Johnson, one of the Pool cowboys, was frozen to death on Salt Creek in January. After this storm in January newspaper reports esti-mated that there were ten thousand dead cattle in western Kansas between Garden City and the White Woman. Many cattle which survived the winter storms were so weakened that they died in the spring.




"On comparing notes and opinions among the stock men assembled here this week it seems to be the unanimous conclusion that the range cattle business in this country is played out, we are getting too much rain in summer and too much snow in winter.
"To be sure, the hide business has been extremely good this spring, but it does not pay to raise cattle just for the hides. Stockmen also recognize the fact that the farmer has come to stay, and there is no disposition to contest the territory. They have been slow to admit but now fully recognize the climatic change which this region is undergoing. They "cuss" the country because it is too wet for the successful raising of stock on the open range system. They will move on west or else hold in smaller bunches, close herd and feed. There will be no issue between the stock men and the grangers "Newcomers who are inquiring about the rainfall need no stronger evidence than this of the climatic changes that are taking place in this region."

These climatic changes would lour in the farmers and crush many of them under a weather patern that Kansas has right now dry and dusty with a whole bunch of hot.





The fence belonging to the Pool was bought by T. L. Smith for his ranch at Goodwater. The number-of cattle found at this round up is not given, but the Cap Sheaf said "The loss on the range for the three years last past has been from sixty to eighty per cent, of the book count. The storm the first of April killed more cattle than all the other storms during the three years previous."
The raising of cattle on the open range system of "making them rustle" had proved a costly failure. The cattle men could not change their ways and stay in the county under new conditions. Of those prominent in the Smoky Hill Cattle Pool only McMath, Baker and Prindle ever cut any figure in the subsequent history of Gove county.





One more incident in the history of the Smoky Hill Cattle Pool remains to be written. In July, 1886, the members of that organization and the Forrester Pool were arrested by the U. S. marshal on the charge of fencing government land. They were uefended by Lee Monroe and E. A. McMath. In the days of their prosperity the members of the Pool had felt and expressed some indignation against the outsiders who had brought cattle into their range; but circumstances alter cases, and now they were glad to point to these outsiders as evidence of the fact that the Pool had not monopolized the land or kept anybody out. As for the Pool fence, they contended that it was not an enclosure at all, merely a drift fence on one side of the range to keep the cattle from straying. The court took this view of the case and when it met at Leavenworth in October the action against the cattlemen was dismissed.




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Old 08-02-2012, 05:35 PM   #1836
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you still have untill Aug 14th to put your bid in Ted...




http://www.kansas.com/2012/07/26/242...ve-county.html


The working ranch includes some of the most scenic land Kansas offers: Monument Rocks, also known as the Chalk Pyramids, listed as a National Natural Landmark.
The property includes farmland, rolling ranch and pasture. It contains minerals, oil, gas and other resources. It is rich in wildlife, with antelope, mule and white-tailed deer, prairie chickens, pheasants, rattlesnakes and other critters traversing the hills and terrain.
It also is rich with history, including ties to Gen. George Armstrong Custer, and is considered sacred among some Native American tribes linked to the area.
“I would prefer strongly not to sell,” Thies said Tuesday.
“It has gotten complicated, as do most family corporations,” Faulkner said. ”People die and it gets passed down; the next generations get larger and larger as it is distributed among the heirs.”
And, as Tom Thies, the family historian, acknowledges, the Thies family is looking for “the best bidder, not the highest bidder.”
“How do you place value on something like this?” Tom Thies said. “It is a real bittersweet thing for us.





“I would say this: My family has had great respect for the people, history and heritage of Kansas. Our company is a model for how private ownership and public interest can work together. … As we do this bid process, we want to know those same values will be upheld by the next owner.”





In 1946, brothers H.P. “Hody” and Fred W. Thies, of Great Bend, bought the land at auction. But the history of the land goes back as far as 87 million years, to the Cretaceous and Permian periods, when it was covered by a vast ocean, said paleontologist Mike Everhart of Derby, an expert on the Western Interior Sea. Some of those sea-bottom mineral deposits have helped create today’s oil and gas industry. It also created one of the best fossil beds in the world.





“Historically, the whole valley along the Smoky Hill River is very significant for fossil collectors,” Everhart said.
World-renowned paleontologists Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope led expeditions in the 1860s into the Smoky Hill chalk beds of western Kansas. It was also an area well known by George and Charles Sternberg, who made careers collecting the fossils of Kansas.



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Old 08-04-2012, 09:21 AM   #1837
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The Bone Wars...




Castle Rock stands 30 miles to the east of the Monuments, down the Smoky, the Smoky Hill Trail passed just to the north of the castle formation. Its formed the same way the Monuments did, a piece of ocean bottom that was not washed away as the water receded.

http://www.levins.com/bwars.shtml

http://www.keystonegallery.com/

http://www.kansastravel.org/fickmuseum.htm

http://www.oceansofkansas.com/sternbrg.html








Start of the Bone Wars
In 1868 he came to Haddonfield for a two-week visit and tour of the southern New Jersey marl fields with Cope. The men jointly hunted fossils on that excursion, finding partial structures of two different prehistoric animals. Cope introduced Marsh to all the marl pit managers and foremen who regularly sent word to Haddonfield when their workmen struck bone.





Shortly after Marsh left, Cope learned that the Yale professor had quietly gone back for private visits with the various marl pit managers and offered them money to send their alerts and bones to New Haven rather than Haddonfield.






That 1868 bit of rivalry was the beginning of the Bone Wars. From then on, Cope and Marsh would maneuver against each other, spying, luring away each other's workers, bidding up the price of bones, publicly attacking the validity of each other's scientific findings, and otherwise working to undermine the other's professional reputation and accomplishments.





At the same time in the 1870s, the general understanding of America's dinosaur fossil reality was changing. There was new emphasis on the potential of largely unexplored western lands that were once the swamp and shoreline of a vast inland Cretaceous sea.




Marsh headed west in his first expedition in the summer of 1870; he led a team of Yale students prospecting for bones in desolate high-prairie areas where western Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado converge. Meanwhile, from his Haddonfield home, Cope planned his own first expedition to this same area for the following summer.





In a competition that quickly took on the air of a frontier military engagement Cope and Marsh used U.S. cavalry forts as staging areas and mule-drawn covered wagons as vehicles. They and their gangs of diggers spent the next twenty years unearthing amazing new prehistoric skeletal remains.





During his first trip West in the summer of 1871, Cope wrote home to his five-year-old daughter, Julia: "I have been traveling about in this country looking for fossil bones of huge animals such as I bring home in my bag to Haddonfield sometimes."





From the moonscape-like badlands of western Kansas, he wrote back to his wife, Annie: "The weather is lovely. The Indians are peaceable... Prairie dogs and antelope are in thousands and the wolves howled at us as we worked on the bluff."





That winter, back in his home on Kings Highway, Cope wrote his official report on that first trip through the desolate wilderness of western Kansas, describing how ancient seashells littered the ground and how the jaw bones of gigantic prehistoric monsters protruded from limestone cliff sides.





Cope's principal biographer, Henry Fairfield Osborne, wrote that "The decade of 1870 to 1879... was the golden period in Cope's life; the period of his greatest achievement, of his incomparable western expeditions, of the acquirement of the greatest part of his fossil collections, of the foundation of his principal scientific discoveries."





Part of that achievement was the discovery of 56 different species of dinosaurs. His arch rival, Marsh, is credited with discovering 86 dinosaur species.


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Old 08-05-2012, 02:32 PM   #1838
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Yet another great history lesson SB...

A couple from the Plains in my back yard... That nasty bike kept sneekin in front of the lens.










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Old 08-06-2012, 05:02 PM   #1839
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Northeast of Eagle Butte, SD ahead of the rain....

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Old 08-06-2012, 05:47 PM   #1840
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Nice shots Dusty, and not a fence in sight. Truly open range.
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:25 PM   #1841
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Thanks, it's getting harder to find places like this, even around here...
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Old 08-08-2012, 11:06 AM   #1842
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wind waves in the grain, western kansas.
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Old 08-08-2012, 11:23 AM   #1843
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more of what I think of when I think plains and home..


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Old 08-08-2012, 10:00 PM   #1844
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Nothing quite like the Palouse in Washington!

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Old 08-09-2012, 12:15 AM   #1845
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wind waves in the grain, western kansas.

I could sit by the side of the road for hours and watch the wind play in a mature wheat field or a stand of tall prairie grass. And I have. Great picture.
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