On June 26, 1809, John McKnight and 30 other residents of Pine Township petitioned the courts of Allegheny for the formation of a new township. In the November term, permission was granted, and Ross Township was born. However, the story does not begin there. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Ross Township was settled by early Native American warriors and hunters who used the land as a hunting ground. Ross Township includes the tales of Casper Reel and his family, the first white settlers "North of the Allegheny;" Simon Girty, traitor and renegade of the Revolutionary War; and the infamous Biddle Boys' escape from prison with the warden's wife and escapade through Perrysville in the winter of 1902.
Violent bank heists, bold train robberies and hardened gangs all tear across the history of the wild west--western Pennsylvania, that is. The region played reluctant host to the likes of the infamous Biddle Boys, who escaped Allegheny County Jail by romancing the warden's wife, and the Cooley Gang, which held Fayette County in its violent grip at the close of the nineteenth century. Then there was Pennsylvania's own Bonnie and Clyde--Irene and Glenn--whose murderous misadventures earned the "trigger blonde" and her beau the electric chair in 1931. From the perilous train tracks of Erie to the gritty streets of Pittsburgh, authors Thomas White and Michael Hassett trace the dark history of the crooks, murderers and outlaws who both terrorized and fascinated the citizenry of western Pennsylvania.
For nearly half a century, celebrated historian Ron Tyler has researched, interpreted, and exhibited western American art. This splendid volume, gleaned from Tyler’s extensive career of connoisseurship, brings together eight of the author’s most notable essays, reworked especially for this volume. Beautifully illustrated with more than 150 images, Western Art, Western History tells the stories of key artists, both famous and obscure, whose provocative pictures document the people and places of the nineteenth-century American West. The artists depicted in these pages represent a variety of personalities and artistic styles. According to Tyler, each of them responded in unique ways to the compelling and exotic drama that unfolded in the West during the nineteenth century—an age of exploration, surveying, pleasure travel, and scientific discovery. In eloquent and engaging prose, Tyler unveils a fascinating cast of characters, including the little-known German-Russian artist Louis Choris, who served as a draftsman on the second Russian circumnavigation of the globe; the exacting and precise Swiss artist Karl Bodmer, who accompanied Prince Maximilian of Wied on his sojourn up the Missouri River; and the young American Alfred Jacob Miller, whose seemingly frivolous and romantic depictions of western mountain men and American Indians remained largely unknown until the mid-twentieth century. Other artists showcased in this volume are John James Audubon, George Caleb Bingham, Alfred E. Mathews, and, finally, Frederic Remington, who famously sought to capture the last glimmers of the “old frontier.” A common thread throughout Western Art, Western History is the important role that technology—especially the development of lithography—played in the dissemination of images. As the author emphasizes, many works by western artists are valuable not only as illustrations but as scientific documents, imbued with cultural meaning. By placing works of western art within these broader contexts, Tyler enhances our understanding of their history and significance.
Ventura County's largest unincorporated community was born in the mid-1960s on pastoral ranchland previously owned by the radio comedy team of Fibber McGee and Molly in the 1950s and by William Randolph Hearst from the mid-1920s through the 1930s. Originally a Native American site, Oak Park was designed by its builder as a "community in the country" capturing "the scenic grandeur of early California, west of the San Fernando Valley." Today, it is still widely known for its award-winning schools, beautiful parks, creekside bike paths and nature trails, and a diverse, well-educated population. Many of its nearly 15,000 residents commute to and from Los Angeles. These historic images demonstrate why Oak Park has become one of the most desirable places to live in Southern California.