Mining town of Gunnison, Colorado…

March 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Many of the newspapers held in our “Old West” category have a look very similar to most newspapers of the day, but have histories which tell an interesting story of the Old West. The newspapers from these towns offer a window into daily life and are much more interesting when the story of the town is known. From time to time we will provide a glimpse into the past of some of the towns in our Old West inventory.

We offer many issues of the “Gunnison Daily Review” from the early 1880’s. It was named for John W. Gunnison who first explored the area looking for a transcontinental railroad route, even though he only stayed in the town for 3 days of his entire life.

Gunnison first began to boom in the 1870’s along with the rush of mining activity in Colorado. The Ute Indians had been forced out of the area and many ranchers, traders and miners began to move in. Gunnison became the official seat of Gunnison County on May 22, 1877. In 1880 the railroad arrived, welcomed by not only miners but by the ranchers and farmers as well.

Gunnison saw one of the quickest boom and bust cycles ever as the mines and railroads came to town in the 1880s along with all the normal business increases it created. But, by 1883 a mining bust had come to town and half of the population departed. It seems the precious ore veins that were discovered turned out to be shallow and low producing. It was also at this time when the Earps, of Tombstone, and Texas Jack  set up camp on the outskirts of Gunnison. Eventually, Wyatt took over a faro game (gambling card game) at a local saloon.

Today Gunnison is the home of some 5500 residents.

(credit: Wikipedia & the Gunnison Chamber of Commerce)

Entry point to the Rare Newspapers Collectible… 19th Century…

January 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

In the past the History’s Newsstand Blog has featured posts on the upper end of the collectible: “Prices Realized” and “Most Collectible Issues“.  We are now taking a look at the other end of the spectrum – (low cost) entry points into the hobby.  A few weeks ago we explored low cost issues from the 20th century.  This post moves back in time to the 19th century.

The following selection provides a glimpse of the wide variety of 19th century issues available valued at $15* and under.  Areas of interest include the War of 1812, religious-themed, youth-themed, snap-shots of 19th century city life, and more.  Many more exist on the Rare Newspapers’ website, but others can be found throughout the collectible community as well.  The item numbers for each are linked to corresponding images.

Introductory Issue from the 1800’s…

209016 An original issue from the 1800’s  to help jump start your collection.  This issue is guaranteed to be original, complete, and to be dated in the 1800’s.   We do not offer reproductions of any kind!  There is a limit of 10 issues per customer at this price.  See the images for examples of the condition and look of the issue you will receive.  The image shows several issues to give you a sense of the various titles/conditions you may receive, but please know this listing is for a single issue – at a great price. $3.00*

The War of 1812…

207496 COLUMBIAN CENTINEL, Boston, dated during the War of 1812.   The issue you will receive is similar to the issues shown in the image – slight wear, minor staining and foxing, etc..  The issue will be dated from during the War of 1812, and will have war related news and news of the day.  A great issue to own at an incredible price.  $7.00*

From France…

153338 GALIGNANI’S MESSENGER, Paris, 1837. An interesting newspaper from France but printed in English, and featuring a black-inked tax stamp on an inside page. Various news of advertisements. Four pages, nice condition. Note:  The policy/purpose of this title was to promote good feeling between England and France, and was highly regarded. $13.00*

19th century publication for youth…

152963 THE YOUTH’S LEDGER, New York, NY, 1887. “An interesting monthly for the Young” as is printed in the masthead. See the photo for an example of the “look” of this title from our archives. This is a nice issue to have from this location and period in history. Six pages approximately 16″x11″. $11.00*

Pittsburgh, PA… just before steel production…

153013 THE PITTSBURGH LEADER, Pittsburgh, PA, 1873. State, local and national news from this era.  Interesting to have news of the day from just before steel production hit in full force. See the photo for an example of this title from our archives. Note that the photo is “generic” and the issue you get will not have these specific photos or be of this specific date but will have the format as shown. 21″x17″. Four pages and in nice condition. $15.00*

Exploring the influence of war on domestic Life…

153036 ADVOCATE OF PEACE, (Hartford, Connecticut), 1834. An interesting magazine which has war as its theme, and the value of peace as opposed to war. Note that the photo is “generic” and the issue you get will not have this specific date but will have the format as shown. Forty-six pages, measuring 9″x6″, disbound without outer wrappers. $11.00*

Additional issues priced at $15* and under may be viewed at:  Entry Level Newspapers

* All prices shown were valid as of the release date of this post.

Lamenting the handwritten word…

December 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

In today’s world of email, instant messaging, and twitter, there are many who lament the “old days” when people took the time to type out a letter, sign it, and use a stamp & envelope to get it to its destination. This item, found in “The Townsend Messenger” of Montana, issue date of March 18, 1892, takes that “lament” back one step further when the typewriter replaced the handwritten note.

A rare report… Wild Bill Hickok…

November 22, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

Some reports have gained greater notoriety long after the event happened, particularly those of the Old West which have been romanticized by television, movies and countless books on the era. The gunfight at the O.K. Corral is one, and the report of the killing of Wild Bill Hickok is another. Neither are commonly found in newspapers of the day with the Hickok report being one of the more difficult to find, and typically on a brief report when found.

We recently came across the  “New York Herald” of August 13, 1876 with the report & thought it worth sharing:

The allure of the Old West…

July 26, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

While few of us will have the opportunity to visit some of the fascinating old mining towns of the Old West, holding a newspaper from a ghost town’s hey day can be the next best thing. And with a little knowledge about the town, a newspaper from the neighborhood press takes on added appeal and intrigue.

With this in mind I will, from time to time, offer some background information on the towns from which some of our Old West newspapers came. And I’ll start with an issue with an interesting title, the “Owyhee Avalanche” of Silver City, Idaho.

Silver City is one of the few old mining towns that did not burn down or become commercialized into a modern city. Visiting Silver City is like going back into history. The Idaho Hotel is as it was 100 years ago with a few modern amenities. Rugged and picturesque, the 8,000 feet-high Owyhee Mountains surround Silver City, elevation 6,200 ft. The history-filled town contains about seventy-five structures that date from the 1860’s to the early 1900’s.

During its “heydays”, Silver City had about a dozen streets, seventy-five businesses, three hundred homes, a population of around 2,500, twelve ore-processing mills, and was the Owyhee County seat from 1866 to 1934. Some of the largest stage lines in the West operated in the area, and Silver City had the first telegraph and the first daily newspaper in the territory in 1874.

More that two dozen camps provided shelter, supplies and amusement for the thousands of people who came to the mountains seeking their fortunes in one way or another. The ruins of some of these can still be found though nature is reclaiming most of them at an accelerated rate. Almost a dozen cemeteries and many more remote burial sites attest to the hard and sometimes dangerous and violent lives led by many. Hundreds of mines pock-mark and honeycomb the mountains; one had upwards of seventy miles of tunnels laboriously hand-dug through it. Between 1863 and 1865, more than two hundred and fifty mines were in operation and hundreds more were developed thereafter. At least sixty million dollars worth of precious metals were taken from the area. (credit:

Click HERE for some photos of present-day Silver City.

Minnesota’s first newspapers…

June 21, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

The first “Minnesota” newspaper has the curious distinction of never being printed in Minnesota. Dr. Andrew Randall, a U.S. government employee from Ohio engaged in a geological survey of the Minnesota district, decided to become a printer. He returned to his home town of Cincinnati, purchased printing equipment, and produced in Cincinnati the volume 1, number 1 issue of the “Minnesota Register“. There was but one number, but existing copies bear different dates of April 7 and 27, 1849.

Another outsider, James Goodhue, a lawyer-turned printer from Lancaster, Wisconsin, worked for a newspaper in Wisconsin before carting his equipment and heading north for St. Paul’s Landing in the Minnesota Territory. There he planed on printing what was to be named the “Epistle of St. Paul”, but after advice of friends the first issue was actually titled the “Minnesota Pioneer“, appearing on April 28, 1849. Not only was this the first newspaper actually printed in Minnesota, it was the first piece of any printing done in the territory.

The next newspaper was done by another Ohioan, James Hughes, who on May 31, 1849 printed the “Minnesota Chronicle” on May 31, 1849. Third in line was the “Minnesota Register“, now moved from Cincinnati to Minnesota to become a legitimate Minnesota newspaper when it printed its July 14, 1849 issue in St. Paul. Just over a month later the “Chronicle” and “Register” combined to produce the “Chronicle & Register” on August 25.

A witty five year-old…

May 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This item appeared n the “Santa Cruz Sentinel“, California, on April 18, 1871:

It caught my eye…

March 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The front page of the “Weekly Missoulian” newspaper from Missoula, Montana Territory, December 12, 1873 has an article titled: “The Value of a Newspaper” which logically caught my eye. Although the item had nothing to do with the value of an historic newspaper, it does say much about the relative cost to subscribe to a newspaper in the 1870’s, and has a nice story associated with it as well. Enjoy.

I have typically found Old West newspapers to have some of the more interesting tidbits of any era or region. We have hundreds to choose from for your browsing.

Writing styles have changed through the years…

February 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This nice piece concerning death, published in “The Semi-Weekly Argus” newspaper from Port Townsend, Washington Territory, Aug. 19, 1873, is a great example of how differently–and often beautifully–writing styles were over 100 years ago.

Much of the fun of collecting newspapers is enjoying a different style of writing, whether the piece is historical or just an ordinary comment of the day, as is the case with this item.

How to be a cowboy: The protocol in 1882…

August 13, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

cowboy_how_to_be_a2It’s interesting how the stereotype of the cowboy as created by Western movies and the lore generated by Western writers can hold true to reality. This was my thought when I can across an interesting tidbit from a Yuma, Arizona, newspaper of January 7, 1882—from a truly Western town at  the high point of the Wild West era:

“He Wanted to be a Cowboy”

A youth recently went all the way from Chicago to New Mexico to become a cowboy. When there he explained his desire to a typical mountaineer whom he met and asked for instructions in the role he had wished to assume. Grasping him by the hand the mountaineer said: “You want to get a buckskin suit with plenty of fringe, a pair of high boots and a pair of high spurs. Then you want to get a broad-rimmed hat–the broader the better; two fort-fives, a knife, a Winchester rifle and a horse; then you want to get drunk and get on your horse; then take the reins in your teeth, a revolver in each hand, and go down the street at a full run, shooting at every jump. then come back and yell as loud as you can: ‘My name is ______ and I’m stinking for a fight; I’m a sone-of-a-gun from the plains.’ After that you will be a cowboy.” The picture is duly referred to the cowboy’s prototype in Western Missouri.”

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