We have done a feature on the most important historical photos of the Old West (see January 2018) and we have done the most iconic photos, so this year, on our 70th anniversary, we decided to ask our friends and collaborators to give us their most treasured photos and tell us why they still reverberate and resonate.

Don’t expect to see every mile-marker-iconic photo, because this time out we are featuring the eccentric and sometimes odd little images that still capture our imaginations and our hearts.

Sometimes it doesn’t even make sense in a historic way. For example, I bought what turned out to be a fake photo of Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett on old Route 66 when I was just a lad and it led almost directly to my love of old photos (and, by extension, to co-owning this magazine). So, even though it’s a fake, it is a treasure to me.

Go figure.

Also, some of our younger researchers and writers responded to newer photos (see at right). What stands out to me is this love affair is all a moving target. When I bought that fake photo at the Longhorn Museum, 43 miles east of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1958, the Old West was 50-some years in the past. When I took the photo of Glenn Boyer and his allies confronting Allen Barra at Schieffelin Hall, that was 23 years ago. In another couple decades, could that photo be historic (at least to Eric) as any of the photos featured in this benchmark issue? I say, keep ’em coming!

And, so it goes.

Late But Future Great?
Glenn Boyer and Ron Fischer Confront Allen Barra, November 4, 2000.
“In the True West Wyatt Earp issue (2001) there is the ‘OKII Shoutout at Schieffelin Hall’ article. There is an image of Ron Fischer standing over Allen Barra, and I think this photo, perhaps above all others, demonstrates the huge shift in the field I saw from the Glenn Boyer years to the modern era.” —Erik J. Wright, contributing editor, Tombstone Epitaph


Fake But Great
Here is the alleged photo of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid I bought at the Longhorn Museum in 1958. Even though it was taken in 1931 in Santa Fe for a melodrama, it is a treasure to me.

Related Articles

  • /colt

    While the subject matter of this work is fascinating and the photography is top-notch, I was…

  • bob boze bell true west magazine

    Looking back is easier than looking down.

  • the-wild-west-word-theatre

    Hold onto this wild gallop into the West! This CD celebrates the oral storytelling tradition…