Croquet in the West

Billy the Kid Croquet photo

You’ve probably heard about the photo which allegedly shows Billy the Kid and friends playing croquet in New Mexico Territory in 1878.

The photo may not be authentic.  But the croquet?  It was popular at the time.  The lawn game came over from England and Ireland in the 1860s and swept the country—including the Old West.  Croquet courses were set up at homes and public spaces from coast to coast.

The fad died down in the 1890s, when many of those lawns were changed for the newest sports sensation–into tennis courts.

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