These are the stories of what happened in the West as the trickle then flood of Easterners and immigrants first began to flow into the plains, deserts, and mountains between the Pacific Ocean and the Mississippi River and, finally, far north into The Last Frontier. While some events would have happened regardless who was there—earthquakes, storms, droughts, and other natural disasters—it was because of this influx of humanity that those events were recorded and have become part of America’s history.
Amid tales of loss and horror are accounts of survival and success. And among the countless adventurers who found the lure of wide open spaces and untapped resources to be as strong as the Sirens’ song to Odysseus, many found the determination to thrive in the West. And thrive they did—even better, for what they lacked in resources they made up in resourcefulness, becoming inventors, entrepreneurs, scientists, activists, explorers and more.