Yellacat Ranch

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Eden Bar

Here’s a very short video of the exterior of the Eden Bar in Farson, Wyoming. I must have driven by it a million times as a kid and a dozen times as an adult. It never stood out for me. I wouldn’t have thought I ever noticed it. I wouldn’t have thought of it without some kind of prompt. I never lived in Farson-Eden as an adult. But as soon as I saw the video I knew exactly where...

Farson Dig 1940

I don’t think I knew the Eden Point was named after Eden, Wyoming. I wondered, of course. My mom knew, though. Of course she did. She grew up at Farson. Here’s a video clip from a 1940/41 archaeological dig at Farson. The Pennsylvania Museum (University of Pennsylvania) conducted the dig at a site they named the Finley Site. The Finley Site is an old paleo-Indian bison kill site...

Before Wyoming

Very interesting article about pre-settler Wyoming. I wonder, briefly, whether the author might be related to the Justin Nickerson who went to school with my mother in Farson, Wyoming. I found this one because I was searching for information about American Indian place names in Wyoming. Specifically, I was wandering off on a tangent after reading that there has been no progress on the Oglala...

Tomten

In the novel American Gods, Neil Gaiman quotes Richard Dorson: “One question that has always intrigued me is what happens to demonic beings when immigrants move from their homelands. Irish-Americans remember the fairies, Norwegian-Americans the nisser, Greeek-Americans the vrykólakas, but only in relation to events remembered in the Old County: When I once asked why such demons are not seen...

LARPing tribalism

I don’t understand the reason so many modern heathens and neo-pagans are drawn to fantasies of re-creating antique tribalism. I don’t think they understand the idea of tribes. That’s why I see it as LARPing. Our ancestors used tribe as a synonym for ethnicity and nationality. The Saxons were a tribe; the Franks were a tribe. In Latin, gens (plural gentes). Many modern heathens...

Burden of Proof

Some people just love fakes. When I was working on medieval genealogies at Geni.com I was bowled over by the number of people willing to go to the mat for information they found online or got from Grandma. No other evidence to back it up. Most often their reasoning was something along the lines of “no one would say it if it weren’t true” and “there must have been an oral...

Indians and Polynesians

I think we could file this one under “proving the obvious”. Some South American Indians share DNA with some Polynesians. And the connection goes back way before European contact. I was a fan of Thor Heyrdahl when I was a kid. I must’ve read Kon-Tiki a dozen times. That’s the one where he built a raft and sailed from Peru to Polynesia because he thought the Pacific Islands...

History is a pack of lies

Napoléon said history is a pack of lies, agreed upon. Actually that’s not exactly right. He said, “Mais qu’est alors cette vérité historique, la plupart du temps? Une fable convenue.” Translated, that would be “What then is the truth of history, generally? A fable agreed upon.” But he didn’t claim originality there. It’s been a popular idea, both...

Wyoming Brands

There’s a book on the cattle brands of Green River, Wyoming. Branded: History of Green River Valley and Hoback Basin Brands (2016), compiled and published by Green River Valley Cattlewomen. Branded, by the Green River Valley Cattlewomen. Bill Luce My great grandfather Bill Luce (1864-194) lived there. I bought the book, thinking his brands might be mentioned. No such luck. I asked Jonita...

Five Jesus Books

There are quite a few different ideas about the “Historical Jesus”. I run into people who know just one of them and think it’s the only one. Almost always they’re surprised and disappointed that this is an open question. Reza Aslan. Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Random House, 2013.John Dominic Crossan. The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean...

Yellacat Ranch Under a Western Sky
Justin Swanstrom

Justin Swanstrom

Made in America. Retired attorney. Bookseller at Shining Lotus. No Nazis in Valhalla. He/him.

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