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Wild West

Learn about the Wild West in the fifth adventure and be transported back to the Gold Rush, cowboys, the Pony Express, the railroad & more.

Begin the history adventure with a Mysteries in Time subscription box for kids.

Stories for Kids

Learn about the Wild West in the Adventure Story

Wild West for Kids Book Illustration

Max and Katie’s next adventure takes them back to the Wild West, where there has been a string of stage coach robberies. People start blaming the Native Americans and want to set out for revenge.

Can Max and Katie help catch the real robbers and keep the peace?

Join Max and Katie on their adventure through history as they learn about the American Frontier!

Wild West History Fiction Book for Kids

Wild West Facts for Kids !

Max and Katie Wild West for Kids

Max and Katie visit the Wild West

The Pony Express, a postal service by horse, took 10 days to deliver a letter from one side of the country to the other!

Cowboy Saddle

By 1860, up to 175,000 people had flocked to California in search of gold in the Gold Rush.

Wild West Cactus

Cowboys wore chaps to protect their legs from thorny plants as they rode their horses. The traditional cowboy hat was introduced by a company called Stetson in 1865.

Cowboy Hat

Learn more about Wild West History for Kids

Wild West Sheriff adge
A Sheriff Badge

The American Wild West, also known as the American Frontier, was an exciting time of exploration, adventure and new beginnings. Many people travelled thousands of miles to new and unexplored areas in search of a new life. Native Americans, who had lived on the North American continent for thousands of years, were forced off their land at gun point or even sold as slaves. However, there are also great stories of friendship with Native Americans showing the new settlers how to live off the land.

The California Gold Rush of 1848 sparked a rush of people to the West coast, all hoping to find gold. When the transcontinental railroad opened in 1869, people could travel much more easily from East to West. Cowboys set up ranches. People set up temporary camps, which grew into frontier towns. At first, the new territories in the West had little or no local government, which is why the Wild West is often shown in films as being lawless. Towns looked after themselves and voted for their own sheriff.

By the end of the 19th century, there were no more unexplored areas. The United States of America was emerging as a world power.

Wild West Towns

Wild West Town

At first, when large groups of people arrived looking for gold, people set up temporary camps. These steadily became more permanent with wooden buildings being built. Towns needed other professions, for example a blacksmith, an undertaker or a tailor, as well as someone to open a hotel or restaurant.

This is why the West attracted all sorts of people trying to make a living, not only those in search of gold. As children started arriving into a town, one lady usually became the school teacher, teaching all children together in one room.


Wild West Outlaws

Outlaws were the criminals in the Wild West. While there were nowhere near as many bank robberies as the films will show, the Wild West did attract thieves and murderers. This is because there were no official laws yet. Someone could commit a crime in one town, then become sheriff in another town!

Billy the Kid was an outlaw and gunslinger in the Wild West. He is known for being a thief and for killing several men, including two deputies as he escaped from jail. He was only 21 years old when he was shot dead by a sheriff.

Stage Coaches

Stage coaches were a popular way to travel across the country. Passengers shared the coach with strangers, just like a modern-day coach. However, these were pulled by horses and were not very comfortable because the road was very bumpy.

The stage coach continued to be popular in areas where there was no railroad until the car was invented.

A Stage Coach

Dude Ranches

Dude Ranch

During the late 19th century, the Wild West was famous for being a place where people could seek their fortune. Stories were told about cowboys, outlaws and gold mines.

People in Europe thought it sounded exotic and wanted to try it for themselves. Some clever cowboys found a good way to make money: tourists paid to spend a week on their ranch and experience life as a cowboy. These tourist ranches were called 'dude ranches', because a dude was the slang name for someone from the city who wore fancy clothes.

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