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Look What They Found In Old Wild West
http://channels.netscape.com ^ | two years ago | Cathryn Conroy

Posted on 03/07/2004 10:09:26 AM PST by ATOMIC_PUNK

Look What They Found In Old Wild West

More than two years ago, archaeologists made an astounding find when they were digging in the dirt about 20 miles southeast of Reno, Nevada: The remnants of an Old West saloon that was open for business from 1864 to 1875. But this wasn't just any old saloon. It was the Boston Saloon of Virginia City, and it was owned by William A. G. Brown, a free black man from Massachusetts who catered to the community's small population of African-Americans, as well as the white people in the town. This is the first known excavation of a black-owned saloon of the 19th-century American West, reports The Associated Press.

The Boston Saloon was likely one of the nicest taverns in the Old West, where its customers dined in elegance by the light of newly-patented gas lamps. They played dominoes. They ate the finest cuts of meat, including leg of lamb. "The Boston Saloon appears to have had a great deal of ambience and atmosphere. It was a lively, well-lit place with music," State Historic Preservation Officer Ron James told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Some 40,000 artifacts have been found, and quite a few of them have reshaped the traditional views of our nation's frontier. Maybe the wild west wasn't so wild! Oh sure, they found pistols and poker chips, but they also found crystal-stemmed goblets, remnants of expensive lighting, and a mouthpiece from a trombone.

A small cache of perforated and disfigured coins was found beneath the floorboards; the people of this mining frontier town likely believed those coins could be transformed into objects of supernatural control. They found bottles that once held champagne, wine, ale, Italian bitters, and "Gordon's Gin," as well as bottles that contained mineral water from Germany and soda water from Ireland.

One of the most remarkable discoveries was a 130-year-old bottle of Tabasco. Reconstructed from 31 shards of glass, it is now officially the oldest style of Tabasco bottle known to exist. Historians speculate that the Boston Saloon was among the first eateries to introduce Tabasco. "The Tabasco bottle is particularly intriguing because of what it implies about African-American cuisine and the development of the West," Kelly Dixon, administrator of the Comstock Archaeology Center who supervised the dig, told AP. "This was an exotic product, and Comstock African-Americans were apparently the ones breaking this new ground." Tabasco was created by a New Orleans banker name Edmund McIlhenny, who blended aged red peppers, salt, and vinegar to create the Tabasco brand pepper sauce in 1868 on Avery Island, Louisiana. He first used discarded cologne bottles, but then made his own. "This discovery helps us fill the earliest chapter of our company's history," said Shane K. Bernard, a Tabasco sauce historian and curator of the company archives.

But the greatest find of all isn't as tangible as these artifacts. James told the Reno Journal-Gazette that said the discovery of the tavern is significant because it helps break down stereotypes of an ethnic group that has been targeted throughout history with prejudice and racism. "We learned that in Virginia City during the second half of the 19th century where there were hundreds of saloons, African-Americans had a place to go to that was respected and dignified," James said.

--Cathryn Conroy


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Extended News; US: Nevada
KEYWORDS: africanamericans; americanhistory; archaeology; artifacts; blackhistory; earlyblack; economic; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; oldwest; reno
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Two years ago ? Tell me again whos keeping the masses seperated why is there such a great divide in the different races of our great Country ?

Seems to me that reporting something like this would bring people together we need more reporting of what Black Americans did to contribute to the wealth of our country weather large or small Im tired of being seperated from other Americans just because of my skin color or thiers !

1 posted on 03/07/2004 10:09:27 AM PST by ATOMIC_PUNK
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To: Timesink; Alamo-Girl; anniegetyourgun; kattracks; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; Bigun; Memother; ...
PUNK


PING.©


2 posted on 03/07/2004 10:10:47 AM PST by ATOMIC_PUNK (Is it time to water the tree of Liberty ?)
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
I'm a very good friend of the woman who ran this dig! Thank you for the post -- it's a great project!
3 posted on 03/07/2004 10:12:01 AM PST by JennysCool
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To: mhking
Thought you might be interested in this.

Qwinn
4 posted on 03/07/2004 10:13:07 AM PST by Qwinn
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
One of the most remarkable discoveries was a 130-year-old bottle of Tabasco. Reconstructed from 31 shards of glass, it is now officially the oldest style of Tabasco bottle known to exist. Historians speculate that the Boston Saloon was among the first eateries to introduce Tabasco.

But the greatest find of all isn't as tangible as these artifacts.

Nonsense, how could anything be more important than the history of Tabasco Sauce?

So9

5 posted on 03/07/2004 10:17:13 AM PST by Servant of the 9 (Goldwater Republican)
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To: Darlin'
Tobasco Sauce PING!!

So9

6 posted on 03/07/2004 10:18:03 AM PST by Servant of the 9 (Goldwater Republican)
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To: blam
gold rush ping
7 posted on 03/07/2004 10:18:22 AM PST by EggsAckley (..................IGNORE the trolls...................it drives them crazy)
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
Maybe the wild west wasn't so wild!

Hey, if you made it big at the diggings you sure wouldn't want to eat bad food on a dirt floor.

8 posted on 03/07/2004 10:21:11 AM PST by Mike Darancette (General - Alien Army of the Right (AAOTR))
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
We need to track down William A. G. Brown's decendants. No reparations for them.
9 posted on 03/07/2004 10:21:11 AM PST by THX 1138
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
It is also true that 25% of the US Cavalry, charged with maintaining the peace on the frontier, were blacks. It is also true that a substantial number of the settlers who were homesteaders, and of the cowboys who worked the ranches, were blacks. Ancient photographs from the West show these facts.

And the American West was perhaps the greatest meritocracy ever known on these shores. If you could do there the task you had set for yourself, you would survive and thrive, regardless of who you were or where you came from. If you could not do that, a swift and painful death from any of a variety of causes would be your fate.

Thank you for putting up this very interesting post.

Congressman Billybob

Click here, then click the blue CFR button, to join the anti-CFR effort (or visit the "Hugh & Series, Critical & Pulled by JimRob" thread). Please do it now.

10 posted on 03/07/2004 10:23:24 AM PST by Congressman Billybob (www.ArmorforCongress.com Visit. Join. Help. Please.)
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To: Servant of the 9
Tobasco Sauce PING!!

Please add Lazamataz to your Tobasco Sauce ping list.
11 posted on 03/07/2004 10:25:26 AM PST by MaryFromMichigan (Insanity isn't so bad, once you get used to it)
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To: Mike Darancette
Fairbanks was founded about 100 years ago. In spite of being in the middle of nowhere, it had as much of the amenities of civilization as could be shipped in. Many of the objects, antiques now, are still in use in many new and rustically luxurious tourist hotels. It's a little odd to walk into a new, probably unfinished [like most Fairbanks houses] bed and breakfast that is really a hotel and find all the furnishings and decorations are old pieces.
12 posted on 03/07/2004 10:29:30 AM PST by RightWhale (Theorems link concepts; proofs establish links)
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
Thanks for the ping!
13 posted on 03/07/2004 10:32:51 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Servant of the 9
Tobasco sauce, Vitamin "T", one of the elixers of life. The best is that you can buy in gallon jugs.
14 posted on 03/07/2004 10:39:21 AM PST by meatloaf
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
Glad you posted this. thanks
15 posted on 03/07/2004 10:43:37 AM PST by JockoManning
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
Fun article!
16 posted on 03/07/2004 10:46:30 AM PST by Lijahsbubbe (The brighter you are, the more you have to learn)
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To: Lijahsbubbe
P.S. Where the pics at?

Now git me my vittles!
17 posted on 03/07/2004 10:48:48 AM PST by Lijahsbubbe (The brighter you are, the more you have to learn)
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To: THX 1138
LOL!

You're too much!
18 posted on 03/07/2004 10:49:37 AM PST by Tuco Ramirez (Ideas have consequences.)
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
Wonder how long before Sharpton picks up on this and morphs it into the first known black ghetto in Nevada
19 posted on 03/07/2004 10:50:43 AM PST by hosepipe
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To: hosepipe
Wonder how long before Sharpton picks up on this and morphs it into the first known black ghetto in Nevada

Not a chance. Jessie Jackson, the extortion expert will no doubt be "the new sheriff in town."

20 posted on 03/07/2004 10:54:18 AM PST by Lijahsbubbe (The brighter you are, the more you have to learn)
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
"The Tabasco bottle is particularly intriguing because of what it implies about African-American cuisine and the development of the West," Kelly Dixon, administrator of the Comstock Archaeology Center who supervised the dig, told AP. "This was an exotic product, and Comstock African-Americans were apparently the ones breaking this new ground."

Wow...I guess they'll need to re-write all the American history books to reflect this important new discovery.

21 posted on 03/07/2004 11:00:42 AM PST by Godebert
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To: Servant of the 9
Please add me to any Tobasco Sauce ping.
Thank You.
22 posted on 03/07/2004 11:06:38 AM PST by Khurkris (Ranger On...)
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To: Servant of the 9

Carson City, Nevada. A new chapter in the history of TABASCO® has been written with the discovery of a 130-year-old bottle at an archaeological excavation in Nevada's Virginia City, Nevada State Historic Preservation Officer Ron James and McIlhenny Company Historian and Curator Shane K. Bernard announced today. The artifact appears to be of the earliest surviving form of a bottle used by the company.

Kelly Dixon, administrator of the Comstock Archaeology Center, directed the research that recovered and reconstructed the artifact. "The glass fragments were found in the heart of the Comstock mining district, one of the richest sources of gold and silver ever discovered. The bottle was used in the Boston Saloon, which catered to African Americans and operated from 1864 until 1875. The saloon served meals as well as drinks, and apparently TABASCO® pepper sauce was enjoyed by some customers."

Ashley Dumas, a graduate student at the University of Alabama who directed excavations at the original TABASCO® factory, said that the Virginia City artifact is "what we refer to as a Type 1a bottle. That is, in fact, one of the earliest forms of TABASCO® bottles, distinctive because of its embossment and sharp shoulders." A second type of bottle did not have the stars on the bottom. Dumas said that the operating dates of the Boston Saloon help narrow the period during which this earliest form of bottle was used.

Boston Saloon owner William A. G. Brown was born in Massachusetts and named his business after his state's capital. Probably born as a free African American in 1833, Brown was educated and arrived in Virginia City in 1862 where he became a prosperous entrepreneur. The site of his Boston Saloon is now a parking lot for the famed Bucket of Blood Saloon, which made the property available to archaeologists.

Edmund McIlhenny of Avery Island, Louisiana, began producing TABASCO® sauce in 1868. At first he used discarded cologne bottles to hold his innovative pepper sauce. He was soon making his own bottles specifically for his product. The bottle type evolved throughout the early years of his business. Initially, his bottles had sharp shoulders, but McIlhenny found that they broke easily at the shoulder. As a result, he switched to the round-shouldered bottle known today. He also later added his name to the embossment of the bottle, but as Dumas pointed out, as to when, we're just not sure yet.

An excavation at the Boston Saloon site in the summer of 2000 yielded roughly 30,000 artifacts, most of which were broken shards of glass and pottery, rusted metal, and charred bone. Extensive lab work has begun to unfold the story of the saloon, but much more remains to be done. Supervising archaeologist Dixon has already been able to observe that customers at the Boston Saloon enjoyed lamb and essence of ginger more than at other Virginia City saloons.

"The TABASCO® bottle is particularly intriguing because of what it implies about African American cuisine and the development of the West. This was an exotic product and Comstock African Americans were apparently the ones breaking this new ground," Dixon said. "We're not certain why there are these preferences, but we hope to have more answers in the future."

Volunteer Dan Urriola of Reno played an important role in reassembling broken fragments of glass and pottery from the Boston Saloon. He worked with twenty-one pieces of glass to fit together the TABASCO® bottle. Urriola previously reassembled an extensive collection of artifacts from two Virginia City saloon excavations. Some of his work is currently on display at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno.

"Without Dan, we would not have such an array of exhibit-quality artifacts and TABASCO® sauce would not have this bottle to add to its history," Dixon said.

The TABASCO® bottle from the Boston Saloon is problematic because it is like the Type 1a bottle except that it has a thin glass lip. All other Type 1a bottles have a thicker lip. The earliest period of bottle production was one of dynamic experimentation, and the Boston Saloon artifact appears to be a very early stage in the development of the now world-famous bottle form.

"The bottle's thin lip appears to be of a type similar to early bottles without the Tabasco embossing that archaeologists discovered at the Tabasco lab," Dixon said. "This bottle's lip is like those artifacts and yet it has embossing, which tempts us to speculate that it represents a transitional form. Because this bottle dates to about 1870, it may be a form of bottle even earlier than the classic Type 1a, but, as is so common in archaeology, more research is needed," Dixon added.

"This discovery helps us fill the earliest chapter of our company's history," TABASCO® sauce historian and curator Shane K. Bernard said from the McIlhenny Company Archives at Avery Island, Louisiana. "Our pepper sauce clearly became important soon after its first production, but writing the story of its earliest distribution is an on-going process."

"We are all pleased with this remarkable discovery," said State Historic Preservation Officer, James. "Virginia City archaeology has helped us arrive at new understandings of the opening of the West and the region's role in national history. The discovery of this bottle is a perfect example of the importance of the Comstock Mining District and also of how historical archaeology can be a powerful tool in reconstructing the past."

James went on to say, "Having this innovative product associated with an African American business dramatically underscores the fact that diversity played an important role in building Virginia City into an internationally famous mining district."

23 posted on 03/07/2004 11:07:23 AM PST by SAMWolf (Wedding: A funeral where you get to smell your own flowers.)
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
Massachusetts native William A. G. Brown opened the Boston Saloon to serve Virginia City's African American community, which numbered fewer than 100 people in the mid-1860s.

Local newspapers often mentioned the Boston Saloon, noting its popularity in the African American community. Brown, a prominent Virginia City businessman and landowner, welcomed African Americans at his establishment until it closed in 1875.

In October of that year, the Great Fire swept through Virginia City, destroying the Boston Saloon along with hundreds of buildings in its path.

24 posted on 03/07/2004 11:08:05 AM PST by Capt. Tom (Don't confuse the Bushies with the dumb republicans. - Capt. Tom)
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
HOT STUFF!


25 posted on 03/07/2004 11:10:53 AM PST by jaz.357 (Liberals fund the problems they seek to solve so that they can justify taxing you to fund them.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
Bill Pickett of the 101 Ranch, orobably the greatest cowboy of them all, was a black man.


Bill Pickett and his famous horse, Spradley

(you can tell Spradley by his small star on the forehead. Pickett sometimes rode a chestnut with a large white blaze and two white hind feet, but that wasn't Spradley.)

26 posted on 03/07/2004 11:12:05 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (. . . sed, ut scis, quis homines huiusmodi intellegere potest?. . .)
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
It's been 15 years since I've been in Virginia City; that's a really neat place; must've been a long ride over and down the mountain for the Cartwrights. (Why would the Cartwrights raise cattle instead of building wagons?)
27 posted on 03/07/2004 11:16:24 AM PST by Old Professer
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To: JennysCool
What's it close to?
28 posted on 03/07/2004 11:16:57 AM PST by Old Professer
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To: AnAmericanMother
"A small cache of perforated and disfigured coins was found beneath the floorboards; the people of this mining frontier town likely believed those coins could be transformed into objects of supernatural control. "

Where did this specious piece of information come from. These were American Blacks, as American as any cowboy that roamed the range. They act like these were Hatians straight off the boat with Voodoo trappings. Most of these prosperous blacks were Chrisitans just like 90% of the population.
29 posted on 03/07/2004 11:18:55 AM PST by TASMANIANRED (black dogs are my life)
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
BUMP
30 posted on 03/07/2004 11:21:25 AM PST by Luis Gonzalez (Unless the world is made safe for Democracy, Democracy won't be safe in the world.)
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To: TASMANIANRED
They were more likely tokens used in gaming; having been reduced in mass, they were worth less than the legal tender.
31 posted on 03/07/2004 11:21:36 AM PST by Old Professer
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To: TASMANIANRED
The custom of burying things in the foundation of a new structure isn't Voudon . . . it's been going on since the dawn of time all over the globe. You can find 'em in Anglo Saxon castle mounds and Norman castles and bungalows in New Jersey. It's now mostly just a custom although it probably had pagan origins somewhere down the line. (I confess we put a couple of items in the foundation of our new house . . . some coins and holy medals . . . :-D )

But you're right - they're trying to make these guys sound like ignorant ex-slaves with ju-ju medicine. Good grief!

32 posted on 03/07/2004 11:22:30 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (. . . sed, ut scis, quis homines huiusmodi intellegere potest?. . .)
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To: rdb3; Khepera; elwoodp; MAKnight; condolinda; mafree; Trueblackman; FRlurker; Teacher317; ...
Black conservative ping

If you want on (or off) of my black conservative ping list, please let me know via FREEPmail. (And no, you don't have to be black to be on the list!)

Extra warning: this is a high-volume ping list.

33 posted on 03/07/2004 11:40:22 AM PST by mhking
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
"The Tabasco bottle is particularly intriguing because of what it implies about African-American cuisine and the development of the West," Kelly Dixon, administrator of the Comstock Archaeology Center who supervised the dig, told AP. "This was an exotic product, and Comstock African-Americans were apparently the ones breaking this new ground."

And what makes Kelly Dixon so sure it was "African-Americans". I suspect it far more likely to have been some New Orleans Creole gambler types. Heck, for all this twit knows, the chef at the Boston Saloon might have been a Cajun.

34 posted on 03/07/2004 11:46:04 AM PST by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel)
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
Fascinating discovery! I wish I could see some photos of the excavation.
35 posted on 03/07/2004 11:50:19 AM PST by boop
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To: Congressman Billybob
I recently viewed an interesting show on The History Channel about sheriffs, deputy marshalls, US marshalls, etc. in the old west. The region that was considered by most experts to be the ultimate "wild west" was known as "Indian Territory"; roughly today's Oklahoma. There were precious few lawmen that were tasked with taming this area and applying the law.........and it turns out that a good number of them (don't remember the percentage, but it was quite significant) were black. Fascinating stuff.
36 posted on 03/07/2004 11:53:52 AM PST by RightOnline
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To: Wonder Warthog
Yes, the cook might have been Cajun--But the important thing is he was working for a black man.
37 posted on 03/07/2004 11:56:43 AM PST by Hollywoodghost (Let he who would be free strike the first blow)
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To: Old Professer
You should see the mountains of SW Minnesota, as featured on "Little House on the Prairie".
38 posted on 03/07/2004 11:59:54 AM PST by Indrid Cold (He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.)
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To: TASMANIANRED
These were American Blacks, as American as any cowboy that roamed the range. They act like these were Hatians straight off the boat with Voodoo trappings. Most of these prosperous blacks were Chrisitans just like 90% of the population.

To this day, lots of people in South Louisiana don't consider Voodoo and Christianity mutually exclusive. Nor are they all black.

So9

39 posted on 03/07/2004 12:10:25 PM PST by Servant of the 9 (Goldwater Republican)
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To: Godebert
Actually, the smaller Tabasco bottles are seen to have come from the Buffalo soldiers' MREs!
40 posted on 03/07/2004 1:11:21 PM PST by Snickersnee (Where are we going? And what's with this handbasket???)
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
The discovery is significant because the saloon was owned by a black man. This should return some pride to blacks today who've been told blacks either never accomplished anything or that they were the ones who accomplished everything. In fact, they were Americans, while both slave and free, and were part of the innovation and entrepreneurship for which Americans are are appropriately famous.
41 posted on 03/07/2004 5:13:36 PM PST by WaterDragon
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
There was an article about thsi saloon posted here on FreeRepublic about two years ago.
42 posted on 03/07/2004 6:23:56 PM PST by BenLurkin (Socialism is slavery.)
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To: Lijahsbubbe
The black man who owned and operated that tavern would have hung JJ.
43 posted on 03/07/2004 6:39:32 PM PST by philetus (Keep doing what you always do and you'll keep getting what you always get)
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To: Indrid Cold
I thought Little House was filmed in a rock quarry in Simi Valley, Ca.
44 posted on 03/07/2004 7:59:32 PM PST by Old Professer
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
"The Tabasco bottle is particularly intriguing because of what it implies about African-American cuisine and the development of the West,"

I hate to be a party-pooper here, but it seems to me one bottle doesn't carry that much of an implication about cuisine and Western development. Someone passing through could have tossed it in the trash for all we know. Now if they'd found a whole case...

45 posted on 03/07/2004 8:20:54 PM PST by Randjuke
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To: Old Professer
That's kind of the joke. You can't hardly find a 30 foot hill in SW Minnesota, yet the footage from Little House has mountains all over it.
46 posted on 03/07/2004 10:41:56 PM PST by Indrid Cold (He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.)
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To: Indrid Cold
I grew up in CA, lived in MN for better than 20 years, and let me assure you, there are no mountains in MN... :)

(pennywise for your tagline)
47 posted on 03/08/2004 6:30:44 AM PST by stylin_geek (Koffi: 0, G.W. Bush: (I lost count))
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To: stylin_geek
I grew up about 15 miles from Walnut Grove, MN. There's not much to laugh about in that area of the state, but the mountains on Little House was one thing...

You're the first one to catch the tagline. I feel like I should give you a dollar or something... Thanks for paying attention.
48 posted on 03/08/2004 7:16:11 AM PST by Indrid Cold (He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.)
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
Conservatives freed the slaves, got them citizenship, got them the vote, did away with the pole tax and literacy tests, and passed the civil rights acts in the 60's despite liberal opposition to another freedom for a people of this land. Why was it done? To keep blacks, along with other minority races, on welfare, in secondary education schools, in the slums, misled about the cause of all of it so the "minorities" would hate the conservatives and stay locked (trapped) under their liberal thumb for voting purposes. And if you think we are passed all that, be reminded that as late as the 80's Bill Clinton was found guilty of trying to inetimidate minorities at the poles in Arkansas by a three judge panel and told to back off. Wanna know how to get real freedom for everyone, bring back the conservative ideals. They worked in the past, they would work again. The New World Order of Lyndon Johnson is far closer to George Orwell than George Bush.

Red
49 posted on 03/08/2004 7:30:08 AM PST by Redwood71
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
Another great American (half) black innkeeper was Sam Fraunces of Fraunces' Tavern fame and friend of George Washinton; meeting place in NYC for the Sons of Liberty and where Gen. Washington said farewell to his officers, Dec 4, 1783.
50 posted on 03/08/2004 7:35:45 AM PST by Pharmboy (History's greatest agent for freedom: The US Armed Forces)
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