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Here are some costume ideas and more information about the time period.
Costume Ideas: mountain man, cowboy/girl, rancher, saloon barman or dealer, stage coach driver, railroad worker, gold rusher, bank robber, outlaw, quick-draw gunman/woman, Indian chief, warrior, squaw
Wild West Time Line: 1830 - 1900
1831: James Bowie invents the Bowie knife.
1833: Samuel Colt invents and begins producing the revolver.
1836: The Alamo is attacked by Mexican forces and all of its more than 180 defenders are slain, including William Travis, Jim Bowie, and Davy Crockett.
1841: The first covered wagons to travel the Oregon
1849: 80,000 fourty-niners make their way to California in search of gold.
1850: Levi Strauss begins manufacturing heavyweight trousers for gold miners.
1851: John L. Soule, in an editorial in the Terre Haute Express, advises: "Go West, young man, go West."
1861: The Civil War begins when Confederates fire on Fort Sumter.
1865: Lee surrenders at Apomattox, effectively ending the Civil War.
1866: Jesse and Frank James launch their criminal career with a bank robbery in Liberty, Missouri
1867: The first cattle drive from Texas up the Chisholm Trail arrives at the rail yards of Abilene, Kansas.
1869: The Central Pacific and Union Pacific join at Promontory Point, Utah, creating the first transcontinental railroad.
1869: Wild Bill Hickok is Marshall in Hays City, Kansas.
1872: Buffalo Bill Cody awarded Congressional Medal of Honor for valor in action during the Indian Wars.
1873: The James Gang pulls its first train robbery at Adair, Iowa.
1875: Wyatt Earp begins his career as a law officer in Wichita, Kansas.
1880: Hide hunters have shot the buffalo to near extinction.
1882: Annie Oakley makes her first public appearance at a sharp shooting show.
1889: Fifty thousand homesteaders swarm into Oklahoma on the first day of the land rush.
1896: Butch Cassidy formed the “Wild Bunch” which consisted of 15 men and 4 women. Link to
information site - http://www.legendsofamerica.com/WE-TimeLine.html