Monday, February 28, 2022

The Spite Fence on Nob Hill

 Some twenty-plus years after selling hardware supplies to eager miners in California's Gold Rush, Collis Huntington and Mark Hopkins decided to enter the railroad business with Leland Stanford and Charles Crocker. Stanford served double duty as the newly elected governor of California in 1862 while he and his business associates oversaw the building of the western portion of the Transcontinental Railroad. (Later, Stanford would become a California senator, and he and his wife, Jane, would become the founders of Stanford University.)

Handshake shared by the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroad companies after Leland Stanford drove in the final "golden spike" on May 10, 1869 at Promontory Point in Utah.

These four railroad magnates, otherwise known as "The Big Four," quickly became California--and especially San Francisco's--top dogs. Therefore, it was no surprise when they all built enormous mansions on California Hill in San Francisco, which later became known as Nob Hill, short for "nabob," a word historically associated with enormous wealth. 


Leland Stanford's mansion, circa 1880

Mark Hopkins' mansion on Nob Hill, circa 1885

Collis Huntington's mansion, circa 1882

Charles Crocker's mansion, circa 1880

It is said that each of these mansions took the entire space of a city block. An interesting thing happened with Charles Crocker when he had his mansion built. He was able to buy out 12 of the 13 surrounding properties, but the last holdout, an undertaker named Nicholas Yung, whose residence was very modest compared to the other moguls indeed, refused to sell to Crocker. So Crocker had a 3-story-high fence built around Yung's residence so he wouldn't have to look at it, for one thing, but it also didn't bother him that the fence completely blocked out the sun for the Yungs. The Yungs reportedly considered leasing their property to a laundromat or selling advertising space on the fence, but ultimately decided not to retaliate. In the photo below, you can see the high fence behind Crocker's mansion, which covers the Yung residence on three sides.

A second view of Charles Crocker's mansion on Nob Hill, which also shows the 3-story-high "spite fence" he installed around the Nicholas Yung residence, which completely blocked out the sun. It stood there for more than twenty years before coming down in 1904.

So what happened to these rich-beyond-belief, powerful men? They each suffered personal tragedies. Stanton and his wife lost their only son to typhoid at the age of 15 and their mansion basically became a shrine. Mark Hopkins died before he and his wife could enjoy living in their mansion. She immediately moved back East. Collis Huntington's first wife, Elizabeth, died in 1883, at which time he married his second wife, Arabella, whose son, Archer, 14 years old at the time of their marriage, is believed by some to be Huntington's biological son. And Charles Crocker died in 1888, leaving his two sons squabbling over his mansion.

Ironically, the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906--and the subsequent fire--leveled all four of these once-magnificent mansions. Early in the 19th century, a series of apartments were built on the property where Leland Stanford's mansion first stood. Later, they were gutted and turned into a hotel, which stands today. Mark Hopkins, as we know, died before he could enjoy his legacy. After his death, his wife remarried and donated the mansion to the San Francisco Art Association, turning it into an art institute. After the earthquake, a 19-story hotel replaced it. Now the hotel features a restaurant called Top of the Mark. Yet another hotel, the Huntington Hotel, stands in the place where Collis Huntington's mansion once stood, along with a scenic park, the land of which Huntington's second wife donated for such a cause. As for Charles Crocker, he continued to dispute with Yung for several years, and his family continued even after his death until the Yungs finally gave way in 1904. Crocker and his family may have won the battle, however, but the earthquake ensured that it was a temporary celebration. A church named Grace Cathedral now stands in its place.

For myself, I've gleaned some interesting and valuable insights from learning more about these so-called "powerful" men, and I feel that the story of these four mansions can help us understand how important it is to keep a humble perspective on life and treat our fellow men with the respect they deserve. Money isn't the most important thing in the world, after all. Our relationships are.

Although I haven't published any books that take place in San Francisco (yet), I love to learn about places in the Old West that greatly influenced our lives today. Take a look at my Christian historical Western romance novels here.



Saturday, February 26, 2022


By Caroline Clemmons

This is still Black History month, and a western figure who comes to mind is the famed inventor of the sport of bull-dogging—Bill Pickett.

Willie M. Pickett was born December 5, 1870 in the Jenks Branch community of Wiliamson County in Central Texas. He was the second of 13 children born to Thomas Jefferson Pickett, a former slave, and Mary "Janie" Gilbert. Bill Pickett had four brothers and eight sisters. The family's ancestry was African American and Cherokee. By 1888, the family had moved to Taylor, Texas. Like many boys of his era, Bill Pickett left school in the 5th grade to become a ranch hand. He soon began to ride horses and watch the longhorn steers of his native Texas.

In 1890, Pickett married Maggie Turner, a former slave and daughter of a white southern plantation owner. The couple had nine children.

Courtesy North Fort Worth 
Historical District

He invented the technique of bull-dogging, the skill of grabbing cattle by the horns and wrestling them to the ground. It was known among cattlemen that, with the help of a trained bulldog, a stray steer could be caught. Bill Pickett had seen this happen on many occasions. He also thought that if a bulldog could do this feat, so could he. Bill Pickett practiced his stunt by riding hard, springing from his horse, and wrestling the steer to the ground. Pickett's famous method for bull-dogging was biting a cow on the lip and then falling backward. He also helped other cowboys with bull-dogging. As you can imagine, his method eventually lost popularity as the sport grew into the steer wrestling that is practiced in rodeos today.

Bill Pickett biting steer on the lip

Bill Pickett soon became known for his tricks and stunts at local country fairs. With his four brothers, he established The Pickett Brothers Bronco Busters and Rough Riders Association. The name Bill Pickett soon became synonymous with successful rodeos. He did his bulldogging act, traveling about in Texas, Arizona, Wyoming, and Oklahoma.

In 1905, Pickett joined the 101 Ranch Wild West Show that featured others like Buffalo Bill, Will Rogers, and Tom Mix. He performed under the name "The Dusky Demon." Unfortunately, he was a victim of the times. Bill Pickett's ethnicity resulted in his not being able to appear at many rodeos, so he often was forced to claim that he was of Comanche heritage in order to perform. 

Bill Pickett was soon a popular performer who toured around the world and appeared in early motion pictures. In 1921, he appeared in the films The Bull-Dogger and The Crimson Skull.

In 1932, after having retired from Wild West shows, Bill Pickett was kicked in the head by a bronco. After a multi-day coma, he died on April 2, 1932.He was buried on the 101 Ranch on Monument Hill, less than a quarter of a mile to the northeast of Marland, Oklahoma.

His fame has lasted long after his death: 

In 1971, Pickett was inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

In 1989, Pickett was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.

In 1987, a statue of Pickett performing his signature bull dogging maneuver, made by artist Lisa Perry, was presented to the city of Fort Worth, Texas. The statue is installed in the Fort Worth Stockyards Historic District.

In 2003, Bill Pickett was inducted into the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum and Hall of Fame’

The United States Postal Service chose to include Bill Pickett in the Legends of the West commemorative sheet unveiled in December 1993. One month later, the Pickett family informed the Postal Service that the likeness was incorrect. Its source material was a misidentified photograph of Bill Pickett's brother and fellow cowboy star, Ben Pickett. In October 1994, the USPS released corrected stamps based on the poster for The Bull-Dogger.

In March 2015, the Taylor City Council announced that a street that leads to the rodeo arena will be renamed to honor Bill Pickett.

On June 2, 2017 a new statue of Bill Pickett was unveiled in his hometown of Taylor, Texas. It is prominently displayed at the intersection of 2nd and Main Streets in the downtown.]

On August 6, 2018, Bill Pickett was inducted into the Jim Thorpe Association's Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

In They Die by Dawn (2013), Bill Pickett is portrayed by Bokeem Woodbine. In the 2021 film The Harder They Fall, his role was played by actor Edi Gathegi.

Pickett is referenced in season 4 episode 5 of Baywatch.

A You Tube video tribute to Bill Pickett is at


Thursday, February 24, 2022


 If I mention men claiming land in the 1850s, does it bring to mind Nebraska or even Wyoming? How about if I write West of the Mississippi? Do you think about the Great Plain or the Dakotas? 

West of the Mississippi includes Minnesota. This very northern state might not be an author's first choice for a historical western novel, but Minnesota was being settled in the years just before the Civil War. Perhaps because of my family's history with that, I chose it as the setting for my next novel, Regina's Replacement.

Example of a Minnesota Sod House
My great grandfather was born in soddy in Minnesota. His father died before the land was "proved up", but his mother stayed on. She lived there until the five years passed and she owned the claim. Then she sold it and moved back to Dodgeville, Wisconsin with her three children. 

My story has a much more romantic ending. But there are problems for a young widow. The woman, Regina, leaves Virginia soon after a battle is fought not far from her farm. She arrives by steamboat, but not a boat that traveled on the Mississippi.

As I researched, I found an area about one hundred miles outside of Minneapolis. The land claimed by people there was around a very large lake, Lake Minnetonka. Steamboats traveled across the expansive body of water, bringing people and goods to spots around it. 

Governor Ramsay Steamboat
One such boat, the Governor Ramsey, sailed in and out of Excelsior, the first white settlement on Lake Minnetonka. Excelsior was settled by a group of pioneers from the East who formed the Excelsior Pioneer Association. They came together, ready to set up a town and bought land for around $1.25 per acre.

Farm near Excelsior, MN, 1864.
Excelsior in 1861-1862, about eight to nine years after it was settled, became the setting for my novel. Imagine the farms, mostly growing potatoes. With the Civil War, a few farmers listened to the call for northern farmers to grow typically southern crops like tobacco. That's what my heroine does in Regina's Replacement, though her husband thinks it's a crazy idea.

Lithograph created to sell a Minnesota farm in the 1800s.

Of course, with my heroine living in that area around 1862, a serious problem arises. The Dakotas had been moved to a reservation. There they were left to starve by an inhuman Indian agent. No wonder the Dakota War happens in 1862. Does it reach Excelsior? 

Read Regina's Replacement and find out...

Visit a time when Minnesota was land still being claimed and settled...

Joshua Gibson had enough courage to save his uncle. He’s not brave enough to show his face in town after being badly burned in the rescue.

Regina Richardson decided marriage to a stranger was better than living through a war that had nothing to do with her. After Union troops brought a battle near to her farm, she grabs at the chance to marry a man in Minnesota. Only, she discovers the man has never lived in the town where she’s told to go.

A desperate aunt and uncle see this as a God sent opportunity for their hermit nephew. Will Regina find the love of her life or will she end up with one more burden to bear?

And what about the man killed at Joshua’s farm the night that he was burned? How will the couple protect themselves when Joshua and Regina have no idea that revenge stalks them?

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Mishmash & Thoughts

Post by Doris McCraw

writing as Angela Raines

Photo property of the author

According to Merriam-Webster the definition of mishmash is a confused mixture of things. It perfectly defines some of our lives right now. 

So what do I mean by life right now? Life is and always has been confusing. We learn as we go along, making mistakes and enjoying triumphs. We plan our journey, and do everything the way we think it should be, then…bam…some challenge gets thrown at us. The key to getting somewhere, go with the flow.


Photo property of the author

I always thought I would be a performer, and I have been. I decided at fifteen I would work with criminals. Been there, done that. I’ve always written but didn’t think non-fiction would be in the picture. *OOPS* Teach me to think life didn’t have another idea.

The thing is, life really is a mishmash, but it isn’t such a bad thing. Instead, I prefer to think of all the wonderful experiences I’ve had in my life as gifts. If I hadn’t started spending weekends in the research section of the library, I’d have missed out on some great friendships. I also probably would never have found the women doctors, and written scholarly papers on such diverse subjects as ancient volcanos, film commissioners, and, of course, those Colorado women doctors.


Photo property of the author

If my parents hadn’t encouraged me to take chances, to follow dreams, and not worry about how others viewed me, I wouldn’t have been an acting teacher, played music professionally, or been an actor. Because no one told me I couldn’t, I live a blessed life. 

I grew up about seventy miles from Mark Twain's (Samuel Clemens) home and lived right across the river from where his brother had a paper, where young Sam worked while living there. I grew up with his stories, his wit, and his wisdom. Below are some quotes that still resonate with me.

Hope you enjoy the mishmash.

You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.

The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.

Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.

 It is curious–curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare.

There are not enough morally brave men in stock. We are out of moral-courage material.

And my favorite:

Let us endeavor so to live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.

Doris McCraw

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Into the Mouth of Babes - Short History of Baby Bottles by Jo-Ann Roberts

Some months ago, Author Pam Crooks asked me if I might be interested in a multi-author project, The Love Train series, with nine other authors. All the couples would meet on the Union Pacific, their fledging romance aided by a matchmaking conductor, a baggage handler, and a dog named Scruffy. Their stories would then move to a town, city, or ranch.

Never having been part of a project of this sort, I agreed...whole-heartedly! 

In short order I had my conflict. plot, characters, and setting. Yet, I needed a reason which would keep the hero and heroine in close proximity with one another once they got off the train. A random news segment on our local television station related the feel-good story of a soldier at Fort Bragg who was awarded custody of his two nieces after the sudden death of his sister. He and his fiancé then pushed up their wedding date so they could adopt the children before he left for overseas duty.

Bingo! I had my motive...Lucas Harmon needs a woman to care for his nieces, five-year old Lily, and 6-months old, June in his home.  Caring for a five-year old seemed pretty straightforward but how would he dress, change, and particularly, feed an infant? 

So, there I went, down the rabbit hole to gather information.

Baby Bottles

Before the baby bottle came into use, milk was spoon fed to infants or given via a cow's horn fitted with a chamois at the small end as a nipple. When baby bottles were adopted during the Industrial Revolution, many popular designs evolved. Some were submarine-shaped and made from metal, glass, or pottery. They had a circular opening in the top that could be plugged with a cork. The other end tapered to a hole with a rim for securing a nipple. Another popular design was a sprouted feeder, which resembled a teapot, with a handle and spout. The nipple opening of both types of bottles was covered with punctured chamois cloth, parchment or a sponge.

Charles Windship of Roxbury, Massachusetts patented the first glass nursing bottle in 1841. According to his patent on file...

...the formation of this remedy enables the child to think that it derives its nourishment 
directly from the mother, as it feeds in the natural position."

Another variant, a glass flask was introduced in 1860. These bottles were often in the shape of a banjo with a rubber straw which allowed children to feed themselves. These bottles were marketed with names like "The Alexandria", "Little Cherub", and "Mummy's Darling". 

However, the rubber tube that ran from the bottle to the nipple was a breeding ground for bacteria. And according to Mrs. Beeton (Mrs. Beeton's Household Management), she recommended only washing the bottles every 2-3 weeks!

In 1894, the first "banana" shaped feeder appeared on the market. Produced in England by Allen and Hanburys, it was marketed as being "most easily cleaned". The bottle was made   

of clear molded glass and has a flat base to keep it stable on a surface. At one end of the bottle there is a hole for pouring in the milk or feeding mixture. A metal cap is put on after filling. At the other end a similar hole, covered by a rubber nipple, lets the baby suck out the milk

Infant Formula

While advancements were being made in bottle production, advancements were also being made in the field of infant formula.

 After an infant was weaned from breast, cow's or goat's milk, she was given a food called 'pap'.  The mixture which consisted of boiled milk or water was thickened with baked wheat flour and, sometimes, egg yolk. A more elaborate infant food, called panada, was made from bread, flour, and cereals cooked in a milk- or water-based broth.

With mother's milk as the ideal, many scientists tried to formulate nonhuman milk to resemble human milk. In 1865, a German scientist developed, patented, and marketed an infant food, first in a liquid form and then in a powdered form for better preservation. His formula---consisting of cow's milk, wheat and malt flour, and potassium bicarbonate--was considered the perfect infant food.

In 1835, William Newton patented evaporated milk.  And in 1853, Texan Gale Borden added sugar to the evaporated milk, canned the substance, and sold it as Eagle Brand Condensed Milk, which became a popular infant food.

By 1883, there were 27 patented brands of infant food. These products came in powdered form and consisted of sugars and starches that were to be added to milk. Name brands included Nestle's Food©, Horlick's Malted Milk©, Hill's Malted Biscuit Powder©, and Mellin's Food©. However, they were fattening but lacked valuable nutrients.  

Although it has taken hundreds of years, at least in the United States and in other developed countries, babies now have food that is sweet and clean. Mother’s milk is still recommended, but artificial infant feeding has come a very long way, indeed!

Love Train Series
Commencing on April 1st and releasing every two weeks through August 15th, these sweet historical romances are penned by some of the most talented authors in the romance genre, and their stories are filled with light, laughter, suspense, and most importantly, a forever kind of love.

Some people come into your life as lessons…

Unexpected fatherhood finds former bank detective, Lucas Harmon desperate for a woman to care for his orphaned nieces. A governess…perhaps? A housekeeper…maybe? A wife…definitely not! Six years ago, the wealthy Chicago socialite he planned to wed, publicly spurned his affections. Despite his determination to guard his feelings, a meddling matchmaking conductor and an encounter with a past acquaintance threatens to upend his heart.

…some come as blessings

Anxious to leave behind the whispers and stares of two failed engagements, Boston socialite, Ainsley MacKenzie hopes for solitude on her way to New Hope, Kansas. But when the kindly conductor enlists her help to care for two orphaned girls, she couldn’t say no. Little did she know their uncle and guardian was the one man she couldn’t forget… Lucas Harmon.

Taking a chance, Ainsley offers Lucas an unusual (some might say, scandalous!) arrangement. She’ll look after the children, read them stories and cook their meals until Christmas, giving Lucas time to find a permanent replacement. Yet, the longer she cares for the family the more she longs to be part of it—whatever the risk to her heart.

Here's a link to view the books, authors, and release dates.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Madame Candelaria by Bea Tifton


Madam Candelaria was born in 1785 as Andrea Castanon Villanueva. She died in 1899 at the age of 113 and claimed to be a survivor of the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. 

Madam Candelaria was born in either Laredo, Texas or Presidio del Rio Grande. She moved to San Antonio at the age of 25 and married her second husband, Candelario Villanueva. She had four children and raised 22 orphans. Madam Candelaria was known for her philanthropy and her nursing skills. She claimed that she nursed Jim Bowie during the Battle of the Alamo. Until the day she died, she would relate the story of the Alamo with tears running down her cheeks. 

Because there isn't well documented evidence either way, it is impossible to prove Madame Candelaria's story, but in 1891 the Texas legislature awarded her a pension of $12 a month for being a survivor of the Alamo and for her help in nursing smallpox victims in San Antonio. 

She is buried in the San Fernando Cemetery. 

Madame Candelaria lived to see Texas become its own republic, then a state in the United States of America, then a member of the Confederacy after seceding, then a state once again. She saw so many innovations and inventions change people's lives dramatically.

A Few Inventions Made During Madame Candelaria's Lifetime:

1793      Cotton Gin

1801      Suspension Bridge

1834      Refrigerator

1833      Sewing Machine

1836      Morse Code

1839      Train Sleeper Car

1842      Ether Based Anesthesia

1843      Rotary Printing Press

1846      Printing Telegraph

1850      Dishwasher

1857      Mass Produced Rolled Toilet Paper

1859      Electric Stove

1860      Vacuum Cleaner

1867      Motorcycle

1877      Phonograph

1885      Electric Mixer

1886      Automobile

1890      Incandescent Lamp


Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Valentine's Day in the Wild West by Cora Leland

 St. Valentine's Day in the Wild West

You know that the largest settler groups came from Europe to America, and that their children, or sometimes their relatives back in the old country settled the American West.  Here's a sampling of St. Valentine's Day celebrations back then.
Czechoslovakian women newly arrived in America

Czechoslovakia was formed in 1918, but these very religious people fled to American shores long before then.  The first Czechoslovakian settlers in Texas arrived in 1847.  St. Valentine's Day was a symbol of the Ascension. 

 Welsh settlers, though, celebrated St. Valentine's Day as romantic.  Their patron wasn't St. Valentine, but 
St Dwynwen.   The myth surrounding her is that she fell in love with a handsome prince, but her father planned for her to marry someone else.  She went into a convent and married no one. 
Remains of St. Dwynwen's churcn
However, she was granted three wishes.  She gave all of them for success in matrimony for others.  Her holiday is three weeks before St. Valentine's Day.
St. Valentine's Day in early England.  When I traveled in the UK I was studying English lit & was surprised by how many English students - and citizens - told me about which author lived in the area.  Since then I'm never surprised when I read about English people and their dedication to the language and traditions.  For example, the first mention of love and St. Valentine's Day came from the poet Chaucer in 1382.  In his tale, The Parliament of Fowles, Chaucer congratulates young Prince Richard on his new engagement, likening it to the meeting of love birds on that day set apart for lovers.
Chaucer's Love Birds
But St. Valentine's Day really took off after the Civil War.  Before then New Yorkers bought and exchanged valentines they'd originally seen in England.  Before long, Valentine's Day was an established custom in America.  Since the first pilgrims, romance has always been an important part of American life.

Wishing you all the best.  Hoping you're warm and comfortable!  Sincere thanks to our admin.   Cora Leland Author

Friday, February 4, 2022


This month I'm writing about my favorite breed of horse, the Pinto which Grey Wolf rode in Trail To Destiny, Book 1 of my Wheels of Destiny Trilogy.

In my stories, I consider the hero or heroine's horse as much a secondary character as the people are!  Look back on lots of TV and movie westerns and you'll remember the names of so many horses the main characters rode.  One of the first Pintos in movie westerns dates back to the early 1920's with a horse named Fritz owned by William Hart.  He performed with Hart in multiple movies and remained a beloved companion into the actor's retirement.

Another famous Pinto was Tonto's horse, Scout.  And can't forget to mention Bonanza and Little Joe's Pinto, Cochise.

Though commonly associated with the Native American for its legendary magical qualities in battle, the Pinto horse was actually introduced to North America by European explorers, chiefly those from Spain, bringing their Barb stock that had been crossed with native European stock years before.

It is believed that the Pinto patterns may have arrived in Europe via the Arabian strains, as Pinto markings appear in ancient art throughout the Middle East. However, evidence of the more dominant Tobiano pattern among the wild horses of the Russian Steppes suggests the introduction of Pinto coloring to Europe possibly as early as during the Roman Empire.

After the arrival of these European horses, great wild herds infused with the flashy color patterns we know today began to develop across America, eventually to be domesticated by the Native American. The white man continued to import many of the well-established and stylish European breeds as his foundation stock. Over time, however, with the civilization of the Native American and the white man's migration to the frontier, it often became necessary to cross these fancy, but less suitable breeds of the Eastern seaboard with the wild mustang stock to increase size and attractiveness as well as availability of a horse better suited to the strenuous working conditions of the day.

This Western-bred horse became a fixture of America, especially the uniquely marked Pinto whose colorful presence in parades and films always added a little extra glamour.

 What are the Pinto patterns and how do they differ? There are two recognized Pinto color patterns:

1) TOBIANO (Toe-bee-ah'-no) appears to be white with large spots of color, often overlapping on animals with a greater percentage of color than white. Spots of color typically originate from the head, chest, flank, and buttock, often including the tail. Legs are generally white, giving the appearance of a white horse with large or flowing spots of color. Generally, the white crosses the center of the back or topline of the horse. It is considered necessary to have a Tobiano parent to achieve a Tobiano foal.

 2) OVERO(O-vair'-o) appears to be a colored horse with jagged white markings usually originating on the animal's side or belly, spreading toward the neck, tail, legs, and back. The color appears to frame the white spots. Thus, an Overo often has a dark tail, mane, legs, and backline. Bald or white faces often accompany the Overo pattern. Some Overos show white legs along with splashy white markings, seemingly comprised of round, lacy white spots. White almost never crosses the back or topline. A horse of Pinto coloration descendant from two solid colored parents of another typically solid colored pure breed is called a "crop-out" and is of the Overo pattern.

The Pinto Horse Association of America was formed in 1956 although the bloodlines of many Pintos trace three or four generations before that date. Choice, versatility and achievement for the breed that offers something for everyone is what the Pinto Horse Association has to offer.

The Pinto horse is a color breed in contrast to most other breeds which are defined by their genetic ancestry. In America, the Pinto is regarded as a proper breed. The Pinto coloration may occur in any breed or specific conformation. However, the Pinto Horse Association of America does not accept horses with Appaloosa, Draft, or mule breeding or characteristics.

In the American west, the Pinto has traditionally been regarded as a horse the American Indian favored as a war horse since its coloring provided a natural camouflage.

This photograph shows the difference between a Pinto

horse (left) and a leopard-spotted Appaloosa (right).

The Pinto does not have consistent conformation since it is bred for color. When the darker color is black, the horse is often described as Piebald. When the darker color is anything but black, the horse is described as Skewbald. Pintos may be from a variety of breeds, ranging from Thoroughbred to Miniatures.

What is the difference between Pintos and Paints? Of the questions posed to the PtHA, this is invariably the most frequently asked.  The short answer is the Paint Horse (registered by the APHA) is limited to horses of documented and registered Paint, Quarter Horse or Thoroughbred breeding.

I could go into more depth about the various Pinto colors, markings and categories, but anyone interested can learn more about these beautiful horses through the Pinto Horse Association of America (PtHA).

I learned a lot about Pintos as well as all types of horses for that matter, when my husband and I visited the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY.  We rode up there on our "steel horse," a Harley-Davidson Screamin' Eagle motorcycle.  They call that area the "Horse Capitol of the World," although believe it or not, Ocala, Florida staunchly contends it is.

But I tell you this, we rode over the most beautiful country roads, passing by unbelievably picturesque horse farms with their herds of horses grazing on that Kentucky Blue Grass!  I highly recommend visiting the state and in particular, taking a tour of the Horse Park and surrounding areas including Churchill Downs, the Keeneland Race Track and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.  Yep, wouldn't have been complete if we didn't visit a couple of those Bourbon distilleries including a few tastings!


Book 1, Trail To Destiny - A turbulent cross-country journey of heated passion, bitter vengeance and a haunted past lead Grey Wolf & Laura Westbrook on their Trail To Destiny.

Book 2, Destiny's Journey - Family deception kept Jennifer O’Malley from marrying her first love ten years ago, West Point officer, Glen Herrington.  Now a Civil War widow, she leaves war-torn Richmond, determined to find her destiny.  She makes the long journey west in search of Glen, only to discover he is a notorious outlaw with a price on his head.

Book 3, Yesteryear’s Destiny - When Angela Moore skydives out of a plane and into the western frontier of yesteryear, she not only meets the love of her life, Ben Herrington, but discovers a fateful revelation that exceeds the boundaries of time and will control her destiny.