On summer evenings in the former mining town of Silverton, Colo., the staccato sound of gunshots used to echo through otherwise quiet streets. A cast of stereotypical Old West characters riddled one another with bullets, as the legendary gunfighters did once upon a time in the West. Except that those kind of shoot-‘em-ups didn’t happen out here. Not really. Back in the 1950s, those fake Silverton gunfights followed a well-timed schedule, erupting when the narrow-gauge train, loaded with tourists, rolled into town in the middle of the day. Eventually, however, a group of history-minded citizens gained influence and rejected the violent charade as a mockery of their town’s history. By the 1970s, the fake gunfights were no more. The West always has been a land of myths, where visitors can live out their dreams –– and their misconceptions. Perhaps the most persistent one is that of the gunslinging West,
The Wild and not so gun-loving West
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