Monday, November 28, 2011

Western towns

I've seen some old photos of western towns as well as ghost towns that look quite a bit like the towns in movie westerns. Why does that always come as a surprise?

But here's a question. Did towns in the old west have buildings that simply said "Bank", "Saloon", "Sheriff" and "Store"? Did they really not have names for things back then? And were there any towns that had more than one bank or more than one saloon, or more than one store?

And why do towns in TV westerns have only one church? Is everyone there a member of the same denomination? I've driven though very small towns in the South and gone past church after church after church. I've heard of towns in the west in the 1800s where there was no Baptist church so the Baptists gave in and joined the Methodist church, but they picked the Methodists because they found it the least objectionable, not because there was only one church in town.

Even in movies set in the present day, it's not uncommon for a town to have only one church. Look at Footloose.

Anyway, that always ruins low budget westerns for me. When they have banks with a sign that simply says "Bank", it makes it look like it was filmed at a tourist attraction somewhere.

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