Wow ~ Iconic images! Sometimes an image captures an entire era in one frame, and this is an example of one of our photos that matches that description. This picture has been used in books, documentaries, and as wall art countless times, and yet there is no definite information about who the people are, where they are, or when the photo was taken. Its mysterious origin befits the all-encompassing impact of the image: it perfectly illustrates the quintessential pioneer experience ~ the whole family together with all of their worldly possessions, tired yet inspired, doggedly dignified, and headed "West."
Explore the pioneer experience here at the Western History and Genealogy Department, among our many varied collections that provide primary documentation of the amazing era of the settlement of the West. We have a vast number of books, photographs, maps, and manuscripts about the various gold rushes, railroads, ranching, and cultural waves that characterized America's pioneer days.
To see a curated group of "iconic" photos from our collections, use the tag "tag:iconic," or you can search for "covered wagons," "families," "pioneer," or "gold mining," to explore a wider range of images. Whatever your interest, it's pretty much guaranteed you'll find it in some form in the Western History and Genealogy Department of the Denver Public Library.
"Wow Photo Wednesday" celebrates photographs in the Denver Public Library's Digital Collections that have "The Wow Factor" and that highlight the myriad delightful nuggets in our database.