Fascinating pictures show life in America's 'Cowboy Paradise'

Life in America’s ‘Cowboy Paradise’: Fascinating pictures show rodeos, barbecues and hoedowns in remote Nevada ranching town in the 1970s

  •  Photos show what life was like living in the cowboy community of Paradise Valley in 1970s America
  •  Ranchers are pictured huddled around trestle tables, preparing meat for an annual charity event 
  • In another, a group of children attended a bible class in a church as the pastor read passages of scripture 

Remarkable photos show what life was like living in the cowboy community of Paradise Valley in 1970s America.

In one image, local ranchers huddled around trestle tables, preparing meat for an annual charity event called the ‘Fireman’s Barbeque Picnic’ in 1978. In another, a group of local children attended a bible class in a church as the pastor read passages of scripture. 

Paradise Valley was established in 1864 by miner W.M. Gregg, becoming both a ranching town due to its fertile soil, as well as a mining town in the late 19th century. With the mines closing in the early 20th century, the citizens of Paradise Valley gradually turned their focus to ranching. 

With much of the population moving to larger towns for employment in the latter half of the 20th century, today, Paradise Valley is virtually a ghost town – home to only 100 residents.

A young man holds on to the back of a bull with one hand raised in the air in Paradise Valley, Nevada in these images from the 1970s



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Residents of Paradise Valley dance to music in the streets to celebrate the annual Fireman’s Barbecue Picnic

Local cowboys cook hamburgers and beans on the barbecue. Photos show what life was like living in the cowboy community of Paradise Valley in 1970s America. In one image, local ranchers huddled around trestle tables, preparing meat for an annual charity event called the ‘Fireman’s Barbecue Picnic’ in 1978

Two children sit at the table as their grandma prepares their dinner. The selection of incredible photos were captured using a 35mm camera in the rural town of Paradise Valley in Nevada, USA, in 1978 and were later included as part of the Paradise Valley Folklife Project Collection which aimed to document the history of the ranching community in the area

One photo showed what school life was like for children growing up in a rural 1970s town in America

Ranchers prepare the meat for the 1978 Fireman’s Barbecue Picnic. With much of the population moving to larger towns for employment in the latter half of the 20th century, today, Paradise Valley is virtually a ghost town – home to only 100 residents

Patrons sit and drink at the Paradise Valley bar and store.

The church pianist plays hymns as the small congregation sings along.The selection of incredible photos were captured using a 35mm camera in the rural town of Paradise Valley

The locals of Paradise Valley take part in a rodeo. Judges can be seen scoring participants

Local man Lonny Hill wraps some meat in some cheese cloth to prepare it for the feast. Other images captured a street party that took place after the barbecue, during which a musician sang and played the keyboard whilst the local townspeople danced joyfully

The Micca House, built in 1885 served the local community as a department store and post office

A cowboy rounds up a baby calf as part of the afternoon’s entertainment. Remarkable photos show what life was like living in the cowboy community of Paradise Valley in 1970s America

Children sit attentively in the local church as the pastor begins a bible study session

The children pose for a picture in front of the school bus. The selection of incredible photos were captured using a 35mm camera in the rural town of Paradise Valley in Nevada, USA, in 1978

A cowboy brands his cattle with a red hot poker. Paradise Valley was established in 1864 by miner W.M. Gregg, becoming both a ranching town due to its fertile soil, as well as a mining town in the late 19th century

One child pulls a funny face as a group of children ride the bus to school in 1978. Paradise Valley was established in 1864 by miner W.M. Gregg, becoming both a ranching town due to its fertile soil, as well as a mining town in the late 19th century

Spectators watch from behind a fence ready for the next rider to enter the paddock Remarkable photos show what life was like living in the cowboy community of Paradise Valley in 1970s America

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