From old Westerns to punk rock showdowns: "The Virginian" author has a birthday today

(Wyoming) — The famed inventor of the "good-guy cowboy," Owen Wister was born on this date, July 14, in 1860.

A Philadelphia native, Wister was well-traveled and a member of the upper class, but an 1885 trip to Wyoming — specifically, to Major Frank Wolcott’s ranch on Deer Creek, south of what is now Glenrock — led him to his most famous home: Wyoming. It was in our wonderful state that Wister found the inspiration for his work, according to the Wyoming State Historical Society.

Today, we have heroes the likes of Walt Longmire and Joe Pickett, but it was Wister who created the protagonist of "The Virginian," the first good-guy cowboy in what is considered to be the first "Western" novel, published in 1902. 

The historic Virginian Hotel, built in 1911 and named for the book, still stands in Medicine Bow, a town in Carbon County with a population of 284. The hotel boasts the Owen Wister dining room, and the famed Owen Wister Suite — and has also become home to more modern events, including the annual Battle of Old Wyoming punk rock shows.

The eighth annual event is slated for Aug. 5, 2016, at, you guessed it, The Virginian.

J.D. Korpitz of Laramie-based band Red Bush at the 2015 Battle of Old Wyoming show in Medicine Bow. h/t Oil City Wyo