But there IS a little bit of an origin story with Maggie Get Your Gun.
Last spring, I headed out to Vegas with these two trouble makers.
After blowing up a bunch of stuff...
And standing in awe of the beauty of Mother Nature...
We hopped in the car and headed back to LA. There on the right side of a road (and yes, there were signs for Alien Beef Jerky and a 50's Diner) were signs for Calico Ghost Town. Something called to me and I decided to head back the following weekend to check it out.
So Calico was a HUGE silver mining town back in the day and, believe it or not, was owned by the Knott family. Yah. The ones with the amusement park and the great cookies. There's even a ride inside of Knotts Berry Farm called Calico Mine Train. Tricky tricky!
The Knott family fixed up the place and then turned Calico over to the San Bernadino park service. It is still cute as a button with all sorts of delightful Knott touches. As I was walking around, my eyes befell this sign, and I knew I had found the setting for the next Maggie book.
I don't want to give anything away, but here are some of the real places that inspired Maggie Get Your Gun (all used fictitiously, any resemblance is purely coincidental, blah blah blah).
First off, the town proper:
You can't see it from here, but the General Store is over on the left behind the Calico Ghost Town sign.
Here's an entrance to the mine:
The exterior of the hillside apartment
And the interior of the hillside apartment
The schoolhouse and the gully
And the loop out into the desert
The washerwoman's tub
And of course, Boot Hill
The entire place is fantastic and if you have a chance, take that detour on your next drive to Sin City. Check it out! The $8 you'll spend for parking is WAY better than putting $8 into a slot machine. Trust me.