July 24th is Pioneer Day in the state of Utah, commemorating the arrival of the Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley (the first permanent Euro-American settlers) in 1847. This state-wide celebration includes everything from parades to rodeos, fireworks to pageants, Pioneer/Frontier clothing to Native American Inter-Tribal Pow-Wows, to covered wagon reenactments and picnics. Pioneer Day is inherent to Utah’s Victorian-Era, Old West history.
Queen Victoria reigned from age 18 to age 81; June 1837 until her death in 1901. Anything that falls within this time, whether those English-speaking countries were her subjects or not, is referred to as the Victorian Era. The United States definitely had a Victorian Era–and the sheer quantity of significant historical occurrences, inventions, developments, social happenings–is astounding. This overview sheds light on this favored backdrop (Victorian Era American West) for fiction.