Long Branch Saloon Shootout, Dodge City, Kansas

In the spring of 1879, the wicked little town of Dodge CityKansas had not yet been tamed, a fact that would show itself once again in a gunfight at the Long Branch Saloon. The Long Branch Saloon Shootout, also known as the Richardson-Loving Gunfight, involved Levi Richardson, a buffalo hunter, and “Cockeyed Frank” Loving, a professional gambler.

Though Richardson was known as a slow and awkward man, he also had a reputation as an excellent gunfighter. The pair often met at the Long Branch Saloon, playing the many games of chance that were offered and became friends. However, somewhere along the line, Richardson developed some affection for Loving’s wife Mattie, and the friendship dissolved as the two began to argue about the woman.

The dispute finally came to blows as the two argued in Front Street in March, 1879. Richardson ended up punching Loving in the face. However, an unarmed Frank Loving simply turned his back on Levi and walked away, with Richardson yelling, “I’ll blow the guts of you, you cockeyed son-of-a——.”

A few weeks later, on April 5th, Levi Richardson strode purposefully into the Long Branch Saloon, looking for Frank Loving. Believing it time to settle their differences, Levi was sure he would find Frank in the saloon, as it had come to be his favored place to gamble. But Loving wasn’t there.

Movie Director Doc Durden and Producer M. Kameron Hawkins on location at Virginia City Union Brewery for the filming of Long Branch Saloon Shootout, a behind the scenes short film documentary.

How did this short film documentary come to be?

Well, it’s simple. Doc just finished on a film of his called Leland. He had some downtime since Leland was turned over to be finalized by an editor associate of Doc’s. Only a few have seen the final cut. I for one – M. Kameron Hawkins

When those gathering Doc’s belongings from my studio in Mound House, NV that Doc called his work center and studio was the last I have ever seen Doc’s tools of his trade. His home went into probate and may of his things were sent to his home and/or action. I was told. I don’t know. What I do know is my friend, business associate and film director had passed on and our adventures have come to a stop.

Doc had been talking about making a time period western call The Bound Hunter. He asked me to be in his movie after being in his movie Leland.

Doc and I have been talking about making some short films about time period events in the Wild West 1800’s. I told Doc about many events and did the research for these short films we could plan in doing. Filming mainly in Virginia City and throughout Nevada.

I said let’s make our short film about the Long Brach Saloon Shootout. That I have put some funds down on already. Doc said let’s do it, so we did. Doc, and I had a great time with this project. Doc, and I picked the location to enhance both my client the Virginia City Union Brewery and Doc’s local actors and team members. (Community First)

The Virginia City Union Brewery had just become a client of the Virginia City Insider magazine and was showcased on the cover of the July/September Volume 1 Number 2 2021 edition. Dawn one of the owners open the doors wide open for us to film all in one morning. – Thank you, Dawn.

“Since the filming of this short film documentary and The Bound Hunter back in August of 2021. Doc Durden has passed away in October of 2021, Doc will be missed by many.” M. Kameron Hawkins

The Bound Hunter never finished, and I don’t know what happen to Leland. I do know one thing about my great friend Doc, the Long Brach Saloon Shootout was made for my Hawkins for Nevada Foundation, Inc. 501 (c) (3) all Rights Received and paid in full. Damn I enjoyed our adventures with one another. My short film will never die…

Notes:

Virginia City Insider magazine is a member of the Hawkins for Nevada Foundation, Inc. 501 (c) (3) media family.

Short Film Events has the listing of dates, times and locations to see the Long Brach Saloon Shootout.

Antique Western Gun Show run the Long Branch Saloon Shootout short film at their events.