Most historians think of the frontier not as a geographic place, but as a pattern of settlement that came in repeating waves. News of fabulous gold strikes lured thousands to the West initially. Many hoped to get rich by mining while others moved West to supply the miners’ needs. In time, farmers and ranchers followed and settled permanently in the West, lured by cheap land and the wide open spaces. Historians, then, identify 2 frontiers in the West…the mining frontier and the ranching/farming frontier.