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Legends Letter

              January, 2005


Kathy WeiserHappy New Year!! Hope everyone had a good one and 2005 makes your dreams come true!!


Yup, I'm a little late getting the newsletter out, as it's usually sent the last week of the month, but I was just a little too busy to write it and besides, ya'll were probably a little too busy to read it. So, now it's catchin' up time.


Well, Christmas saw me in the Panhandle of Texas spending time with family and friends, so I just decided while I was there to hop on ole' Route 66 and finish it up all the way to California. After logging more than 4,000 miles of the Mother Road, you can plan on seeing all kinds of new photographs and articles as I curl up for the next month with no travel and plans for writing only. Stay Tuned.


Did you make a New Year's Resolution? Usually, I don't cuz I generally don't follow thru with them anyway. However, I'm gonna really try to start holding to what I tell you is "Coming Next Month." You know, like last month, I told you I would be writing up St. Joseph, Missouri. Oops! Christmas and Route 66 got me off track, then suddenly the month was gone. However, I did get you some Arizona Ghost Towns and a few "real" frontier recipes, though I gotta tell you Raccoon Fricassee, Hardtack, and Sonofabitch Stew don't sound real good to me. Check out these genuine old time recipes, if nothing else, for a good read.


We'll see if we can't do a little better with our "strategic planning" in 2005. Then again, who knows, maybe every month will just continue to be a surprise. The one thing that I can promise, is that every month you will always see something new!


If you're new to Legends of America, we focus on travel destinations that appeal to the nostalgic and historic minded. Not really interested in the glitter and glitz of the big cities, we hunt out those places with a little "elbow room," lots of history, and hidden attractions. 


I truly hope you enjoy the newsletter and the website!!


Kathy Weiser, Owner/Editor



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In this Edition: 


New Additions to the Website


Santa Rosa - City of Natural Lakes


Featured Book- Bad Men & Bad Towns


Roadside Attractions


Raccoon Fricassee, Hardtack, and Sonofabitch Stew



Coming Next Month:


Finishing Up the Mother Road

Lil' bit of the Pacific Northwest

Back on the Outlaw Trail





New Additions to Legends of America



As promised, I've added some great Arizona Ghost Townsto the website along with photographs and history. Did you know that Canyon Diablo had a history of being meaner than Tombstone and Dodge City combined? Shoot, the first marshal in this wicked little town pinned on a badge at 3:00 p.m. and was laid out for burial at 8:00 p.m. Five more quickly followed him. Canyon Diablo is located between Flagstaff and Meteor City, Arizona. When you visit Canyon Diablo, you will also be at the same site of another Ghost Town- Two Guns, which was a tourist stop built during the Route 66 era. Both provide a fabulous peek into the past.


Mule Crossing Oatman ArizonaThen there's one of my personal favorites - old Oatman, Arizona. If you get the chance, this is an absolute must-see ghost town along old Route 66. Built in the gold mining days, the town is filled with history, entertaining re-enactments, the Haunted Oatman Hotel, and mules! Mules, you say? Yes, mules! You know, donkeys - jack-asses. Really!


Well, if you didn't already know, I'm writing a book about Route 66, that's why you're seeing so much of the Mother Road lately. The book's got to be wrapped up in the next couple of months, so you will continue to see lots more in the immediate future. Recently, I finished up writing the short Kansas portion and discovered a great little story of murder, scandal and buried treasure in the small town of Galena. Also check out several new towns along the Mother Road in Oklahoma and New Mexico.


Not to leave out our ghostly readers, check out the Legend of Blackbird Hill near Decatur, Nebraska and the Haunted Kimo Theatre in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


And thanks to our readers, we now have a little more variety on the website. Three new articles now appear that were written by someone other than me. The first article, from our 82 years young reader, Nancy E. Brown, is the story of The Old Convict's Gravesite Near Safford, Arizona. Travel with Nancy as she explores this lost grave and her desire to give this poor soul a name. 


We also got an article from author, Paul Petersen, who wrote the book Quantrill of Missouri.  Mr. Petersen's goal is to set the record straight on William Quantrill, noting that history has been distorted by prejudicial journalists and historians. Check out Petersen's William Quantrill - The Man, the Myth, the Soldier.


And finally, From Jack R. Russell of Oregon comes the story of buried treasure in Arkansas. Help Jack find the treasureand part of it can be yours! Read the history of the land he grew up on in this inspiring story of Buried Treasure on Curtis Creek.


In the meantime, I better get back to Kickin' Asphalt! See ya next month!



What our readers are saying about Legends of America:


I very much enjoyed viewing your website. I often travel the Panhandle [Texas] and wonder about its history. Thanks to your website for the enlightenment. I will continue to view it. - Raquel


Was reading the old time remedy cures of long ago and got quite a chuckle out of most of them. Thanks for the smile. - Chris


I am an aspiring western fiction author and have been doing loads of research for my book. It can be frustrating sometimes as I can rarely seem to find what I'm looking for. Your website has been one of the most helpful I've come across so far. Thanks!! - Aja

A friend sent me this info. Good to have as I am a Travel Agent. I love this site. I will be able to get information for my clients and perhaps send them on their way to visit some of these sites. Thanks. - Marie




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Featured Travel Destination 



Santa Rosa - City of Natural Lakes -  Santa Rosa, New Mexico, known as the "City of Natural Lakes," is called thus due the many natural lakes and streams of the area.  Situated where the Great Plains rise up to meet the Rockies, lies this startling oasis, amid the red mesas of the plains.


Founded in 1865, the town began as nothing more than a large Spanish Rancho that was called Aqua Negro Chiquita at the time.  However, when the steam engine pushed through in 1901, Santa Rosa became an important transportation hub which continued through the Route 66 era.  Today, the town displays dozens of vintage Mother Road icons as you pass through the city.


A particularly scenic stretch of Route 66 parallels Interstate 40 and can be accessed from the three exits east of town. See the picturesque stone ruins of the ghost town of Cuervo and the ghost service stations of Newkirk and Montoya just west of Santa Rosa on old Route 66.  A side trip well worth the journey is the ancient adobe village of Puerto de Luna, just ten miles south of Santa Rosa.


More activities abound at the area lakes where you can scuba dive at the Blue Hole, fish at Park Lake or Perch Lake, and enjoy all the amenities of a large man-made lake, such as boating, skiing and camping at Santa Rosa Lake State Park.


Blue Hole is one of the top scuba diving destinations in the United States.  An 80-foot-deep artesian spring, fed from an underwater aquifer, draws visitors from around the world.  With 3,000 gallons of water flowing per minute, the water is so clear that you can look down at the bottom and discern a nickel from a bottle cap.  Blue Hole is open 24 hours a day, year round.


This little known travel destination has much to offer for the ghost town enthusiast,  lake aficionado and Route 66traveler.


From the Legends' General Store



Ken Turmel's "Postmarkart" begins when he sketches in the states, borders, and roads with with pen and ink, then airbrushes the background in a beautiful array of thematic colors.  Afterwards, Ken and his artwork "hit the road" as Ken begins the arduous journey of hand-carrying his original artwork to hundreds of post offices, where the "canvas" develops day by day. 


Acclaimed to be a "first of its kind" by over 1000 postmasters and postal officials, Ken's Postmarkarts become historical documents as well as visually pleasing artwork.




Featured Travel Guides and Books



Bad Men and Bad Towns, by Wayne C. Lee


Wayne Lee, a master storyteller, chronicles the violent events from 1823 to 1925 in Nebraska. He writes of the Indian conflicts, and later, the crime that disturbed the peace on the prairie. Heavily illustrated, Bad Men produces an unusual portrait of the territorial early days of a state now vital to America's bread basket! 8˝ x 11, paperback, illustrated, indexed, 180 pages.

Bumper Sticker Wisdom


When you come to the fork in the road, take it


Where there's a will, I want to be in it


I brake for no apparent reason


My other car is a pair of boots



Roadside Attractions



Saloon Museums - Our Saloon pages are so popular that we just keep expanding our information on these Old West taverns of the past.  While surfin' around, we were amazed to find how many Saloon Museums there are in the Old West!  And you can read about them here.


Plus, you'll find information on historic saloons that are still servin' up a brew or two, that could be a  museum with their authentic decor and detail to the past, but continue to cater to the cowboys and cowgirls of today!


Check out a few of these great places:


Long Branch Saloon Dodge City, KansasBuckhorn Saloon and Museum, San Antonio, Texas


Desert John's Saloon Museum, Deer Lodge, Montana


Long Branch Saloon, Dodge City, Kansas


Museum Club in Flagstaff, Arizona


New Atlas Saloon in Columbus, Montana





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Legends of America is

heading to ......

February:  After 4,000 some miles along Route 66, I think I'll be staying home during this very cold month. 

The Old West



Raccoon Fricassee, Hardtack, and Sonofabitch Stew - "Eye yie yie," this is some scary stuff!  Here you'll find some of the "real" old recipes of the American West.  Most of these savory delights require an old tyme starved cowboy or mountain man with excellent hunting skills.  And you'll always need some old fashioned bacon fat and some delectable herbs picked from the prairie. 


Need to feed 3800 people anytime soon?  Then check out Buffalo Stew which requires a whole buffalo and four weeks of cooking time.  If your plannin' on riding the range any time soon, be sure to include some old fashioned p emmican and hardtack in your saddlebags. 


Got a lean grocery budget this month, get your gun and whip up some rabbit stew or roast beaver.  Worst case scenario, make  up a mouse pie. Yuck, yuck, yuck!


Check out these old tyme recipes.  You're sure to understand why those folks of the 1800s were so hardy.  After you get a chuckle out of some of delectable delights, peruse our other Old West Recipes that might just be a little more to your modern tastes.


From Legends' General Store


Sowbelly and Sourdough

Sowbelly and Sourdough, by Scott Gregory

Although sowbelly and sourdough were staples in the chuck box, the cook often had a few more provisions on hand. Using limited ingredients, bean wranglers created mouth-watering vittles for a demanding bunch of cowboys. Their techniques and recipes, recorded here, range from traditional meat and bean dishes to fine-tastin' baked goods and sweet-tooth-teasin' desserts.


Sorry, out of stock.

Feedback and Suggestions



We always appreciate feedback about the website and our newsletter.  Do you have a suggestion about content that you would like to see, or perhaps, would like to contribute a photograph or a story?  We would love to hear about it!  We also want to hear about suggestions for improvement.  See a link that doesn't work or a picture that doesn't appear -- please let us know.  Just drop us a line at our Email address and tell us what you think.






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Legends of America


A Travel Guide for the Nostalgic & Historic Minded


28926 Cedar Hill Loop

Warsaw, MO 65355



Kathy Weiser





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