Gang and Happy Valentines Day! Though I send you best wishes, I
ain't sendin no kisses - shucks, we hardly know each other.
Yeah, yeah, I know, it's not Valentine's day anymore, but it was when I
wrote this, does that count?
I spent most of this past month in a small
town in southwest
where I grew up. Mom's getting "on" in age and needed a little
help, so that slowed down "production" here at
Legends of America.
Not having all of the "tools" I needed for writing and research, I
focused on what I call "painting." Not the kind that makes a mess
and stains my clothes - but the computer kind. See the new logo at
the top of the page? That kind of painting! I tend to get a
little obsessed with this "artwork" and my friends tease me that I'm
going to go blind "painting" each little pixel, after tiny pixel, and
next minute pixel. Anywho, I think it turned out pretty cool
and I made it interactive. You can click on the general store
and go there, a click on the hotel takes you to our reservation page,
pops up our
West tales, and so on. Stay tuned, cuz I'm on a "paintin'"
roll. Soon, you'll see scenes from the
Old West in graphic form - not only decorating the pages of
Legends of America,
but in print form to hang on your own wall!
West Legends, I've been kind of slacking in that area, so this issue
is dedicated to our
West fans! From the ghost of
Black Jack Ketchum, to the
West town of
Tale, and more slang from the
West, you're sure to enter a time warp into the 19th century.
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
In this Edition:
Holbrook, Arizona - Too Tough For Women or
Questions From Our Readers
Featured Book - Villians & Outlaws
Old West Slang - Figure it out if you can
Cemeteries - Outdoor Museums of the Forgotten Past
Thomas Edison Mines For Gold
Outlaws & Lawmen
Tales of Washington
Myths & Campfire Tales
"I take no sass but sasparilla," -- John
Wesley Hardin, explaining his deadly disposition.
New Additions to Legends of
The biggest addition to the website is our
Saloons of the Prohibition Era. How in the heck did the
American West move so quickly from boardwalks and swinging doors to
totally making liquor illegal? You'll find out here, along with
another era - the
speakeasy. Also, stay tuned for more information on this
article, as well as our
Saloons of the
Old West, as they are combined to appear in a book that will
published within the next couple of months.
You'll also find
that we have added some more to our
pages including the
Garden of Eden
Kansas Fun Facts & Trivia,
The Nation's Largest Sunflower, and
You're In Kansas When .... As long as I was "when-ing," I also
You Know You're In Missouri When ..., and
When. Don't worry if you don't see your state. We'll
make fun of them all before it's said and done!
hunting enthusiasts, you'll find a couple of new articles including
Rockhounding in the Prineville, Oregon
and You Can
Search For Black Gold.
And, we always
hunters. For you, check out these new articles -
Ghost Hunting Should Be Professional,
Ghost Hunting on Oregon's Coast, and
Spooky Places Near Your Home.
while these are not extremely new tales, since we're on the
West, and they haven't gotten much attention, check out our Heroines
of the American West, in these historic articles:
Heroines of the Southwest,
Across the Plains, and
in the Rocky Mountains.
Until next month, Happy Travels!!
Questions From Our Readers
Question: I would like to
utilize one of your articles in a newsletter that I do for school.
Is that possible? - Amelia
Answer: Yes, Amelia, you can
utilize any article on my website that is written by me. All
articles that do not show someone else's byline at the top of the page
are written by Kathy Weiser. Simply credit me and the website.
Legends of America has
begun to receive so many requests from students, organizations, websites
and publications regarding the use of our materials, that we have now
put together a
Reproduction/Reprint Policy. If you have questions regarding
the use of our material, just click
Featured Travel Destination
Arizona - Too Tough For Women or Churches - Not only a popular
stop on Route
Arizona is rich in its history of the
gunfights, and legendary lawmen. Getting its start as a stop along
the railroad in 1881, the settlement was soon called home to numerous
cattle ranchers and railroaders.
towns where law and order were initially non-existent and rowdy men far
outnumbered the women, it quickly took on a number of vices including
saloons, one of which was called the Bucket of Blood, gambling
parlors, and brothels.
In 1884, the Aztec Land and Cattle
Company, better known as the Hashknife Outfit, began operations in
Holbrook. The second
largest cattle ranch in the U.S., the cattle company had some 60,000
head of cattle, and employed hundreds of
initially welcomed the money of the cattle company and its associated
until they saw what they were in for.
the outfit quickly gained the unsavory reputation of being the
"thievinist, fightinest bunch of
in the United States. Many of the
working for the Hashknife Outfit were wanted men and on two occasions,
they were linked to train robberies at
The outlaws happily continued with their
wicked ways until in walked Sheriff Commodore Perry Owens, who is
credited with taming the wild and crusty town.
Today this city of a little more than 5,000
souls offers a great opportunity to explore
country, as well as the nearby
Petrified Forest National Park, and its many
Featured Destination: Would you like to showcase your
travel destination in the
Be it a city or a place, just click
to see how to make that happen. If your city has historical value
and great places to visit, your town could be featured on our home page
and in our newsletter. Just zap us an
if you like the
newsletter, forward it on to your friends!!
They too can receive
updates when we add new content, provide product specials from our
Legends' General Store, and more! Click
HERE to sign up for the
Featured Guides and Books
and Outlaws, by MacMillan
Villains and Outlaws is a unique reference featuring over one
hundred profiles of notorious characters from antiquity to the present.
Read about gangsters, dictators, war criminals, assassins, murderers,
outlaws, traitors, and turncoat spies. Every articled includes
a description of the subject's life and times, as well as quotations,
definitions, and a time line. Presented in easy-to-find
alphabetical format. Hardcover, 361 pages.
Bumper Sticker Wisdom
Silly cowboy - trucks are for girls.
If You Are Gonna Ride My Bumper, you'd
better put a saddle on it!
My SUV has 4 Legs, a mane and a Tail...
The Old West
Old West Slang
- Are you all
up about what
some of them tharí words mean when youíre
West novel or watching an old western movie? And, I'm not just
talkin' about all that
Flannel Mouth gibberish and rank-lipped
they do on the
Deadwood Series. In fact, though I love the program, those
writers were a little
the prod when they wrote all that
balderdash into the show. Though them folks back in
and everywhere else in the
West were prone to a bit of bad
yammerin', back then, words such as crap, shit, and damn were
case words. To make their point, the show exaggerates, by
using the "worst" words of today, in order to get their point across.
In the meantime, the pages of period
newspapers, books, and memoirs are filled with slang that may leave us
feelin' a bit
What in the world is
curly wolf, a
four-flusher, or a
mutton puncher? What are you up to when you're
barkin' at a knot,
ridin' a shank's mare,
high-grading? What would you rather be? -- "roostered"
snakes?" Well, depending on your point of view, you might want
to be both! When is a
coffee boiler not something to make coffee in? When you're in
West!! Back then, a shirker or a lazy person was often called
Boiler," 'cuz they'd rather sit around the coffee pot than pitch in
Wondering about some of them thar' words
myself, I got a
bee in my bonnet, grabbed some
Arbuckles, and decided to
and provide some answers. But a funny thing happened as I began
the research - shoot, I already knew a whole bunch of those words.
Growing up in West
I was using a lot of 'em when I was just a
between the hay and the grass. Then, once I joined the
Free-Soilers here in
I never could
why people looked at me funny when I was talking.
Maybe that explains why, when I met Dave,
waddy from the
Llano Estacado, I
made a mash. I guess when he got off that
hurricane deck, he could understand when I said something like "I'm
to finish this up, I'll be there
directly." Instead of
shinning out and
leaving me with the mitten, that
eater stuck around. No more
mudsills for me, this
grass widow had found herself a
Next thing ya know, I
euchered him into putting on his
best bibs and tuckers, standin' before a
sin-buster at the
doxology works and gettin'
next summer. You can just bet that
is going to be a
hog-killin time with the
John Barleycorn and
Juice flowing freely and most likely, more than one
full as a tick.
Don't that just
take the rag off that lil' ole' me finally found myself a
tall hog at the trough -- a
buckaroo that I can
ride the river with!
all to pieces
cowboy up and check out our
Old West Slang
twig them thar'
Old West terms.
In the meantime, I'll
and get on down the path to
see the elephant.
rides up to a
saloon on his horse. He goes in, orders a drink, then leaves. His
horse is gone. He goes back to the
and asks, "Where's my horse?"
No one replies. So he says, "I'll order one more drink, and then if my
horse isn't outside, I'll have to do what i did in
and I don't like doing that."
So the locals hurry around, and when he leaves, his horse is outside.
As the stranger gets on his horse, the bartender asks, "What did you do
to which the
replies, "I had to walk home."
- Outdoor Museums of the Forgotten Past -
is it about old
that inexplicably draw me to them? Is it my inherent nostalgic
way, sense of history, the monuments themselves, or simple curiosity?
Flying down a winding
road in the Ozarks, I glimpse from the corner of my eye a headstone
peeking through the trees. The truck comes to a screeching halt,
making a swift u-turn in the middle of the highway, almost mindless to
Parked at the side of road, I sit quietly studying the old graveyard.
Several crumbling headstones rise from overgrown weeds and grass, all
but obliterating the memory of those long past. I curse the fact I
havenít brought along my camera. The obsession to take pictures of
these timeless monuments is as strong as the need to stop.
an early spring morning, and my jeans are quickly soaked by the morning
dew of the tall grasses surrounding the burial place. I pass a
small sign: "Kreizel Family.Ē I know some people in the area by
that name. Are these long forgotten pioneers somehow related?
In the small graveyard, there are about ten headstones bearing the faint
marks of those living more than a century ago. I can see from the
dates that they lived through the time of the Civil War when this part
was a war-torn battlefield. Who were these people? What
stories would they tell of their lives, their families, their hopes and
their dreams? I look at my watch; an hour has passed as Iíve
contemplated these unknown faces.
I have another obsessive
desire to make headstone rubbings. You know, the process where you
place a piece of paper against the headstone and rub a soft lead pencil
or crayon against the engraving. Though, I have not resorted to
headstone rubbings as of yet, these too, will no doubt, become a part of
the graveyard fascination at some point in time. But, what will I
do with these these rubbings? Hang
Hollidayís epitaph upon my living room wall, place
Hickokís engraving in a scrap book, or more likely, let them pile up
in the basement with a growing collection of old bottles, magazines and
other memorabilia from lives lived decades ago? This obsession is
getting out of hand.
Ashes to ashes and dust to dust, Iím just sure that I
will somehow find a hidden secret in these historic and often dignified
reminders of our past. Carvings and epitaphs tell me a bit about a
person that might otherwise not be remembered. These people
existed, they were once vibrant and alive with wives and husbands that
cared for them, children they doted upon, and they lived through
ordinary every day struggles as we do, feeling sorrow and happiness
during their lifetimes.
Now, they are but a name
on a headstone, if the monument has survived. But, at least for a
moment, they are thought of, if unknown, in the minds of the many like
me who are drawn to these outdoor history museums.
What our readers are saying about Legends
I love your website!
I have only just found it and have already spent way too much time on
it. I am using your information for a weekend walk about to the
Leavenworth area. I have lived in the [Kansas City] metro area
for 20+ years and thought it was about time I saw the area. I was
doing a Google search for some information on
and found your site. Lucky me! - Carol, Kansas City
I have been looking for
the treasure story of
LaRue for over 20 years. could not find it in any library or
website. I lost the book I had and was never able to replace it. Thanks
to you, I can now read that story to my kids. i lived in Las Cruces,
10 miles away from the Organ Mountains. Please put as many stories as
possible. You are awsome. - Nora
Great and Informative
Lots of Good Historical Information and more. Keep up the good work.
Walk in love and beauty, Native American Embassy - Ambassador/Minister
ThunderWolfe Von Noaker
Great site, I have
enjoyed this site for many years now. I have also been fortunate to meet
Kathy. What a nice lady and a dedicated lady. Her website has helped
inspire me, inform me, and entertain me. Cheers, Robert Garcia,
Tell us what you think!
Ghosts of the American West
Ghost of Black Jack Ketchum -
Thomas "Black Jack" Ketchum was the only person ever hanged in
He was also the only man ever hanged for train robbery in the entire
state, a law that was later found to be unconstitutional. But,
unfortunately that was a little too late for poor
Jack. If that wasn't enough, the hangman bungled the execution and
Thomas was hanged, he was decapitated. Perhaps this old
just a little ticked off -- so much so that he decides to hang around
the world just a tad bit longer.
train robber is said to have been seen lingering at a cave on the
Philmont Scout Ranch near
Ketchum's old hideouts, the place is beneath a large rock overhang,
where at least one scout has claimed to have seen his ghost.
Years ago, while
the scout was snoring soundly in his sleeping bag, he was awakened by a
commotion. Opening his eyes, he saw a
dressed all in black come running out of the bushes toward the hideout.
He said the man was mostly solid but some parts of him appeared
translucent. He described the man as filthy dirty, with a
tattered hat, clothes from the 1800's, and terribly yellowed teeth.
Additionally, the apparition's face was very red, glistening with sweat,
with lots of facial hair and he was holding a revolver.
As the scout
watched, a strange fog emanated from the tree line across from a small
stream and he could hear men yelling followed by muffled gunfire.
cowboy then turned and fired his revolver six times into the trees
before running toward the cave, where he stood right over the scout.
cowboy was wounded in the shoulder and discharged six shell casings
from his revolver right on top of the boy. As he watched, the
casings disappeared as they fell onto his sleeping bag.
Thomas Edison Mines For Gold - A little know
gold mining is that Thomas Alva Edison came to
to recover gold from the Ortiz Mountains southeast of
The gold found in
Ortiz Mountains in
County was the first North America gold rush west of the Mississippi.
The discovery of gold in 1828 attracted 4,000 gold prospectors to a 95
square mile grant bestowed by the Spanish government upon Jose Francisco
Ortiz. The gold prospectors found placer gold in the desert sand.
Prospectors were dry panning because water was not available and when so
such little gold was found, gold prospecting in the Ortiz Mountains had
ceased by the 1880's.
Prior to this time, Edison had invented a
machine that separated non-magnetic iron ore from sand-like particles
without the use of water. Edisonís invention was a electrostatic
separator that caused a thin film of dry particles to pass over an
electrically charged drum. The iron ore would stick to the drum while
non-iron particles would pass on by without sticking. He learned that
gold, like iron ore, would stick to the drum while the sand would not.
When Edison learned of the Ortiz Mountain placer gold deposits he was
able to obtain a sample for testing. Using his invention he saw the
gold was readily separated from the sand. An elated Edison obtained a
lease on 54,000 acres of the Ortiz Mountains in January, 1898. Before
long shipments of milling machinery arrived by rail and horse-drawn
wagons. Edison spent some $500,000 on conveyor belt assemblies, bucket
elevators, engines, generators, and sand screens.
He soon found the sand an inch or two below
the sun-baked surface contained enough moisture to short-circuit the
electrostatic drum. There was one disaster after another that foiled his
attempts to get the mill into production. The sudden drenching rain
storms would often stop production and damage equipment. When winter
arrived the entire operation was suspended when a late November blizzard
isolated the area. He finally shut the operation down for the winter of
the following year. It is to be noted this failed mine is close to
in a region of 10 square miles it is estimated containing gold worth
By 1903, the Edison mill in the Ortiz Mining
District was closed,
ending his interest in the area. Left
behind, and still there, are the many screened heaps of desert surface,
coarse portions full of large rock, cactus and gray pinon wood, beside
large heaps of fine sand made ready for Edison's machinery.
~ By David Sandahl. David is the
editor for the Gold Prospectors Association of New Mexico's Newsletter.
See our Great Vintage
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Legends of America
A Travel Guide
for the Nostalgic & Historic Minded
28926 Cedar Hill Loop
Warsaw, MO 65355