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Legends Letter

March, 2008


Kathy Weiser - Cowgirl DrawingWhew, whew, whew!!!!!!! I'm praying, hoping, begging, pleading that the pace for this new year of 2008 will slow itself down just a little, and as long as we're begging, how about a little warm weather??? please...........  After moving this great big ole' website to a new server, building a new bulletin board and guestbook, still in the process of implementing a new shopping cart, moving my mom from an assisted living center through a critical care hospital to a long-term nursing home, getting the Hospice folks on board, refinancing two houses (just in the nick of time before every mortgage lender shuts their doors), building another website for my home owners association, and fitting in an already planned trip to southern New Mexico, I could really just use a couple of days sitting in the sun doing nothing. Oh, and while you're up, could you bring me a beer?


With this mad pace, most assuredly we'll get there, right after we catch up on the bookkeeping, do our taxes, finish that shopping cart, blog and write up next month's trip to Nevada/Utah, and get those orders out the door. Uh..... could you make that two beers please.


The trip to New Mexico was great! We flew into El Paso, Texas, took a little jaunt straight east, first spying some centuries old missions on the Mission Trail and a few ghostly little towns before making our way north through the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Oh, yeah, Dave says "don't speed through National Parks." He got the opportunity to meet one of Texas' finest after rounding a bend at 76 miles per hour (speed limit 55.) Yeah, he's packing his lunch this month to pay off that ticket. You can check out his ramblings about that trip on his blog.


Then on to see some aliens at Roswell, Billy the Kid's grave at Fort Sumner, a great morning in Lincoln, filled with the history of New Mexico's infamous Lincoln County War. Heading west in the desert we're surprised by a freakish winter storm that leaves the desert cactus frozen and sparkling in the sun. Beautiful. Lots of ghost towns along the way, and a stop at everyone of them as you can imagine. Seven days later we're back in line at the airport savoring the many days we spent in shirt sleeves and though returning to Kansas City cold, looking forward to sleeping in our own bed. You can see more about that great trip and stops along the way on my blog.


Guess I better get going. In the meantime, I truly hope you enjoy the newsletter and the website!!


Kathy Weiser, Owner/Editor





In this Edition: 


New Additions


Featured Travel Destination - Missouri Route 66


The Old West - Wells Fargo


Featured Book



Bumper Sticker Wisdom 



Student Driver. Get the hill out of my way!


If We Quit Voting, Will They Go Away?


One man's religion is another man's belly laugh.



Drive Home a Point!

Shop Bumper Stickers!


Hardwater SoapLegends of America Advertising!

See your ad HERE!

New Additions to Legends of America



From our New Mexico trip, you'll finds lots of new tales on ghost town stops and history that we picked up along the way. The southern portion of the Land of Enchantment is filled with the sites of more prosperous mining days at places such as Mogollon, one of the state's premier ghost towns. This very intact ghost town made millions over the years and survived numerous floods and fires, before it finally died in the 1950s. Today, it is a summer tourist destination. Of course, we're there in the winter, climbing a very steep and narrow road in the snow. Good thing we had 4-wheel drive. You'll also find our stops at other fading places such as Chloride , Winston, Ancho, White Oaks, and our very favorite -- Shakespeare. Another absolute great day was in Lincoln . I'm just fascinated with the Lincoln County War and all those players -- Billy the Kid , Pat Garrett , James Joshua Dolan, Lawrence Murphy, and those characters. A great stop!!

Beyond New Mexico, I delved into the history of our lake house location -- Warsaw, Missouri, and was fascinated and almost ashamed I hadn't researched this before. This historic little city was once a riverboat hub, burned during the Civil War, and the site of a little known feud called the Slicker War.

And thank you to a couple of guest writers we're featuring this month. Maggie Van Ostrand is a prolific writer who we've been working with over the last couple of years, swapping tales and photos, brings us Sally Skull, a Texas 'black widow" and tough cowgirl whose husbands tended to die as quick as she married them. Maggie also shares her tale of Annie Rogers and the Bank Dick. Annie was the girlfriend to the notorious "Kid Curry," the meanest and wildest of the Wild Bunch outlaws.

Valerie Mellema, another great writer, brings us Haunted Camp Floyd in Utah ; Garnet , Montana ghost town , and a fascinating tale of the Portland Underground, a very scary place where sailors were once shanghaied.

We also "borrowed" some historic tales from the past including The Old Stage Drivers, the First Train Robbery On The Pacific Coast, A Midnight Adventure in Nevada, and The Old-Time Miners.

Stay tuned for new articles as we fill in a few Texas stops we made and add up our next Nevada/Utah trip.



Old West Factoids:


The term "red light district" came from the Red Light Bordello in Dodge City, Kansas. The front door of the building was made of red glass and produced a red glow to the outside world when lit at night. The name carried over to refer to the town's brothel district.


The famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral only lasted about thirty seconds.


Henry Wells, of the famous Wells Fargo and Company freight line never lived any further West than Buffalo, New York.


n 1876, the lawless town of Deadwood, South Dakota averaged a murder a day.







Featured Travel Destination 


Missouri Route 66Missouri Route 66

Spring is on its way and there's lots of folks who will be planning on making that 2400 mile Route 66 trek from Chicago to Los Angeles, checking out the many vintage views, quirky stops, and still popular tourist destinations along this old romanticized road.

The 300-odd-mile journey across the "Show Me State” provides not only some of the most scenic views of the Mother Road, it also has dozens of vintage icons along the old highway, many of which can still be visited today.

Along this historic pavement, you will see some of the Mother Roads best tourist attractions, including the Route 66 State Park and Meramec Caverns; classic scenes such as the Chain of Rocks Bridge and Ted Drewes Frozen Custard in St. Louis, the Munger-Moss Motel in Lebanon, and the Boots Motel in Carthage.

As you continue southwest, you will begin to enter the Missouri Ozarks, with numerous scenic views of the Big Piney River, low mountain ranges, forests and curling roads, especially around the area of Devil’s Elbow.

In the historic towns of Carthage and Springfield, not only will you see vintage buildings of the Mother Road era, but also several Civil War battle sites.

A ghost town stretch beyond Springfield, including Halltown, Paris Springs Junction, and Spencer, is currently making a revival with a number of reconditioned buildings.

In southwest Missouri, an area that was once extremely rich in lead mining; museums, old mining equipment, and tailings can still be seen along this vintage path.

All along the old highway, that closely follows the route of an ancient pre-Civil War stage line, there is some bit of history to be seen. Photo opportunities, as well as recreation activities of every type imaginable can also be enjoyed in the "Show Me State."

In addition, the Missouri route also provides an abundance of side trips to great travel destinations, in and of themselves, such as Lake of the Ozarks, historic Branson, Missouri, and the recreated " ghost town" of Red Oak II.


As always, enjoy the ride.


Featured Book:

Images of Route 66 by David Wickline

Images of 66, By David Wickline - If you've ever traveled even a little portion of Route 66, you'll know that some of the great vintage icons and photo opportunities are hard to find. Not with this book! This 386 page book has more than 2,000 images of those many "must stops" along Route 66 and includes addresses where possible. Click HERE for more.


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Our eNewsletter features articles on the Old West, travel destinations, ghostly legends, and subscriber only specials from our Legends' General Store. Sent directly to your inbox, grab a cup of coffee and travel the historic paths of the American West. Sign up today!





The Old West



Wells Fargo MuseumWells Fargo - Staging & Banking in the Old West - Evoking an image of stagecoaches rattling over rutted mountain roads and outlaws hiding in the brush awaiting its arrival was Wells Fargo in the Old West.


The organization began when prosperous New York businessmen, Henry Wells and William Fargo saw great opportunity in the west after gold was discovered. The pair, who had helped to found American Express in 1850, officially created Wells Fargo & Co. on March 18, 1852 with two primary objectives – transportation and banking. In California, where no railroads yet existed, the Wells, Fargo & Co Express, planned to provide stagecoach and wagon services to the many miners flooding to the area, as well as freight services to businesses. Its banking division, Wells, Fargo & Co Bank advertised both financial services and a general forwarding businesses for mail, valuable deliveries and freight.


Within the year Wells Fargo established its first office in San Francisco, soon followed by offices in Sacramento, Monterey and San Diego, and within no time, in most every mining camp in California.

Later, Wells Fargo joined with a number of partners to build the largest stagecoach empire in the world.

One of its earliest and most important tasks included the transportation of gold from the Philadelphia mint, a service Wells Fargo retained until a United States Mint was opened in San Francisco in April, 1854. Another important task serviced by Wells Fargo was mail delivery. Though post offices were first established in California in 1848, the public preferred the express companies, as they were cheaper and faster than the U.S. Mail.

By the early 1860’s Wells Fargo had a monopoly in California on the express business, sporting some 147 offices. Most of its stagecoaches were Concords, manufactured in Concord, New Hampshire. Each carried fifteen passengers, nine inside and six outside, including the driver and a Wells Fargo messenger, and was drawn by six horses.


Throughout its heyday stagecoach years Wells Fargo, was the target of numerous outlaws. They were told by robbers to "throw down the box" from a Concord stage for the last time in 1908. The bandits were immediately pursued, this time in automotive vehicles. The last horse-drawn stage carrying Wells Fargo cargo ran between Tonopah and Manhattan, Nevada, in 1909.


Over the years, numerous mergers and acquisitions took place, but the company still exists today, providing financial services at some 6,000 locations.


More ...  

What our readers are saying about Legends of America:


I found your site very informative and interesting. I sometimes spend hours reading and viewing photos. I am so glad you have this as I love to read about the Old West. - John, Milwaukee, WI


Loved your website - has anything a person is looking for as far as scanning the history of the Old West. I'm a writer, so the phrases and descriptions as well as lingo used by the old timers will come in handy. Good job! - Bum, Waco, TX


Being an avid fan of the history of "The West," I found it truly fascinating....& I've barely scratched the surface of your brilliant site yet! Thank you. - Ray, Oxford, England


This is really a great site. It covers almost everything I ever wanted to know about Native Americans.
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Did You Know??


85% of Route 66 is still drivable.


When the Wyoming Territory was organized in 1869, Wyoming women became the first in the nation to obtain the right to vote.


The first fort constructed west of the Missouri River was Fort Atkinson near Blair, Nebraska .


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Legends of America


A Travel Guide for the

Nostalgic & Historic Minded


28926 Cedar Hill Loop

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Kathy Weiser





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