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Legends Letter

April, 2005


Kathy Weiser

Hey Gang - Spring is in the air and I'm getting real itchy to hit the road.  Not sure what the agenda will bring in the months ahead but I have visions of mountains, a trip north through Nebraska and the Dakotas, a couple of Route 66 festivals, and who knows what else will spur my fancy along the way.


Well, a few changes on the home front - I'm staying in the Kansas City area - no move to Texas .  A little bummed about that, but life happens.  So, I didn't get much of the Lone Star State written up, but you can bet I will soon.


In the meantime, I have been back on the Old West Trail big-time!  Though I love all of American History, those old pioneers of the American West are my passion.  I'm almost ashamed to say that it has taken me this long to to get up some pages on those all important first owners of America - the Native Americans.  This is a huge undertaking and while you'll see the website peppered with all kinds of new Indian history and legends now, you can bet, this will be ongoing for the next several months.


Route 66 is almost wrapped up.  I finished all of Oklahoma and got a few places to write about yet for Illinois, the old Santa Fe alignment in New Mexico , and the end of the road in California, but this project is just dang near done!  Next month, I'll give you a little news about the two books that will be coming out this summer.


I'm heading to Nevada next week and really looking forward to it.  Plan on seeing some history and photographs of great ghost towns of the Silver State next month.


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


Fort Laramie - Crossroads to the West


Featured Book- Casino Camping


Roadside Attractions


Ghost Towns Beyond Tucumcari, New Mexico




Coming Next Month:


The Ill-Fated Donner Party

Nevada Ghost Towns

A Coupla "New" Outlaws


New Additions to Legends of America



As I said, Native Americans are the big topic this month and I've added up stories on great Indian Chiefs such as Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull and more.  Then there's the wonderful Legends and Myths of Indian lore, great proverbs and wisdom, and a Native American Timeline.  And, lots more to come - stay tuned.


As I was on a hunt for information about the Indians, I kept running into the old highways of the past - primarily the Oregon Trail, so I added that up, as well as the California Trail.  Lots more to go on Tales & Trails of the American West.  This will keep me busy for a while as I travel the Santa Fe Trail, the Morman Trail and discover the tales of those long ago pioneers.  Look forward to the story of the Donner Party coming soon.


Finally, I made it up to St. Joseph, Missouri, the home of the Pony Express, the house where Jesse James was killed and a really interesting quirky place - the Glore Psychiatric Museum.


As promised, I've got a brand new FREE screensaver - Saloons of the Old West!  This free Saloon Screensaver features almost 100 vintage photographs of those old west icons.


Last but not least, we're also beginning to get a lot of RV Travelers reading the website and the newsletter, so I've started a new section called RV Tips, Tricks, Travel Information.  Here, RV'ers will see articles on Boondocking, Storing an RV, and more.


Before I hit the dusty trail, I just really want to say thanks for all of you who send photographs, corrections and updates to my many stories.  Yup, now and then I goof up and get some bad information from my sources, but I just love it when I hear the real facts.  In just the last two days, I've gotten updates on Amboy, California - a very intact Route 66 ghost town; Windyville, Missouri - a reportedly haunted ghost town; and the best news yet - someone has bought the old Eagle Nest Lodge in Eagle Nest, New Mexico , with plans of restoring the old place.  Shoot, if my historical ramblings can help to preserve history or clear up inaccuracies in anyway whatsoever, then this website is a success.  Thanks again to everyone!



What our readers are saying about Legends of America:


Hell, I just got started and am all ready a fan. Many thanks for your excellent work. Yup, I am a loyal fan of HBO's "Deadwood." but I wondered too about such folks as the infamous Francis Wolcott, among others. I even spent several hours yesterday viewing all sorts of sites and links concerning George Hearst. Couldn't find a thing about George sending Wolcott, but no doubt he did send his "scouts" to Deadwood. - John

Thanks Kathy and you have a great website and newsletter.  I just read the biography on Dr. John Doc Holliday.  I think it is remarkable, factual and worthy of any history book! - "Doc" Mercer


I love American history & pre-history, and I REALLY love this site. I don't think I have ever come upon so well done and informative a resource anywhere on the internet. - Tad



Tell us what you think!

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Featured Travel Destination 



Fort Laramie - Crossroads to the West

Fort Laramie was located at the Crossroads of a Nation Moving West. In 1834, where the Cheyenne and Arapaho traveled, traded and hunted, a fur trading post was created. Though it was not a military fort at first, it was called Fort William and soon became known as a place of safety, as settlers moved across the continent.  By the 1840s, wagon trains rested and re-supplied here, bound for Oregon , California, and Utah .

In 1841, Fort John was constructed, replacing the original wooden stockade of Fort William. Constructed of adobe brick, Fort John stood on a bluff overlooking the Laramie River. It was named for John Sarpy, a partner in the American Fur Company, but was more commonly called Fort Laramie by employees and travelers.

Fort Laramie, the military post, was founded in 1849 when the army purchased old Fort John for $4000, and began to build a military outpost along the Oregon Trail. For many years, the Plains Indians and the travelers along the Oregon Trail had coexisted peacefully. As the numbers of emigrants increased, however, tensions between the two cultures began to develop.

It was here that several treaties with the Native Americans were debated, negotiated and signed.  Alas, all of them would be broken in the end.

Today, Fort Laramie is a National Monument and Historic site that preserves and interprets one of America's most important locations in the history of westward expansion.  


The site preserves a 19th-century United States military post, including 11 restored buildings, such as "Old Bedlam," the post headquarters and officers' quarters built in 1849; the cavalry barracks built in 1874; Sutler's Store; a stone guardhouse; and a bakery. A museum exhibits artifacts of the Northern Plains. The historic site, which encompasses 833 acres is administered by the National Park Service.



Questions From Our Readers


Question:  I right click to choose "Open in new window".  It is so incredibly easy to take content from a web page using other methods, that I wonder why folks ban right clicking. - Barb



Answer:  To Barb and all the others that have asked this question of me.  I didn't do this to keep people from taking information from the website, rather, my problem was personal sites directly linking to my photographs, which uses my bandwidth and throws of my tracking statistics. 


The no "right-click" prevents them from seeing the direct link to the photograph and that's about all it does, because if someone wants the material or the photographs there are all kinds of other ways of getting them.


Bandwith is the time that people spend on a website or when my photographs are viewed on other people's websites. So, it ends up costing me money for their website.


You can still print the material or add to favorites by using your menu bar at the top rather than right clicking. 


Featured Guides and Books


Sorry, product no longer available.



Bumper Sticker Wisdom


I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather... Not screaming in terror like his passengers.


Okay, who stopped the payment on my reality check?


According to my calculations, the problem doesn't exist

Roadside Attractions



Glore Psychiatric Museum in St. Joseph, Missouri - Definitely speaking to my sense of the quirky, this museum displays four floors of oddities utilized to treat the insane over the centuries.  Identified as one of the 50 most unusual museums in America,   the Glore Psychiatric Museum in St. Joseph, Missouri is a macabre collection of unsettling displays documenting the treatment of the mentally ill.  From a nineteenth-century dousing tank to an exhibit of more than 1,000 metal objects removed from a patient's stomach, you will no doubt come away from this interesting museum highly enlightened and very glad you're not crazy (assuming that you’re not.)


Montana Testicle Festival - Rock Creek Lodge just outside of Clinton, Montana throws the world's largest testicle festival every fall attracting more than 15,000 fans annually to its five day event.  Tossing around its motto, "I had a ball at the Testicle Festival," the festival feeds over 2 ˝ tons of bull balls to its many hungry revelers.  Not only can you get a taste of these yummy delicious deep-fried bull's testicles, but while you're there, you'll no doubt want to participate in the bull-chip throwing contest, the wet t-shirt or hairy chest competitions, and bull-shit bingo.  A wild couple of days, leave your children at home as the event advertises "No kids, hassles or brought-in beverages."  All attendees must be 21 years of age - a fun time, but not a family affair!.



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Legends of America is

heading to ......


April:  Headed to Nevada and maybe a lil' bit of the California border.


May:  No doubt I'll get somewhere, but I've designated this as Marketing in May month to get more of the word out on Legends of America and my upcoming books.


Ghost Towns



Ghost Towns Beyond Tucumcari, New Mexico

As you head west out of Tucumcari on old Route 66 on your way to Santa, Rosa, New Mexico , you'll come to three old ghost towns - Montoya, Newkirk , and Cuervo .

As you enter the ghost town of Montoya you will pass by an old boot hill cemetery on your left.  Montoya, once called Roundtree,  primarily served the cattle ranches of the area.  An old store built of solid stone, that once serviced the villagers  still stands the test of time, rising above the prairie today.  Surrounding this old store are other relics of a time long past - houses and ranch buildings of an earlier cattle trade.

When Route 66 pushed through, more services were made available to those early travelers including Richardson's Store and Sinclair Station.  Opening in 1925, this old store continued to do business until the mid 1970s when its owner passed away.   

Before long you'll come to the ghost town of Newkirk that displays the faded remnants of an old Shamrock gas station and a tavern once known as Carlo's place.  Just beyond are several falling down shacks and a broken up wooden train car.  Then you see what remains of Wilkerson's Store and Gulf Gas station, which survived the I-40 bypass all the way up until 1989. 


The next old town along this stretch is Cuervo, parts of which were literally buried as I-40 cut a swath through the residential section of the town.  Dependent upon those travelers of the Mother Road, the town immediately began to die.  On the south side of I-40 you can still see a beautiful Catholic Church, an old school, old residences and outbuildings.


On the north side of I-40, where old Route 66 runs, there is an old abandoned gas station made from an old railroad car.  Also here is the falling down relic of the once popular Baptist Church, along with a ghost farm and other abandoned buildings.  The old combination post office/grocery store sits at the end of the road.



From the Legends' General Store


New Artwork From Tracy Teeter - Tracy has just added five beautiful pieces to her line of watercolors and pen-and-inks featured at the Legends' General Store.  Check out these spectacular pieces!


Tracy L. Teeter is an amazing self-taught artist who applies her immense talents with pen and ink, pencil, watercolor and colored pencil to primarily,  subjects of animals and Native Americans.


Sorry, this collection is no longer available.


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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