Hey Ya'll -- I am sooooooooo glad to have my life back!! At the lake, office window
overlooking the water, doing a little landscaping, and adding up
bunches to the website. But, those two months of townhouse rehab in
Kansas City area really kinda "screwed" me up. A little
difficulty getting back into the groove and me thinks, a lot to do
with our not taking our typical "get the hell out of Dodge" trip we
usually take in the winter.
But, things are a turning around. Got a contract on that dumb ole'
townhouse in the city -- praying the inspections are good and all
goes well. In the meantime, Dave had to head on down to the
Panhandle to look after his folks for ten days, sooooooo.... Kathy
is a taking off. Yeah!!! A little road trip does wonders for
my attitude. Now that we call Missouri home, I decided a little more
exploring of this beautiful state is in order. Headed down to the
boot hill of southeast Missouri, winding through the Mark
Twain National Forest and on to the New Madrid Fault. Gotta learn
more about that geological phenomenon -- see if I need to worry
about my house falling off the hill. Don't worry, I won't fret much,
we've got earthquake insurance. While in
Missouri, do as ..... ya
The boot hill of the state also borders right up against Tennessee
and Arkansas, and is real close to Illinois and Kentucky. This is my
first trip to this region of our great nation and I'm getting very
excited. Who knows where the path might lead me. But, you can just
bet, you're probably going to see just a little bit on my first
Legends venture to destinations east of the Mississippi River. Stay
We've got a few more short trips coming up in the next several
weeks. Hopefully, we're going back to Kansas City for the final move
if all goes right. We're also making a trip back to southwest
over Memorial Day for my all-class reunion, so I'm sure I'll be
adding up more to the Legends of Kansas page and, in June, we're
looking forward to the
Tri-State Route 66 Festival in
Joplin, Missouri and yet
another trip to the Texas Panhandle for Dave's parents 50th wedding
anniversary party. Hmmm, this is starting to get tough, finding
different paths to Texas but, I'm sure I will.
Well, I've got lots to get done before tomorrow morning -- laundry,
shipping, this newsletter, ordering some new postcards, and getting
the dog's stuff ready to go to my brother's house. Oh, yeah, did I
mention, we got a dog? Not great timing right before a trip, but,
here she is. This was a huge surprise to my family and friends, as
I've never been a huge dog fan, but, again, here she is. She won't
get a cowboy hat, but she already has a concho dog collar.
Welcome to the newest member of the
Legends team -- tough, mean, 'lil
In the meantime, I truly hope you enjoy the newsletter and the website!!
Kathy Weiser-Alexander, Owner/Editor*
*(user of power tools, button hoarder, ghost
hunter, teller of tales, and butt of Dave's jokes)
In this Edition:
& Feature Stories
Featured Travel Destination -
Missouri Route 66
American History - The Vicious Harpes
Ghostly Legends - Haunted Forts
Featured Book -
Old West Wisdom
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.
The measure of a man is when he does the right thing even when no one is watching.
The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with watches you shave his face in the mirror every morning.
New Additions and Feature
we've been busy with the move and getting everything sorted out, we've
still added up a bunch of new material to the website. Though I've
never been much of a political person in the past, who can ignore
Politics now as it continually floods every aspect of the news.
Seems as if the country is being torn apart and one thing that we
can bring to the table is our rich
in attempt to spark some patriotism.
So, you will begin to see an expansion into another era and into the
eastern states. Starting with
Heroes and Patriots
in American History, you'll see a number of new profiles including
George Washington -
Father of our Country,
John Adams - Founding
Father & 2nd U.S. President,
Thomas Jefferson -- The Sage of
Monticello, and many more. Heroes and patriots in the United States
are made every day, a fact that has occurred since the first man set
foot on the soil of this great nation. We cannot begin to list them here, nor can we even
begin to know about the vast majority. But, their "legendary" deeds
and accomplishments belong on the pages of
Legends of America, and to
that end, our
Patriots series begins. We've added several that we've
already written about -- see a few of these:
Soldier who fought bandits in the Wham
Paymaster Robbery and was awarded the Medal of Honor;
"Doc Susie" Anderson,
one of the first female pioneer physicians in the West;
Wakeman, who disguised herself
as a man and fought in the
for the Union, and dozens of others. For a full list of those that we have
itemized so far, see the
Heroes & Patriots and hold tight as we add many more. We've also added a whole bunch of
Patriotic Quotes, as well as a
Patriotism Gallery of photos.
also added up the United States Constitution
Bill of Rights,
feeling as if our website could not be complete without them. These documents, created by our Forefathers, are what make the United States a leader of Free Men and Women, and a beacon of hope to all those oppressed throughout the world.
Our articles include both a summary of the
Constitutional Document, itself,
Rights, including all of its amendments.
You'll also find new articles on the
Confederate soldiers imprisoned
during the Civil War,
who won their freedom by swearing their allegiance to the Union and
enlisting in the Union Army; as well as Early Transportation on the Great Plains,
and several new forts including
Fort Burgwin, New Mexico
Fort Pueblo in Colorado.
I've also been doing a little work over
on the Legends of Kansas
site, a new ghost town article -- Neosho Falls - Falling on Hard
Times. Situated along the
Neosho River in northeast Woodson County, Neosho Falls is the oldest town in the county. A semi-ghost town today, this
small town of less than 200 people, was once the county seat of Woodson
County and described as the most important city in the area.
If you can read this, I can hit my brakes and sue you.
Warning: Dates in Calendar are closer than they appear.
Sure you can trust
the government! Just ask an
Ran Over Your Dogma.
Okay, who stopped the payment on my reality check?
Shop Bumper Stickers!
From Legends' General Store
History and Patriotic Photographs
Featured Travel Destination
Route 66 -
The "Show Me State" of
not only has some of the most scenic views of the
it also has dozens of vintage icons along the old highway, many of which
can still be visited today.
diagonally from the Mississippi River in
St. Louis to
the plateau region beginning at
and ending at the
Missouri's 300-odd-mile-journey provides a
multitude of picturesque scenes along old
A very large portion of what was once
is still under state jurisdiction as either primary or secondary state
highways. While its "official" state designation may not always be "66,"
has more miles of the old highway under state management than any
Beginning your journey in
check out the Chain of Rocks Bridge before you venture into the city,
where you'll see numerous historic buildings and the
Arch. On your way out of
St. Louis be sure not to miss
Ted Drewes Frozen Custard which has been dazzling taste buds since
Moseying on down the road, you will soon
Route 66 State Park, once the site of
Times Beach, which was completely
evacuated and "mowed down" due to chemical contamination. At the
park you can see
exhibits that chronicle the history of the
as well as the story of the ill-fated town.
In the town of
Summit, you can stretch your legs among the
wildflowers at the Shaw Arboretum of the
Botanical Garden. Continuing along your way,
a "must see" along your journey is
Meramec Caverns in
which has been enticing visitors since 1933. While you're in
you can also visit the
Be sure to take a peek at
the Wagon Wheel Motel and the former Midway Restaurant and Garage as you
travel through Cuba.
Along this stretch of the road
begins one of
Missouri's finest wine and grape producing regions. Some
vineyards can be observed from the road and you'll find several roadside
stops selling grapes, grape juice, wine, honey, and other locally produced
products in the summer and fall months.
Missouri provides several vintage views of
Route 66 as well a popular auto museum called
Memoryville USA. For an interesting look something else altogether,
Rolla Stonehenge, a partial
reconstruction of the ancient megalith, built by students at the
Continuing along towards
Devil's Elbow, your journey will provide an extremely scenic route
along the bluffs over the Big Piney River. Sheldon's Market and
the Elbow Inn Bar and Barbeque Pit, both vintage
interesting stops in
Soon, you'll arrive at
the historic town of
which not only displays vintage peeks of the Mother Road, but also several
historic buildings that date back to the days of the
Civil War. In
can see the 1940s Munger-Moss Motel; still open today, as well as Wrink's
institution for more than a half a century. Continuing on to
you will view great architecture as you continue on your westward trip.
Springfield is an extremely
vintage portion of the highway that was bypassed long ago. Along
this stretch, you will see several sad and forgotten towns that died at
the hands of newer transportation routes. These old towns include
and several others.
Soon, you will enter the historic town of
filled with Victorian Homes and a wealth of history -- from the
to an abundance of
icons. Continue your asphalt trip through
entering the state of
its "full" 13 miles of
always, enjoy the ride!!
Vintage Magazines - We have added up hundreds of vintage
magazines which include publications such as
True West, Frontier Times, Real West, Treasure Magazines,
More. Check these out - they make great gifts!
Legends of America Advertising!
See your ad HERE!
Legends of America averages over 1.2 Million page views each month. In March of 2010, the most popular page was Native American Totems.
The Vicious Harpes - First American Serial
Killers - Earning the
dubious distinction of being the United States' first known serial
killers, Micajah "Big" Harpe and Wiley "Little" Harpe ) were murderous
outlaws who operated in Tennessee, Kentucky and
in the late 1700s. Often referred to as the Harpe Brothers, they were
actually cousins who often passed themselves off as brothers.
Both of their fathers were Scottish immigrants who had settled in Orange
County, North Carolina. Micajah Harpe was born to John Harpe and his wife,
while Wiley Harpe, who was actually named Joshua, was born to John's
brother, William and his wife. Soon after the arrival of the
Harpes in America, they changed the spelling of their
original name from "Harpe" to
near each other, the boys soon took up the nicknames of Big and Little
Harp, as Wiley was much smaller than Micajah. The two left North
Carolina in 1775 for Virginia intending to find jobs as slave
overseers; however, the American Revolution interrupted their career.
The pair sided with the British, but their interest seemed to be more
in violence and criminal activities than any sense of patriotic duty.
Along with other like-minded irregulars, they apparently thrilled in
the activities of burning farms, raping women, and pillaging the
American patriots. When Little Harp attempted to rape a girl in North
Carolina, he was shot and wounded by Captain James Wood; however, he
In 1780, the
Harpes joined with the
regular British troops and fought in several battles along the North
and South Carolina borders. The next year, they left the army and
joined up with a group of Cherokee
Indians, raiding settlements in North Carolina and Tennessee and
continuing their pillaging. Taking revenge on Captain James Wood, who
had earlier wounded Little Harpe, the pair kidnapped his daughter,
Susan Wood, and another girl named Maria Davidson. The women served as
wives to the
The pair, along with the brutalized women and four other men, then
began to make their way to Tennessee. During the trip, a man named
Moses Doss had the "audacity" to be over-concerned for the brutalized
women. For his concern, he was killed by the
Harpes. The group then
settled in the Cherokee-Chickamauga village of Nickajack located
southwest of modern-day Chattanooga, Tennessee. For the next dozen
Harpes, along with their
"wives" lived in the
village. During this time, both of the captive women became pregnant
twice and their children were killed by their fathers.
late 1798, the
Harpes would begin their murder spree, one of the
most violent in the nation's history.
They first killed two men in Tennessee, one in Knox County and one on the
Wilderness Trail. By December, they had moved on to Kentucky, where they
killed two traveling men from Maryland. Unlike most outlaws of the time,
they seemed to be more motivated by blood lust than financial gain, often
leaving their victims disemboweled, filling their abdominal cavities with
rocks, and sinking them in a river.
Next, a man
named John Langford, who was traveling from Virginia to Kentucky, turned
up dead and a local innkeeper pointed the authorities to the
criminal pair was then pursued, captured, and jailed in Danville,
Kentucky, but they managed to escape. When a posse was sent after them,
the young son of a man who assisted the authorities, was found dead and
The killings continued as the
Harpes fled west to avoid the posse. While the pair was preparing to kill another settler named George
Smith, the posse finally tracked them down on August 24, 1799. Calling for
their surrender, the two sped away, but Big Harpe was shot in the leg and
In the meantime, Little Harpe escaped and soon rejoined the Mason Gang
pirates at Cave-in-Rock. Four years later, Little Harpe was killed for the
reward by fellow pirates.
During their terrible crime spree the
Harpes killed more
than 40 men, women and children.
But, what happened to the three "wives" of the notorious
See More ....
What our readers are saying about Legends
I just love cowboy films and am curious
to know the true history of the various legends. Your site has an
amazing amount of information and I am fascinated to see the
original photos, putting faces to famous names. Wish I could visit
the sites mentioned - they sure seem exciting as I sit here in lil
ole England! I also enjoy your friendly banter! Super site - keep up
the good work and enjoy your new home! :) -- Helen, England
I never realized you - not one of my
children - is a "hoarder" like my mother - your grandmother was!!!!!
(and me). Learned from reading the newsletter..........tell Dave you
just can't help it.............. it's ingrained!! And, who ever
heard of someone without a "button box!"?? I tell people how I used
to "play" with the button box.......they think I'm
crazy..................Maybe I am,!! Enjoyed the
newsletter......wish you the best in your new location..... Dave's
new position!! -- Love, Aunt Ern,
Congratulations on a very informative and interesting web site, amazing stories and very well documented. A fantastic slice of history for anyone interested in the Old West, thank you. Andrew McGarry, County Kildare, Ireland.
I do not believe I have ever ran across
a more informative piece than the letter you produce. I have truly
enjoyed every letter I have received. Very interesting, also full of
long ago information. Thanks for all your time and knowledge. I know
this is the only way I could ever have enjoyed this much of the old
times and the people of those times. -- Ed, Cherryvale,
Truly a fine effort to share your love of travel - and Country. Thank You. Artist Thomas O. Nichols,
Legends FaceBook Fan
of the American West - Old
Forts, like so many other historic places in the
tend to have their share of ghostly tales.
The forts of the
West varied in type from military posts, to fortresses established by
fur trading companies, to private enterprises built solely to protect the
pioneers within. But, without a doubt, they all
have their tales of hardships, death, disease, and suffering
emigrants passing through.
The history of these forts,
coupled with the violence and tragedy so often accompanying
them, provide a ripe atmosphere for dozens of ghost
Probably one of the most haunted
forts of the Old West is
Kansas. This still active fort has dozens of tales,
including hauntings at the cemetery, in old General George A.
Custer's house, right on the parade grounds and more. In fact,
it is so haunted, that the active military base provides
annual ghost tours in October.
Fort Brown in
Texas, now part of the University of Texas/Texas
Southmost College Campus, a number of unearthly spirits like
to make themselves know.
Yet more ghosts lurk in a number
of old forts, and I'm sure we'll find more as we continue to
research these historic places.
Check out these many tales:
Floyd & the Stagecoach Inn, Utah
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
& the Bloody Hill Ghosts, Missouri
Always thinking of something new and a way
to use our thousands of photos, and a bit of artistic talent,
we've started our own line of postcards.
Did You Know??
The deepest river gorge in the North
American Continent is
Hells Canyon - 7,900 feet deep. Yes, it's deeper than the
area, mistakenly called the "Great American Desert" by European
Explorers, is one of the top farming areas in the world.
Oklahoma State Capitol is the only capitol in the world
surrounded by working oil wells. Not too many years ago, giant oil
rigs dotted the grounds of the
Colorado is the only state ever to turn down the Olympics. In 1972, they stunned the world when residents said they didn't want the 1976 Winter Olympics. In a landmark vote on November 7th, 1972, the voters said by a 62% percent majority that they were unwilling to host the Olympics because of the cost, pollution and population boom it would have on the State Of Colorado, and the City of Denver.
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