gang, we haven't been anywhere interesting the last month as far as
destinations, as Dave had a little foot surgery and just hasn't been up
to the task. We'll get him whipped into shape and headed out for a long
We temporarily relocated to our little lake view in
Missouri from Kansas City, as there's no stairs in this lil' shack and Dave's
been working from "home" as I play nursemaid. Think I'm much better at
this website business.
On the good news side, being down here gives me an opportunity to find a
little "balance" in my life. In Kansas City, we live in a maintenance
free townhouse - they mow the lawn, they do the landscaping, take care
of the fence, roof, etc. So, there are literally days when I don't leave
the house, sitting in my cramped little office, surrounded by
Route 66 paraphernalia, I just hole up and geek.
Sometimes, I just wear my "indoor uniform," i.e.; jammies for days.
Oops, shouldn't be telling you that.
Anywho, down here, with everything lush and green, I find myself
constantly outside, planting, raking, or moving the constantly
proliferating rocks that tend to "grow" in the yard. Or, sometimes, er,
many times, just sittin' and lookin' at the lake. Well, whatever it is,
it rejuvenates me out of the winter blues, makes me less of a cranky
ole' woman, and gets some much needed exercise after sitting in my jammies all winter. Thank goodness for spring and summer!!
good news - next month is our 5th anniversary! Can't believe I've been
at this for that long. Time truly does fly when you're having
fun. A lot of you have been around the entire time, or for several years
anyway, and I just want to say a big THANK YOU!
This lil' ole' website, which began as a personal hobby before making
its way into a full-time
business, is the most satisfying "job" I've ever had in my life and
thanks to all you readers, it's gonna keep on keepin' on!
In the meantime, it's given me a lot of time for catching up on lots of
new stuff, especially
Utah, as promised, plus several
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:
Travel Destination - Shaniko, Oregon
The Old West
- Big Nose George Becomes a Pair of Shoes
Ghostly Legends -
Arkansas White River Monster
that annoying time between naps
Suburbia: Where they cut down all the
trees and then name streets after them.
Ran Over Your Dogma
Drive Home a Point!
New Additions to Legends of
never having visited the Beehive State, I was a little short
on tales, so now I'm filling it up, or trying to anyway.
One of the most moving places that we visited
Mountain Meadows Massacre
site, where approximately 120 pioneer men,
women, and children in a wagon train from
were murdered by a band of Mormons set on a holy vengeance in
1857. Though I had already written about the massacre,
suddenly I just had to know more. So when I get obsessed and
start digging into all the details of some piece of history,
it lands here. You will now find updates to our original
article, as well as
Historical Accounts written in the 19th century, a list of the
Wagon Train Members, Victims &
Survivors, and finally a list of the
Primary Assassins. The entire history of this event is not only fascinating
but continues to generate fierce controversy and deep emotions
even to this day. Finally, one cannot speak of
mentioning the man who made this one time remote region into a
On a different path were the many
ghost towns of Carbon County, a coal mining mecca at the
turn of the century. Throughout the county, numerous
ghost towns speak of the coal mining heydays that were such a vital
part of the county's economic and social development. Though many of these survived as
late as the 1970s, the hills are dotted with
Consumers Road can be found the remnants of Coal
National. Further north in Spring Canyon are the old
and Mutual. These
places were fascinating and filled with
tales of fortunes, mining tragedies, violence, and outlaws.
Utah history can be found
Zion National Park, the forgotten
ancient peoples of the
Fremont Indians ,
and the sandstone
All in all, we were thrilled with
Utah , its history and
But, not getting too stuck in one place, you'll
find a large expansion in our
Gunfighter List, with specifics on
Frank MacNab, killed in the
Gordon "Doc" Scurlock.
Another one of the many feuds of the
American West can be found in the
War, a political dispute in Marion County,
Arkansas that escalated
into major violence.
And, not forgetting the "ladies," you'll find
Kitty Leroy, a
and gambler, who was one of the
best women poker players who ran a saloon in
Last but not least you will find
an eerie "ghost town lake" in southern
Salton Sea. Like the
name sounds, this lake, the largest in
is salty, and as the saline levels rose it began to kill the
wildlife and the resorts, resulting in a coastline of
ghost towns. In addition to numerous abandoned structures, one of
these old towns also displays one of the quirkiest places in
the Golden State -
religious folk-art mountain that
sits right outside Niland,
Ok, nuffs, enough.
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Clark never knew it, but the Spanish sent out four expeditions
between August, 1804 and August, 1806 to try and stop them.
Contrary to popular thought, most
didn't shoot up the the many towns that they arrived in, as most of them
didn't carry guns while they were riding.
From 1778 until 1871, the U.S. Government ratified 370 treaties with the Native American Tribes. After 1871, acts of Congress, executive orders and executive agreements replaced the rarely enforced treaties.
When the town prostitute and do-gooder,
Virginia Marlotte, died in Pioche,
Nevada , she was given the biggest funeral in
the town's history.
was called "Dingus" by his friends.
Featured Travel Destination
Oregon - Wool Capitol of the World - An almost
area was first settled by a pioneer named August Scherneckau. Arriving
Civil War, Scherneckau bought a farm near the present site
of the town and when
Indians pronounced his name as
the locality became known as such.
On the stage route from The Dalles to
the Scherneckau ranch soon became the site of a stage station. The first post office was established on May 23, 1879, with August Scherneckau as its first post master.
Officially called Cross Hollows for the local topography, the post
office lasted only eight years, closing on May 27, 1887.
In 1900, an official community was planned
and built by businessmen in The Dalles for the terminus of the
Columbia Southern Railroad. The station was to be utilized to
collect the enormous quantities of wool being produced in central
– a role, it continued to play into the 1940’s.
In the 1910 census,
claimed a population of 600 and its future seemed assured. However,
in 1911 the
Trunk Railroad, linking Bend (70 miles to the south) to the Columbia
Gorge, began to draw business away from the more isolated
Shaniko. Soon thereafter, a fire destroyed much of the downtown business district
and there were no funds to reconstruct the damaged buildings. Although
homesteaders, ranchers, and sheep men continued to reside in the area,
began to fade.
Today, this almost
ghost town supports a population of just 20-25 people, but there is much to see
and many claim it is the best
ghost town in
enormous sheep sheds of that era still stand on the edge of town. Several
of its buildings are maintained in an
Old West theme, complete with
authentic boardwalks and false fronts.
Still standing are the
old water tower, the City Hall complete with old jail, the school, and
post office. The
Hotel is the town’s biggest attraction. Restored to its former
grandeur, the hotel features an antique shop, history of many of the
families who once lived in
a café with home cooking that is said to the best in the area. The
Livery Barn now stands as a museum featuring a number of antique cars in
their original state. Next door is the
Museum, also available to visitors. A number of antique and gift stores
have been established in the other historic buildings in the tiny downtown
The Old West
Big Nose George Becomes a Pair of Shoes - Huh?? Read on.
also known as George Francis Warden, George Manuse, George Curry, and Big
Nose George, is infamous not only for being hanged as an
but also for being the only man in American history who became a pair of
shoes after his death.
known for his large nose and thusly most often called "Big
Nose George,” was a member in a gang of road agents and horse thieves
However, when the gang
attempted to rob a train they were stopped by lawmen who gotten a tip of
the robbery and the outlaws fled, later splitting up and taking off into
different directions. But, Big
Nose George's big mouth would get him in trouble in
when he got to drinking and bragged about his exploits. In no time,
lawmen picked him up and returned him to Rawlins in 1880. Sentenced to be
hanged on April 2, 1881,
escaped on March 22nd, but was quickly apprehended. No longer tolerant, the townspeople then dragged him from the jail
with lynching on their minds. As a crowd of
about 200 people gathered, the
vigilantes severely botched the first two hanging attempts, but on the
third try, Big
Nose George died at the end of a rope.
body was left hanging for several hours until the undertaker removed it. Having no family to claim the corpse, Doctors Thomas Maghee and John
Osborne took possession of it, in order to study the
outlaw's brain to determine if there might be a reason for his
the study; however, his skin was used to make a pair of shoes and a
medical bag, his skull would serve as an ashtray and a door stop, and some
of his bones were buried in a whiskey barrel, not found until 1950.
the Carbon County Museum in Rawlins,
proudly displays Big George’s death mask, his skull, and the infamous
shoes made of the
What our readers are saying about Legends
Enjoyed your online travelogue We would
have missed a lot of really cool stuff without it. - Thomas
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Thank you very much for all the work
you did to make my
Route 66 experience more
Wow, what can I say.
What an amazing web site. Just so much to look at I don't know where
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so I could have a good look around and remember your wonderful history
(good and bad). - Rachel, Christchurch New Zealand
I can't tell you how much we enjoyed
the information you had on the route. - Benjamin
Ghostly & Other Strange Legends
White River Monster - A strange creature
is said to lurk within the White River outside Newport,
In fact, this legend is so widely accepted that the
State Legislature created the White River Monster Refuge adjacent to the Jacksonport State Park. Furthermore, the resolution made it illegal
to "molest, kill, trample, or harm the White River Monster while he is in
"Whitey,” as the locals call him, has been sighted frolicking in the White
River for more than a century and a half. The creature was first spied by the Quapaw
Indians who once inhabited the area and the tale was passed down
from generation to generation. According to this first account, the
creature overturned a brave’s canoe before sinking back into the
depths of the river. During the days of the Civil War, Whitey
was accredited for overturning a loaded Confederate gunship.
The White River
Monster is described as snake-like, about thirty feet long with a
spiny backbone, and makes a loud bellowing noise. Most of the
many reports came from fisherman and campers along the White River.
In 1924, a Little
Rock resident reported having seen the creature, further describing it
as having a dingy gray, crusted hide.
In 1937, a farmer
named Bramleltte Bateman who lived south of Newport proclaimed to have
seen the animal several times, saying: "The animal rises to the
surface in the late afternoons and floats or swims around 5 to 15
minutes with its head underwater.” Intending on capitalizing on
the sensation, Bateman soon set up a viewing area where he charged a
25˘ for a chance to see the monster, and also sold sandwiches and soft
drinks. Though business was brisk for a short time, no one else
ever saw the creature.
In 1966, three people fishing also saw
Whitey, describing it as having a tail like a mermaid’s, a long body,
arm-like flippers and a head shaped like a monkey’s.
yet more stories are told everyday. Whitey has become
Newport’s local celebrity as his facsimile leads the Christmas Parade
every year and the legend has created a hubbub of souvenir shops, signs,
and other promotions in Newport. White River’s version of the Lock Ness
monster has also been documented in newspapers and books around the world
as well as in several television documentaries.
Seattle's houseboat population is the largest east of the Orient.
Sam Walton founded his Wal-Mart stores in
The bola tie is the
official state neckwear in
Though most people say that
is "flatter" than a pancake and it certainly look like it is, it actually
slopes from an elevation of more than 4,000 feet long the
border to 700 feet on the
public land managed by the federal government.
Daniel Boone lived
than in any other state and regarded
as his home.
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