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Legends Letter

June, 2004


Hey gang!! It's Summer and we're on the road again....♪♫♪♪.


Our biggest news of late is that we have been asked to write a book!! Whoa!! That's a big one! We already had a trip planned to New Mexico and Texas last month when we got this offer. It's a book on the Mother Road -- ole' Route 66. Yeah, yeah, you say -- "done that, been there!" Well, hopefully, this will be just a bit different as it incorporates the legends and lore that we love so much and will be targeted to a specific type of traveler. More on all that later.


In the meantime, you will begin to see, peppered throughout the site, the lure and lore of the Mother Road. We took the opportunity to travel the road from just east of Tucumcari, New Mexico all the way home to Kansas. We've got Texas loaded up from beginning to end and added lots of information, trivia, galleries and more! Next month you'll see Oklahoma's Mother Road.


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:


New Additions to Legends


Dodge City, Kansas - A Wicked Little Town


Featured Book-Ghost Towns of the American West


St Elmo, Colorado - A Haunted Ghost Town


The Tabor Triangle - Rags, Riches and Scandal!


Bleeding Kansas & The Missouri Border War


Ghost Stories Wanted by the Sci-Fi Channel!


New Additions to Legends of America  


Ohmagosh, have we been busy - spreading ourselves around. Sometimes a bit too thin, as we cover Route 66, as well as keeping up with the Old West, a bit of American History, expand the States that we write about, and still hunt for treasure and ghosts along the way.


For the Old West, we got just a little bit crazy and decided that we really must add one of the more colorful, not to mention odorous, western icons -- the vintage outhouse! And my oh my, did we get carried away with that one - with facts and trivia, an Outhouse Gallery, and even a few jokes. Best of all we built what we call the Crapper Saver! AND, it's FREE!

But, be quick because this is a limited time offer as we plan to utilize the screensaver as a marketing tool. E-bay, here we come! But, for now, the Outhouse Screensaver is available just because you came to visit!! Don't know what to get dad for Fathers Day, cuz of course, he has everything, download our Crapper Saver and send it on!!

We also added ole' Big Nose Kate so Doc Holliday won't be lonely anymore and the most famous gunfighter of all time -- Wild Bill Hickok. Along with him came Calamity Jane and Deadwood, South Dakota.


We bumped into a few ghosts as we were exploring the Mother Road -- some unearthly ballroom dancers at a place called "The Nat" in Amarillo, Texas and a lonely buffalo soldier at Fort Blair, Kansas.


We promised you last month, a story on Bleeding Kansas. And what a story it turned out to be. Did you know there is still tension between Missouri and Kansas? We didn't either until we got into that whole bag of worms. Interesting stuff!!


What our readers are

saying about Legends of America:


I have always looked for any information on Black Jack [Ketchum], I am so glad to have found this site, My grandmother would have been pleased. - Amanda


Great site. My Great Grandfather George Norm Crabbe was born in White Cloud [Kansas]. No one in the family knew anything about the town. - Jana


I grew up in Cimarron [New Mexico] -- your site is truly a golden treasure. Thanks! - Vince


I got immediate chills when I viewed the second photo of the dilapidated bed. On the left side in the haze I can see a boys face screaming in pain and in the center of the headboard I can see a mans face with a painful look on his face also. - Lisa


My Dad once saw some of the Fleagle Gang in Kansas. Of course, he didn't know it until later when the law enforcement officers came looking for them. He's 84 and told me about them so had to look them up. Thanks for having it on the internet. - Karen


Featured Travel Destination   


Dodge City, Kansas - A Wicked Little Town


Famous for its rich history as a frontier cow town, Dodge City offers up a wide array of legends, lore and history to travelers in western Kansas. Once called home, or visited, by such notables as Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Big Nose Kate, and Clay Allison, this old town had a reputation for being the most wicked town in the Old West.


In its early days the town was laid out with two Front Streets, one on either side of the railroad tracks.  Divided by what they called the "deadline," the north side wanted to conform to a higher level of morality and on the south side, lawlessness was not only allowed, but encouraged. It was obviously south of the deadline that earned Dodge City the phrases of "Wicked Little Town" and "Dodge is the Deadwood of Kansas."


You can still see the old Front Street in Dodge City today. And while, it may be just a tad bit commercialized, you will still enjoy its rich history and tales of the past.

You can read the whole story of Dodge City by clicking HERE.




Best of the Real West set

Host Kenny Rogers leads a tour of the myths, legends and realities of the Old West in this award-winning, five volume collector's set. Includes "The Battle of the Alamo"; "Wild Bill Hickok"; "Wild Women"; "Texas Rangers"; "Sitting Bull."



Featured Travel Guides and Books  



Ghost Towns Of The American West -- by Raymond Bial

If abandoned by all or most of its inhabitants, a settlement becomes a ghost town. The buildings and dirt streets may remain, but the character and soul of the place change entirely. And so it was with mining camps, lumber camps, and cowboy towns scattered across America, particularly in the West.



Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything.

--Charles Kuralt


Ghost Towns



St Elmo, Colorado -- A Haunted Ghost Town


St Elmo is one of the most preserved ghost towns in Colorado with numerous business structures and cabins still standing. This old town started like so many others in the 1800s, with the lust for gold. When the gold began to play out, most of the town was bought up by the Stark family, who were sure that they could revive the old town through tourism. Though never very successful, two of the Stark children lived in the town for years with no running water or electricity. Visitors began to call Annabell Stark "Dirty Annie" because of her filthy clothing and tangled hair. When she was still alive, she was known to have roamed the old town, with rifle in hand, to protect her property. According to the legend, she still does.


You can read the whole story of St Elmo, Colorado by clicking HERE.


Got a great tale about the Mother Road, a Ghost Story, a legend in your State, or a photograph you would like to show on our site?

Send it on!! We'll be happy to feature you on Legends of America. Send us an E-mail


The Old West  



The Tabor Triangle - Rags, Riches and Scandal


During the 1800s the story of the Colorado Tabors was an outrageous scandal. Even by today's standards, it would make a pretty good soap opera. When the young Baby Doe, a divorcee, no less, began to see Horace Tabor, the "Silver King" of Colorado, it shocked the "proper sensibilities" of Colorado's polite society. Then, as the stunned ladies of Denver dragged their gaping mouths along the boardwalk, Tabor divorced his wife of 25 years and married the wanton Baby Doe. The two lived extravagantly, spending as much $10,000 a week on lavish parties, traveling, and other luxuries, adding yet more fuel to the gossip. But, the dream was not to last. When the country moved to the gold standard, the Tabors lost their fortune and everyone was sure that Baby Doe would be out the door. In fact, she wasn't, remaining with Horace until his death. Baby Doe died in poverty living in a shack next to Tabor's Matchless Mine in Leadville, Colorado.


Read this fascinating story of the infamous Tabors by clicking HERE.


Silver QueenSilver Queen, the Fabulous Story of Baby Doe Tabor, by Caroline Bancroft

This collectible is Baby Doe's own story, as she tells it through the eyes of the writer. The book provides details about the Tabor history, their feelings, and intricate details of their life.

Written in 1950, Caroline Bancroft, actually had the opportunity to meet Baby Doe. In her quest for information, the writer interviewed family members, Denver and Leadville locals, and Baby Doe's last "best friend."

American History  


Bleeding Kansas and the Missouri Border War


This war between Missouri and Kansas began a full five years before the start of the Civil War. When the Kansas-Nebraska Act allowed the Kansas Territory to be settled and to determine for itself, whether it would be a free-state or a pro-slavery state, supporters from both sides of the issue began to flood the territory. Before long, politics turned to violence as neighbor fought with neighbor over this sensitive issue.


Soon, partisan groups would become renegade bands of murderers and thieves called Jayhawkers and Bushwhackers, intent upon killing each other and a full out war began where hundreds of civilians were killed or wounded.

In fact, most historians believe that the Civil War began as a result of what has become known as "Bleeding Kansas."

Researching this story was an interesting one, as you get a very different version depending upon whether it is Missouri or Kansas doing the telling.

We've done our best to remain neutral and tell both sides of the story.


To read about Bleeding Kansas and the Missouri Border War click HERE.








Ghosts and Mysteries  


More hauntings are being added every day as we add stories to a growing list of Ghosts of the Mother Road. Check this page often as it's going to be expanding fast.


In the meantime, I received yet another call from the Sci-Fi Channel, who would really like to work with Legends of America on their new show "Proof Positive," which will begin to air this Summer. The Sci-Fi Channel is looking for compelling paranormal stories of possession, alien sightings, reincarnation, or ghosts that can be backed up with video, audio, photographs, polygraphs or other ways that the legend could be put to the test.


We would really like to put both YOU and Legends of America "on the map" by providing such a story. Of particular interest to the Sci-Fi Channel is the Heartland Ghost in Atchison, Kansas if anyone has an update to that story.


Please zap us an e-mail if you know of a story!

To read about the Heartland Ghost, click HERE!


Bumper Sticker Wisdom


I just let my mind wander, and it didn't come back.


Follow your dreams, except the one where you’re at school in your underwear.


According to my calculations, the problem doesn't exist

Sure you can trust the government! Just ask an Indian!


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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A Travel Guide for the Nostalgic & Historic Minded


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Kathy Weiser







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