last couple of months have been very busy for us. Dragging along a
friend, I took that trip down to the boot hill of
and what was supposed to be a coupla short excursions into Tennessee
and Kentucky. Unfortunately, our timing was real bad, as when we
entered Tennessee, we seemed to be just ahead of the flooding. We
did get to take a tour through Graceland; but, not much more, as we
were forced to head westward to escape the water. Then, took a little detour
before following the
Mississippi River Road up
through Illinois to
Some very neat stuff there -- stay tuned.
On the home front, our house in
sold, we got all the rest of our stuff moved down here to the lake,
Dave's son, Nick, graduated from high school, we attended an
all-class reunion in southwest
Kansas, and Dave's parent's 50th
wedding anniversary in the
Texas Panhandle. We also became official
-- with state tags, driver's licenses, insurance, etc. Check, check,
we took a slow trip
Oklahoma, toodlin' along
Route 66 and stopping in El Reno,
where we met up with a long-time
reader. Calvin then took us to
the now almost
headquarters of the Southern
From there, we headed on to
Oklahoma City, where we met up with a
Legends readers and purchased about 500
Stay tuned, they'll be coming soon. We about got caught in yet
another flood trying to get out of the state's capitol city and our
Route 66 tour the next day was filled with rain. We made another
stop to tour the sights of Tulsa before finally making our way to
Route 66 Festival near
There, I made a speech to a bunch of
roadies on the History Beyond Route
66, we saw a bunch of old friends, met some new ones, sold a few
postcards, and even tagged along on a paranormal investigation
couple of old buildings in
We also just celebrated the 7th
Legends of America!
A big thank you to all of our readers who have supported us along
In the meantime, we're still not even unpacked from moving all our
stuff down from the city and after the whirlwind last couple of
months, we plan to stay planted for a little while, catch up, and
enjoy the lake.
Family coming for the big July 4th celebration. Hope all of
you also enjoy a wonderful holiday weekend!
Oh, and by the way, if you think that I look like a dog this month,
I do. I previously introduced KayDee, but we are putting her into
hard "team" training as she sits in the backseat
navigating the map. She'll be joining us on many of our future
Time to run. 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
- Goldfield, Nevada
Ghostly Legends - Phantoms of Vallecito Stage Station
Featured Book -
Keeping You On the Mother Road
wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your
envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears.
More to See:
Legends of America Hits
the Highway - Our blog when we travel.
Flicker Photo Page - A growing gallery of our travel photos.
Facebook Fan Page - Daily posts and photos.
New Additions and Feature
Though we've been very busy lately, we
have lots of new additions.
one I'm most proud of our brand new video we put together for our 7th
anniversary. This is a three minute introduction into what
Legends of America
is all about. Utilizing our historic photographs, dramatic
background music, it provides a montage of
from the American Revolution through Route 66,
and the many places and events that we write about. Check it out
HERE and please leave comments, as this is just the first in a
series of videos we will be producing. We're always looking to
improve and your ideas and critiques are most welcome.
Missouri trip, you'll see several new additions
The Mississippi River and
Expansion of America.
No river has played a greater part in the
development and expansion of America than the
Mississippi River. Since the
first person viewed this mighty stream, it has been a vital factor in
the physical and economic growth of the United States. Along the path
of the river, we've added several new articles including
Fort Belle Fontaine - The First Fort of the
Cape Girardeau Forts
and its Civil War Battle, the history of the St. Louis Arsenal,
Fort Davidson and the
Battle of Pilot Knob, Missouri, and more. You can follow along the
journey on our
Missouri, we also added Missouri Forts of the Old West,
frontier trading posts to
Joseph Robideaux' Trading Post, the
On one of our recent trips back to the Kansas City area, we made a
Atchison County, Kansas.
Over on our Legends of
Kansas site, you'll find lots of new information on the county's history,
ghost towns, and
While on our
adventure, we got bunches of new photos and updates of places we
stopped along the way, such as the
Another place to visit that we picked up along the
way is the living
ghost town of
Now annexed to
during its lead and zinc mining days, it's main thoroughfare was described as as so decadent that they were never
exceeded in any other frontier mining camp.
also got a couple of new products including
Videos, which include
and the Outlaw Trail, and
Bill and the Wild West Show.
we now have a brand new book -- just off the press -- "Keeping You
on the Mother Road." Loosely called the Route 66 Yellow Pages,
this great guide features annual events,
campgrounds, 66 history, interviews & stories, yellow pages by town,
and much more.
Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.
If you don't like the news, go out and make some.
How can I miss you if you won't go away?
Shop Bumper Stickers!
Cook - Usually referring to
the chuck wagon cook. Bean master, belly cheater, belly robber,
biscuit roller, biscuit shooter, cocinero, coosie, cusie, dough belly,
dough boxer, dough puncher, greasy belly, grub slinger, grub spoiler,
grub worm, gut robber, lean skillet, pot rustler, old lady, old pud,
soggy, sour dough.
Featured Travel Destination
Queen of the Mining Camps -
In December, 1902 gold was discovered in the hills
south of Tonopah,
by two grub stake prospectors. In no time, tents began to dot the barren hills in the mining
districted dubbed "Grandpa," later named
Goldfield. Just a year later, only 36 people lived in the new town, but that was
to quickly change as gold began to be mined in the area in larger and
In the summer of 1903, those miners who
had spent the previous winter
Goldfield, living in quickly constructed
shanties or tents came up with a better solution. Soon they began to dig new homes along the
banks of Coyote Wash. Brownstones from the canyons of Malpai
Mesa were hauled in to close the fronts of these hurriedly dug caves,
making them more suitable against the harsh winter winds and the heat
of the summer desert. Some parts of these old brownstone homes
were still evident as late as the 1940s, but today it is almost
impossible to determine where these structures once stood.
By 1904, the town supported three
a grocery store, and two feedlots, along with its area mining
operations. In the spring of that same year,
Goldfield, once more chasing the prospect of easy riches. Though
Virgil's arm was atrophied from the bullet he had taken in
in 1881, he was soon sworn in as a deputy sheriff in
Goldfield. In February, 1905, a man named Tex Rickard opened the Northern
Goldfield's most celebrated
and gambling house.
who had met and become friends with Tex in Nome, Alaska, was hired as
one of his pit bosses.
In 1906, the town reached its peak with a
population of over 30,000, when as much as $10,000 a day in ore was being
taken from the mines. The flourishing mining camp soon became the
largest city in
and in 1907, the county seat was moved to
But, like other mining towns,
fortunes wouldn't last. By 1918, the mines produced only 1 ½ million
dollars in ore, with half that amount in the next year. By 1920, the
town was called home to only about 1,500 residents and for the next three
years, only a cumulative $150,000 in ore was produced by the area mines.
is called home to less than 500 residents and is all but a
town, it still retains the title as the Esmeralda County Seat. The courthouse has been in continuous use by the county since the
building opened in 1908. Behind the courthouse, the original jail also continues to
stand, containing three levels of metal cells; two levels of which
still house inmates in 18 cells.
More buildings in
offer glimpses of its more prosperous past, including the. The Santa Fe
Hotel, which according to legend, is extremely haunted.
See More ....
The Santa Fe
stands in Goldfield,
to serve customers since 1905.
always, enjoy the ride!!
Phantoms of Vallecito Stage Station -
Not only is the Vallecito
Stage Station in San Diego County, a
Historic Landmark, it is also reportedly haunted.
Located on the west side of the forbidding
Colorado Desert, the name "Vallecito"
means "Little Valley," which dates back to the times when the Spaniards
were exploring this vast land. The valley, with its natural spring
and grasslands, was a welcome relief to travelers after crossing the
desert, which they called "The Journey of Death."
The road through the
valley was the only wagon road into southern
days, thousands of prospectors passed through Vallecito,
refreshing both themselves and their animals.
About 1851, a pioneer
by the name of James R. Lassiter saw opportunity in the valley and
established a store and campground to accommodate the many emigrants. His home and outbuildings were made of sod cut from the plentiful ciénega (salt grass). Soon, other pioneers built homes and businesses
in the valley to serve the many travelers.
In 1854, two men by
the names of Samuel Warnock and Joseph Swycaffer, implemented the
first regular mail route in southern
California. The semi-weekly horseback delivery between San Diego and Yuma,
Vallecito a regular stop along its route. In the fall of
1857, the nation received its first overland Atlantic to Pacific mail
service when James E. Birch's San Diego-San Antonio mail began
operation. The forerunner of the
and the northern stage lines, it was a known as the "Great Southern
Overland, " but more familiarly called The Jackass Mail.
In addition to being
a regular mail stop it also became an important resting place for Army
detachments traveling to and from
California. In 1858 it was made one of the stops of the famous Butterfield
Overland Stage Route that traveled between
and San Francisco. With the new passenger service, Vallecito
soon became a place of prominence as hundred of travelers utilized the
valley as a resting place.
Though a welcome
relief after days of exhausting travel through the desert, the stage
station also had its dark side. Like numerous other places of
the station was witness to murder, robberies, and daily human
One of the ghostly tales is the specter of the
White Horse of Vallecito that allegedly began with a stage robbery long
Two more ghosts who are said to lurk about the old stage station are two
emigrants named Buck and Roland who were allegedly both killed in a duel
with each other.
In the Carrizo Wash area
there is supposedly a phantom stagecoach that has been spied numerous
times over the last century. Pulled by four mules, the ghostly stage
lumbers along the old Butterfield Stage Road carrying no passengers but
driven by a spectral figure.
most "famous" ghost is that of the "White Lady of Vallecito."
When she arrived on the Butterfield Stage, sometime in the late 1850's,
she had taken ill and had to be carried into the station. From
somewhere back east, she was on her way to Sacramento,
where her fiancé had struck it rich in the Sierra goldfields. Young
and frail, her name was Eileen O'Conner, and she was taken to a bed in the
back of the station and cared for over the next two days. Despite
the best attempts of those tending to her, she died. When the
station staff went through her traveling trunk they found her white
wedding dress in which they dressed her and buried her in unmarked grave.
But evidently, she was not ready to "go," as almost from the beginning
people have said that she paces restlessly about the old station site,
waiting for the stage to take her to
Today, her grave, along with two others, are in a small cemetery (Campo
Santo) near the old stage station.
What our readers are saying about Legends
Your site is such a treasure!! It was one of my lucky
days to find such a wealth of History. History is my passion, I have
been a Civil War reenactor twice. I will be spending the next
several days just reading all the wonderful things on your site
alone. Thanks so very much for the gift, and it is worth having the
computer just for your site alone. -- David, Tennessee
Great sight, it's in my favorites now, lots of good
valuable info here, i can also see there was a great deal of work
put into making this sight, thank you so much for all your hard work
so we can enjoy, God Bless. -- Allen, Texas
I have always been interested in the history of the
Old West. I have studied it for quite a few years. My main interest
is in Jesse James, George Custer, Sitting Bull, and Geronimo. I find
your site very comprehensive and enjoyed looking through it and will
be referring to it a lot in the future. Your site is very easy to
use and full of information not shown on some other sites. Terry,
Isle of Wight, U.K.
Great website and pictures. I'm a route 66 fan as I
drive on it every day. I love "ghost towning" and have been to
several in my area. Keep updating this website it is very
interesting. -- Mike, Kingman,
Thank y'all for such
an in-depth "western history" site!!!! Specially the
"slang-dictionary' as I am doing research for a book about 8
generations of Texans on my dad's side of our family tree. I must
tell y'all that before I found your wonderful site I was as
"frustrated as a fire-fly on the 4th of July..!" tryin' to cobble
together bits and pieces of the almost lost and forgotten true
language of the "old west" I am "atellin" all my "texas-folks" about
your site... And soon "thay'll will be "aflocken'" to it from far
and "ner-here"... You "bet-cha"... Thank
y'all . -- Aloha,
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.
This newsletter is copyrighted 2010 by Legends of America.
Our reader's e-mail addresses are never
sold, rented or
otherwise made public.
Legends of America
A Travel Guide
28926 Cedar Hill Loop
Warsaw, MO 65355
fantastic website about our western history. You provide so much
information that it's almost overkill... but I love it. --
Just a great newsletter again!
Great job! - Ron and Shelley
I have enjoyed
Legends for sometime. Love your enthusiasm and in
depth sleuthing to find information. -- Gloria,
Congratulations on your move to
Missouri. I hope that everything
works out good for you and that you are happy in your new
surroundings. Take it easy and get the rest you need to keep up the
great job you do with this site. Thank you for the update. -- Ed
I have started counting the days until the next "Legends of America" newsletter
is wired. Please keep them coming. This is the best there is. --
Legends' General Store
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