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Legends Letter

June, 2012

9th Anniversary Edition

Kathy Weiser Alexander, February 2004


How it Began


That's my wife Kathy back in early 2004. Although, at the time, she wasn't my wife yet, as I was still in the process of convincing her she needed me. Still working on that one, although I think I have her hooked for now.


I met Kathy in February of 2003 when both of us were still in the "corporate world". Kathy had this little website hobby going on the side called "High Country Legends". It was a Yahoo hosted site she created sometime in 2002, dedicated to the Moreno Valley area of New Mexico. Her real intention was to write a book about the Moreno Valley, but someone beat her to the punch. She loved the history of that area though, as she spent every summer there with her grandparents in an old miner's cabin in Idlewild.


Some long time friends of hers, who were in the publishing world, told her she should create a website instead. So, without knowing a lick about web design, nor what an IP address even was (probably thought you needed an outhouse if you asked her about it), Kathy jumped in with both feet and started writing about the history of the places she had visited as a child in the Moreno Valley. She quickly discovered; however, that with each story there was another connection to the subject outside the valley, and low and behold, she found herself in a quandary; to keep High Country Legends, or start a new website that represented her ambitious writings beyond New Mexico.


We were sitting at her kitchen table one Friday night when Kathy told me about her problem. It was obvious that with the expansion of stories, High Country Legends wasn't going to cut it as a name. I probably wasn't much help in our conversation. I think I had suggested something like "Rocky Mountain Adventures" to go along with another of her already established side hobbies, the Rocky Mountain General Store (now Legends' General Store), which at the time, was just a few items set up in an Antique Mall. I might have also mentioned "Old Timer Tales", or "American History Treasures", and probably threw in "Dusty Roads" to try to get a chuckle. Thank goodness she wasn't listening to me, as she really just needed to talk it out with herself. You know how that goes, someone asks you for advice, but, really, they are just talking out loud to figure it out themselves.


"What about Legends Of America?", Kathy quipped as if effortlessly spewing out the name. "Hmmm... sounds pretty ambitious for someone traveling every week in a real job", I said with a hint of reality check intended. Creative minds like Kathy's don't listen to left brained people like me though, and I don't even think she acknowledged my pessimism as she went straight for her laptop to see if the name was taken. Sure enough the domain name was available, and a few clicks later, on Friday June 27, 2003, Kathy became the proud owner of LegendsOfAmerica.com.


Over the next year and a half, while Kathy was realizing I wasn't going away, I was realizing Kathy was going everywhere with her new hobby. So, when in the fall of 2004, Kathy came to a crossroads in life that had her leaving her corporate job, and contemplating moving, I quickly jumped at the chance to selfishly keep her close by. "Move in with me, keep on writing and let me help support your business. Sooner or later you're gonna be my Sugar Mamma!" She actually listened to me this time, and since then, her new full time job as Owner/Editor of Legends of America has been a wild ride of fun, adventure and learning. One we both wouldn't trade for anything else in the world.


Nine years is a long time on the world wide web. Gotta be like dog years right? Web sites come and go, but, we have been fortunate enough to keep growing, thanks to you our readers. Legends also had some help along the way. Yahoo named Legends of America their "Pick of the Day" back in August 2004, when Yahoo had such a thing. The Scout Report featured Legends in September that same year, and Worldstart named Legends "Cool Site of the Day" in January of 2005. These, along with other recognitions, helped get the word out, and over the last 12 months alone we've had 4.3 Million visitors to the website. Along the way, during Legend's slow but steady growth, Kathy actually became my Sugar Mamma, getting me out of my corporate rat race in 2009. Well, Sugar Mamma may be a stretch, but, she's at least Sweet 'N Low and getting sweeter. I'm thankful she didn't pay attention to my early pessimism back in 2003 and did what she does best, follow her heart and her love of history. A love we both have and are proud to share with you.  



Legend's at Jubilee Days


Kathy Weiser Alexander (Left) and sister Kristy Weiser in front of Legend's tent during Jubilee Days 2012 in Warsaw, Mo.


Earlier this month, Kathy and I did our first ever Arts and Crafts show here in Warsaw, Missouri. Jubilee Days was a lot of fun, but, we had to learn a few things the hard way. First of all, a dark colored tent probably isn't the best thing to have in the summer heat, especially when set up on asphalt. Second, be thankful for show organizers who didn't say a word when we spilled out at least 5 feet from our 10x10 space. Third, we had way too much to show in our booth. And finally, make sure the tent is secure right off the bat, as Murphy's law dictates a gust of wind will surely come out of no where. Thank goodness, Kathy's sister Kristy was in town to help us, or I might have been chasing a tent into the Lake of the Ozarks.


We met some great people at the show, including some long time readers of Legends who were surprised to see us there. Organizers didn't really know whether to put us in commercial or arts and crafts, so they wound up putting us in commercial. That was probably a mistake as we stuck out like a sore thumb next to the Politicians, shower stalls, etc. But hey, we attracted attention. Especially with Kathy's Sarsaparilla Saloon out front, where we let the kids play the shell game, find the monkey, and get some free old fashioned soda. This was good for a while, but, after the same kids hit us about 8 times, we reverted to just selling the soda for thirsty show goers.


We want to thank everyone who took the time to stop by our booth. We made some new friends and had a good time. We'll take the lessons learned from this first venture and think about doing more shows in the future. For now, we're just glad to get back to our normal craziness. Oh, and Congratulations to our drawing winners! Margaret Stimach of Warsaw took the top prize, a History Channel Laptop Bag, T-Shirts and an Autographed copy of Old West Lawmen. Other winners included Linda Raspberger of Independence, Missouri, and Michelle Turner of Blue Springs Missouri.


Dave Alexander

Owner/Operations Manager, keeper of the nuts and bolts and Soda Tester (Gotta love that Sarsaparilla!)



In this Edition:


New Additions & Feature Stories


Featured Travel Destination(s)- Jefferson City Missouri and Victorville California


Native American Legends - Battle of Little Big Horn.


Wisdom of the Old West


Patriotic Quotes


Featured Product





More to See:


Rocky Mountain General Store - Legends retail outlet.


Photo Prints - Our growing gallery of Vintage and Modern photos from our Photo Print Shop.


Legends Facebook Fan Page - Daily posts and photos.


Ghost Towns of the American West - Facebook Page - Dedicated to the Ghost Town lover.


Vintage Photos Of America - Facebook Page - Dedicated to history in photos.


Native American History, Photos and Information - Facebook Page - All things Native American.


Legends of America Hits the Highway - Our blog when we travel or just want to opine.


Legends of Kansas - Dedicated to the state we started the business in, and lived in for the majority of our lives.






What do you think of when you hear the words "Customer Service"? We remember the small businesses and individuals along our path that have gone above and beyond to make us happy. And we tend to support those that know what those words mean.

Customer Service is alive and well at Legends of America, because without you; our readers, customers and critics, we wouldn't be...period. We sincerely appreciate each and every order, large and small, and will go above and beyond to make sure you are a satisfied customer. We applaud those that send us input and corrections to our stories. After all, we want our readers to have the best possible experience, and constructive criticism goes a long way toward that goal.

So Thank You for your incredible support and input over these last nine years. And please champion the small businesses on your own path that continue to make this country the best place on earth.

Dave and Kathy

New Additions and Feature Stories


As Editor-In-Chief Kathy has been one busy gal over the past month, adding up more stories on everything from the War of 1812 to the discovery of the Big Apple. Here's the latest "What's New" on Legends of America.


Indian Captives - The treatment accorded captives was governed by ethical concepts which went hand in hand with clan, gentile, and other blood-related organizations of Indian society.


Rocky Mountain Rendezvous by William Henry JacksonRocky Mountain Rendezvous - A regular rendezvous system for fur traders was implemented in 1825 where fur companies would engage in trading with trappers and Indians every spring


New Amsterdam - The Beginning of New York City - For the first twenty years after their discovery of New York, the Dutch possessions on the Hudson River had much more the character of a trading-post than that of a colony.


Hell Gate Channel on the East River, 1775Discovery, Description & Early Occupation of New York City - On the September 3, 1609, a strange and unaccountable phenomenon was witnessed by the wandering Indians who happened to be in the neighborhood of Sandy Hook, and in sight of the place where the waters of the Lower Bay unite with the ocean.


New York State History - Before Europeans began to arrive in the 16th century, New York was inhabited by Algonquian and-Iroquoian speaking Native Americans. That would change when Henry Hudson, an English explorer working for the Dutch, reached New York Bay and sailed up the river now bearing his name in 1609.


Castle Clinton TodayCastle Clinton - Anticipating the War of 1812 - Located at the southern tip of Manhattan Island in Battery Park, Castle Clinton stands where New York City began, approximately two blocks west of where Fort Amsterdam stood almost 400 years ago.


New York FlagNew York State Main Page - Quickly expanding eastward, you'll find that the Empire State now has it's own page with a number of articles already present and lots more coming.


Virginia FlagCivil War Battles of Virginia - Seeing more major Civil War battles than any other state, Virginia was a prominent part of the Confederate States of America.


General Philip H. Sheridan - Civil War Hero & Ruthless Tyrant - A career military officer, Sheridan served in the Civil War becoming a Union General. In 1865, his cavalry pursued General Robert E. Lee and was instrumental in forcing his surrender at Appomattox. Later, he became involved in the Indian Wars, tarnishing his reputation with some historians, who have accused him of racism.


Determined For Oregon in 1843 - Peter Hardeman Burnett (1807-1895) was determined to go to Oregon from Missouri in 1843. He would later write of his experience in a book entitled Recollections and Opinions of an Old Pioneer, published in 1880.


Dr. Marcus WhitmanDr. Marcus Whitman - Missionary to the Cayuse - Among the first American settlers in the West, Dr. Whitman and his wife, Narcissa, played an important role in opening the Oregon Trail, establishing the Whitman Mission in 1836. They were killed in what is known as the Whitman Massacre.


Frank Latta - How Skill Caught a Criminal and Luck Saved the Lawman's Life - Robin Chapman tells a tale of her great grandfather, Montana Lawman Frank Latta, and his capture of notorious railroad extortionist Issac 'Ike' Gravelle.


Soldiers in the War of 1812The War of 1812 - American Independence Confirmed - Commonly called America’s Second War of Independence, the War of 1812 was a major conflict with Great Britain in the early years of the nineteenth century. Unlike the American Revolution, the causes of the War of 1812 were far more economically and politically motivated rather than idealistic.




For More What's New on Legends Of America see HERE!



Wisdom From the Old West


The only substitute for good manners is fast reflexes.


A man with an edgy smile is like a dog with a waggin' tail: he not happy, he's nervous.


An Old Timer is a man who's had a lot of interesting experiences -- some of them true (Poster)


An old timer is a man who's had a lot of interesting experiences -- some of them true.


Never follow good whiskey with water, unless you're out of good whiskey.


The length of a conversation don't tell nothin' about the size of the intellect.


Nobody ever drowned himself in his own sweat.



Patriotic Quotes for Independence Day


I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him. -- Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President


If you are ashamed to stand by your colors, you had better seek another flag. -- Author Unknown


We can't all be Washingtons, but we can all be patriots. -- Charles F. Browne, American writer


National honor is national property of the highest value. -- James Monroe, 5th U.S. President



Featured Travel Destination


A trip to Jefferson City Missouri via the Legend's Blog


Missouri State Capital in Jefferson City
Missouri State Capital Building in Jefferson City

Just about 80 some odd miles away from Legend's home base of Warsaw is the Missouri Capital, Jefferson City. Kathy and I decided for our sixth wedding anniversary to take an overnight trip there and see some history. We weren't disappointed.


Right on the Missouri River, this city wasn't the first capital of Missouri. St. Louis and then St. Charles served as Missouri Territory capitals first, but then in 1821 territory leaders chose Jefferson City. The city's name wasn't always Jefferson City either. It started as Lohman's Landing, and was nothing more than a trading post. After considering naming it Missouriopolis, the legislature changed it's mind and named it after Thomas Jefferson instead. They met for the first time in the new capital in 1826, but it wasn't until 1839 that Jefferson City was incorporated. Read more about our visit, and our tour of the historic Missouri State Penitentiary on our Blog HERE.




Make plans to attend the 2012 International Route 66 Festival in Victorville California


Route 66 through Victorville, CaliforniaThis years International Route 66 Festival is being hosted in Victorville by the California Historic Route 66 Association. The event August 9-12 will be held at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds with the theme "California Dreamin' on Route 66". Thousands are expected to attend from all across the U.S. and 17 other countries as Mother Road enthusiasts enjoy the Vintage Car Show, Taste of 66 Food and Wine Festival, Ross Bonnie Memorial Golf Tournament and more.


For more information about the festival this August, visit their website HERE.


Victorville has some great history along Route 66, and has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few decades. From the railroad to concrete and an Air Force base along the way, read about the Mother Road into Victorville and the surrounding area in our Route 66 story "Old Trails Highway to Victorville" HERE.




Newsletter Email Address Changes:


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What our readers are saying about Legends of America:


I really like your web page, keep it up. The Hell Dogs of Eldorado Canyon was very interesting, Thanks. James from Nevada


The library will be having folktales as its theme for the summer program and La Llorona is one of the characters that has been chosen, so yes the origin of the folktale has been very informative. - Elena in Belize


Article on Annie Rogers was very helpful and enjoyable. Thanks! Ann from Colorado


Thanks a lot, good reading. Still looking for that 10 lb gold nugget lol - Scottie in Arizona



Native American Legends - The Battle of Little Big Horn


The Battle of the Little Bighorn

The Battle of the Little Bighorn, also called Custer's Last Stand, was an engagement between the combined forces of the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne tribes against the 7th Cavalry of the United States Army. The most famous of all of the Indian Wars, the remarkable victory for the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne occurred over two days on June 25-26, 1876 near the Little Bighorn River in eastern Montana Territory. The U.S. cavalry detachment, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer, lost every soldier in his unit.


In late 1875, the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians defiantly left their reservations, outraged over the continued intrusions of whites into their sacred lands in the Black Hills. Soon, the recalcitrant Indians gathered in Montana with the great warrior Sitting Bull to fight for their lands. The following spring, two victories over the U.S. Cavalry emboldened them to fight on in the summer of 1876.


On November 9, 1875, U.S. forces were sent to attack the Indians based on a report by an Indian Inspector that stated hundreds of Lakota and Northern Cheyenne, associated with Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, were hostile to the U.S. interest in Indian lands. The gold-rich Black Hills also played an important role in the attack.

As the largest troop under General Alfred Terry, Lieutenant Colonel Custer's force arrived at an overlook 14 miles east of the Little Bighorn River on the night of June 24, 1876, the rest of the column was marching toward the mouth of the Little Bighorn, to provide a blocking action. In the meantime, two Crow Indian scouts were sent ahead to survey the situation. Returning with a warning that a very large Indian encampment was situated at the Little Bighorn River, Custer chose to ignore this news, dividing his regiment into four commands with plans to continue with the attack. Expecting the Indians to flee at the first sign of assault, Custer moved his men forward on June 25th.

Without sufficient knowledge of the village's size, the first battalion, commanded by Major Marcus Reno, was ordered to attack. Soon, Reno's squadron of 175 soldiers prepared an assault at the southern end of the Indian village. However, they quickly realized that the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne force was much larger than they anticipated and showed no signs of fleeing at the sight of the soldiers. He soon sent a message to Custer, but when he heard nothing in return, Reno launched his offense northward.


Fearing they might be trapped, Reno halted his charging men, dismounted and fired upon the village at a distance. After some 20 minutes, the group had taken only one casualty and Custer's promised reinforcements had not shown up. Ordering a retreat into the timber and brush along the river, the soldiers were quickly pursued by a mix of Cheyenne and Sioux Indians, who took a number of casualties and the battalion fled.


Continue reading HERE.


TeePee Trading Post

TeePee Trading Post



Did you know? That you can see daily stories, from the Old West to Route 66, on our Legends Facebook Page? With our Good Guy and Bad Guy of the week spotlights, travel destinations and Quirky Saturday, it's a daily dose of Legends sure to please!



Follow Legends' travels on our Blog!


Cherokee Herbal Remedies from Legends' General Store

Natural Remedies from

 the medicine cabinet of

 Mother Earth.


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-Alexander

Dave Alexander
Owner/Operations Mgr.


Email - Kathy
Email - Dave  

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