Ya'll!! Oh ma gosh, where did this month go? Hope you are having a great summer and doin' a bit of
traveling. We, on the other hand, are planted for the time being,
after a couple of extremely hectic months. Besides, when you live at
a lake -- you gotta enjoy the summer! And, though we've been doing
our fair share of "playing," we've also been dedicating a lot of
time to Legends of
Mostly, we've been focused on some
mundane maintenance matters that we hope will increase the number of
visitors to the website. Things like adding a "share" button to our
pages, renaming pages to get them into compliance with web
standards, fixing broken links, and adding a few new products. Yeah,
I know, boring, boring, boring, but there is a lot more to managing
this website than just adding up new tales.
With these massive updates, we apologize
if you've been seeing any broken links or problems with searching the website. Unfortunately,
renaming pages creates some short term issues, but in the long run,
will be a great benefit. Be assured, we have not removed any pages.
If you have problems finding something you're looking for or would
like to report a
link, just zap us an
Well, with no travels and focus on the behind the lines stuff, you
just might be glad, I don't have so much to say.
But, there is a lot of
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
- Comet, Montana
Ghostly Legends -
Alton, Texas and Goatman's Bridge
Native American Founding Fathers
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.
Determine never to be idle...It is
wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.
New Additions and Feature
Like always, when I get to focusing on a particular
subject, I tear at it like a dog with a bone. You'll see lots of new material
and a whole new section --
Early American History.
Yes, this means we're taking a virtual "trip" back east and farther down the
A Century Of
we explore a hundred years filled with romantic voyages and thrilling tales of exploration
and conquest in the New World. From
there, we move on to the Settling of America, beginning with
The Old Dominion
the first English colony in
Settlements, which includes Massachusetts,
Rhode Island, and
and on to
The Proprietary Colonies
Ultimately, we wind up in the
midst of the
Revolution, when colonists began to rebel over taxes and no
representation. We also include an
American Revolution Timeline,
Battles for Independence, and you can bet there will be more coming.
One, of course, can't forget some of the
Heroes and Patriots of this era, so you will find Nathaniel
Bacon, the First American Rebel, John Paul
Jones, the Greatest Revolutionary Naval Commander, Nathanael Greene,
and Amercan Revolution Hero, and George Washington,
Father of our Country. This list, too, will grow over the next weeks
Though I don't anticipate that we will expand our
website as fully into the eastern states, you can also just bet, that I won't be
able to leave out some of the great historic sites and destinations that go
Early American History.
Stay tuned as I do some more digging.
Back on more familiar territory, see
Ghost Towns In The
When people hear the words "ghost town," they associate the
term with the old, abandoned towns of the Western frontier.
But, every state has ghost towns
eastern and mid-western States are no
exception. We also got a head's up from a reader on another
ghost town, that comes along with a ghostly legend --
and Goatman's Bridge. More on that below.
Enthusiasts, check out
Places to Search Around Old Home Sites.
Treasures are out there, just
waiting to be found, and some of them may be closer to you than you think.
Older homes that date back one hundred years or more have a very good
chance of holding a
treasure; and these old homes are
in cities and towns across America.
Always expanding our
American section, you'll find some new
Indian Legends, including
Ta-Vwots Conquers the Sun,
a couple of Native American Legends of Arizona,
Horned Toad and Giants,
The Spider Tower,
Weird Sentinel at
Legends of Indian Territory
including A Battle in the Air,
The Comanche Rider, and the
Legend of the Cherokee
also got a new
American Video, which is a
a short promotional piece which introduces our numerous
pages. We've also established a new section for our new
Legends Videos, so
that you can easily find them. As I mentioned last month, while these first two
videos, and probably
the next few are short introductions, stay tuned, as we continue this
venture into longer productions that tell the story of numerous themes. Our
videos are uploaded to
youtube.com and you can become a regular subscriber by just visiting our
of America Videos.
July in American History
July 1, 1862 -
Abraham Lincoln signed the first income tax bill.
July 2, 1881 - President James A. Garfield was shot and mortally wounded.
He died on September 19th.
July 2, 1964 - President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of
July 3, 1775 -
Washington took command of the Continental Army at Cambridge,
July 8, 1524 - The first kidnapping in America took place when
Florentine explorers kidnapped an Indian
child to bring to France.
July 27, 1815 - The Seminole Wars began.
July 4, 1776 - The Declaration of Independence was approved by the
July 16, 1945 - The experimental Atomic bomb "Fat Boy" was set off in the
desert of New Mexico
desert. creating a mushroom cloud rising 41,000 ft. It wiped out all plant
and animal life within a mile.
July 22, 1934 - Bank robber
John Dillinger was shot and killed by FBI
agents in Chicago,
July 25, 1853 in a macabre instance of rough frontier justice,
Rangers claimed a $6000 reward by bringing in the severed head of outlaw
preserved in whiskey.
Featured Travel Destination
Montana - Silent on the Eastern Slope
- While the Big Sky State is famous for dozens of
ghost towns --
fascinating places like
one of my favorites is
relative "newcomer" to "ghost towndom," Comet
thrived until the 1940's. Not restored or preserved, and certainly not
commercial, this "backwoods" mining camp continues to boast more than two
dozen buildings, crumbling amongst the sagebrush and weeds.
Mining began in what would become known as the
High Ore Mining District as early as 1869 when a man named John W. Russell
began to prospect in the area. However, after working his claim for five
years, Russell sold it to the Alta-Montana
Company in 1874. The new company began to invest in mining operations and
soon built a 40-ton-per-day concentrator, a mill process which separates
the ore from the dirt and rocks.
Two years later, in
1876, the town of
Comet was surveyed and platted as more and more
people began to move into the area. The following year, the post
office opened in
Comet, but growth came slowly to the town. In 1879
Company invested over $500,000 in developing the
Comet and nearby Alta
Mine. However, their efforts were unsuccessful in turning a profit due
to the high costs of transportation.
However, director and
major stockholder of the Alta-Montana
Company, Samuel T. Hauser, was determined to make a go of the Comet
Mine and in 1883 formed the Helena Mining and Reduction Company, which
bought the assets of the struggling Alta-Montana
Company and again began to invest in the Comet Mine. The following
year, the Helena Mining and Reduction Company constructed a new
smelter, one of the largest of its kind in
territory, at Wickes, some six miles northeast of
Comet. He then built
a 100-ton concentrator and a tramway to carry the concentrate to the
smelter. But, it was when Hauser induced the Northern Pacific Railway
to construct a branch line between Helena and Wickes that
began to grow.
operations were expanded again, adding yet more mining equipment and
hiring more men.
Comet's heyday years were during the 1890s, when the
mine became profitable enough to even weather the silver panic and
depression of 1893. At this time, the town boasted some 300 people, a
school, which taught more than 20 children, numerous businesses and
homes, and more than 20 saloons.
However, by the turn
of the century, the ore was beginning to play out and the mine sold
several times over the next several years. By 1913, the town had
become a ghost.
Things changed again in 1927 when the Comet and the Gray
Eagle Mines were purchased by the Basin
Tunnel Company, who again made improvements, building a 200-ton
concentrator, which was described at the time as "the most modern in
With better technology, the mines were buzzing once again, employing
about 300 men and weathering the depression years. In the 1930s, the
operation was the second largest mining venture in
after Butte. Mining operations continued until 1941 at which time,
most of the equipment was sold, the people moved away, and
ghost town for good.
Comet sits on the eastern slope of the
Continental Divide between the towns of Basin and Boulder,
is located on private land, but at
this time, remains open to the public.
always, enjoy the ride!!
If you want to understand
today, you have to search yesterday.
-- Pearl Buck
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and Goatman's Bridge -
About 3 ½ miles from the present day town of
Corinth, in Denton County, Texas,
once stood the small village of
Alton, which, for a decade, served as the Denton
County seat. Today, a bridge at the long-gone ghost town is said to be haunted
by a man they called the "Goatman."
In June, 1848,
was founded as the new county seat and though Commissioners were appointed and directed lay
out a town and sell lots, there are no records that this was ever done and no
public buildings were ever erected. Two years later, the site was moved due to
lack of potable water. Also called
Alton, the new townsite was located
about five miles southwest of present day Corinth on Hickory Creek. This
time, the town did grow and before long it boasted a hotel and two stores. By 1856, the small town boasted a number of homes, a
blacksmith shop, three stores, a school, saloon, hotel, two doctors, and several
lawyers. The Hickory Creek Baptist Church, which continues to stand, was
organized in 1855.
Though the fledgling town had begun to grow, the
location of the county seat was still unsatisfactory for the majority of Denton
County residents, who soon petitioned for yet, another county seat -- one that
was more centrally located and again, one with better water. Put to a vote in
November, 1856, the county seat was moved again to Denton, where it remains to
In the meantime,
began to die as many of its
businesses moved to the new county seat. In May, 1859, its post office doors
closed forever. There is little remaining of the old townsite today, with the
exception of the Hickory Creek Baptist Church and the old
Cemetery, which contains graves that date back to 1852.
later, in 1884, long after
Alton had died,
an iron through-truss bridge
built over Hickory Creek on Copper
Canyon Road, south of the old townsite. The 145 foot long bridge would serve area travelers for more
than a century, first carrying horses and wagons, and later, vehicles across the
The bridge continued to be used until about 2001
when it was replaced with a concrete-and-steel bridge and a new road, which
straightened out a sharp curve. Before the new bridge was built, motorists were
required to honk their horns on the one lane bridge to let other travelers know
they were coming. The same year, the bridge was closed to vehicle traffic and is
open only to pedestrians today.
Not only is the Old Alton Bridge a picturesque
historic site, it is also said to be haunted by the "Goatman," hence the
nickname of the bridge.
Half a century after the bridge was built, an
African-American man named Oscar Washburn, settled with his family near
the bridge. Earning his living raising goats, he was soon called the
"Goatman" by the locals. An honest businessman, his goat raising business
was a success. Unfortunately; there were those who did not welcome a
successful black men within their midst.
When Washburn posted a sign on the bridge that
advertised "this way to the Goatman," it angered local
Klansman. On a dark night in August, 1938, these hateful men crossed the
bridge without their headlights, then, burst into Washburn's home and drug
him from his family to the bridge.
The Klansman then fitted a noose over his head
and pushed him over the side of the bridge. However, when they looked over
to make sure he was dead, they could see only the rope. Washburn was gone
and was never seen again. The hateful Klansman then went back to his home
and killed the rest of his family.
Ever since that fateful day, a number of
strange things have reportedly occurred on and around the bridge. Many
believe that the Goatman haunts the overpass and the nearby woods. The
tale continues that when travelers crossed the bridge at night with their
headlights off, they would meet the Goatman on the other side. These tales
are obviously old, as the bridge has been closed to vehicle traffic since
A number of other reports tell of numerous
abandoned cars that have been found near the bridge, with their occupants
Others report seeing a ghostly man herding
goats over the bridge, while others say they have seen an apparition
staring at them, holding a goat head under each arm. Stranger stories even
include people having seen a creature that resembles a half-goat,
More tales of strange noises have also been
described including the sounds of horses' hoof beats on the bridge,
splashing in the creek below, maniacal laughter, and inhuman like growling
coming from the surrounding woods.
What our readers are saying about Legends
I have enjoyed Legends for sometime. Love your enthusiasm and in
depth sleuthing to find information. -- Gloria, California
fantastic website about our western history. You provide so much
information that it's almost overkill... but I love it. --
I love this site. We're making a western down here in Australia
and its been exactly what we need...and yes, we've been telling
others here about this brilliant site. -- Hayden, Australia
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. --
Love everything I've seen on the website, I'm native from the
Miccosukee Tribe and I love learning about my fellow brothers and
sisters from other tribes! Shoo-nah-bish (thank you) - Billie,
This is my most favorite website. The stories and descriptions of the life and grandeur
these old, deserted towns once buzzed with are wonderful. I really
enjoy the pictures and the special attention to the hauntings. Keep
up the good work! -- Janae,
Just wanted to let you know I have added
Route 66 to my personal
bucket list. Also Hollywood, San Antonio, and Branson. Really enjoy
traveling with you on your journeys and I just keep adding locations
to my list. Wonderful wonderful website. So much more entertaining
than the reality shows on the boob tube. Thank you. -- Donna,
This website has proved to be a very useful
and helpful. The history content is very interesting especially
about places along Route 66.
We were able to compared information provided by this site with two
Route 66 books. We used the website, which is very up to date to
confirm various bits of information in the books. - Peter, United
Feedback and Suggestions
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