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Legends Letter

August, 2005

 

Kathy WeiserOh, my, this summer has gotten away from me.  Shoot, I haven't even hardly been anywhere. Though I had the best intentions, things change, ya know.  So, Dave and I rehabbed his house -- what a chore!  And then put it on the market -- yuck, you gotta keep it clean all the time.  Not closed yet, but we have a contract, and moving next weekend, no matter what. In any event, this whole house thing stole my summer!!  Darn!! No Deadwood, no New Mexico ; heck, hardly any day trips.  But, gimme a chance to move and I'll be back in full force!!

 

Well, even with everything else that's been going on, I did get a chance to sneak down to Texas , so I got some new Lone Star State stories for you. 

 

And, the biggest thing?  I finally finished Route 66.  After a year of traveling, writing, and building web pages, you can now see the old Mother Road all the way from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California. Whew, that was a ride!  Then, I didn't even stop there!  I was so intrigued by the many "signs" of the past, I also added up the history of Stuckey's, the old Harvey House chain, Burma-Shave signs, and more.

 

Ok, moving on.......

 

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

 

Jackson Hole, Wyoming - At the Base of the Tetons

 

Featured Book - Rest Areas and Welcome Centers

 

The Apache Kid - Outlaw Legend of the Southwest

 

Ghost Town - Nicodemus, Kansas

 

Coming Next Month:

 

More National Parks

A Few New Treasure Tales

More Spooks!

 

New Additions to Legends of America

 

Even though it was a very busy month, there are lots of new articles on Legends of America.  I started a new series on National Parks, so you will see the beginnings of that with Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Bryce Canyon in Utah, and Big Bend National Park in Texas .

 

And, I promised to delve more into the Lone Star State, so you'll now find the history of the ghost town of Indianola.  Once a major port city along the coast, the most you'll find here today is a monument to the past. Continuing along the Texas trail, I also uncovered some ghosts at Fort Phantom.  Is the name appropriate, or what?  And, how could I possibly  leave out the Texas Rangers?

 

Along other historic paths, I started another new section called Ancient Cities of the Native Americans.  Here you'll find the  Acoma Pueblo, Chaco Canyon, and the Isletta Pueblo in New Mexico, as well as Cahokia Mounds in Illinois.  Stay tuned as we continue this series.

 

Naturally, what you're going to see the most of, is the rest of the Mother Road, as I filled in a few gaps that I had not yet completed.  Among these, visit several old ghost towns that dot the landscape between Albuquerque and Grants, New Mexico.  Here you will find Budville, Cubero, San Fidel, and McCartys -- all dying at the hands of the Interstate when Route 66 was bypassed.

 

You will also read about a huge coal mining skirmish near Mt. Olive, Illinois and lots of small town charm along Illinois' ribbon of the road, at such places as Lincoln, Mitchell, Edwardsville; and the World's Largest Bottle of Catsup in Collinsville, Illinois.

 

And, last but not least, I received an inquiry from a reader a while back saying that she sure would like to see some videos of the places that I write about.  So......, the Legends' General Store introduces it's Video Store.  In addition to the many places of the west, you will also find information for states in the east.

 

 

What our readers are saying about Legends of America:

 

Your site is superblous```````````` is that a word? - Phil from Texas

 

I really liked this site it has a lot of info on Route 66. I never new Route 66 was so interesting until I found Legends of America! - Lindsey from Missouri

 

I absolutely love your website. To imagine the bustle of past endeavors on goldfields and cattle towns, the toil of families in deserted farms where the wind still stirs the rusting windmills. Ahhh, it is at once eerie and romantic  Where else can you get that? Cheers from Down Under. - Michelle from Australia 

 

Your site is incredible!!!!! Well written, captivating, as well as informative. We've often contemplated exploring the Mid-West, now after reading so many interesting stories on your site we're ready to exploring. -  Nick from Florida

 

Tell us what you think!

Sign My Guestbook   

Featured Travel Destination 

 

 

Jackson Hole, Wyoming - Valley at the Base of the Tetons - Jackson Hole is a valley in west-central Wyoming that today provides numerous attractions to thousands of visitors each year.  The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Grand Targhee ski areas, and nearby Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks are major tourism attractions year round.

 

Inhabited by ancient Native Americans for more than 11,000 years, this tourist mecca is also long in history.  First explored as early as 1805-1806, by John Colter, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the valley soon became home to numerous traders and trappers.

 

By the mid-1890s, several villages had sprouted up by the names of Kelly, Wilson, Moose, Moran, and Jackson.  Officially laid out in 1897, Jackson soon sported a bank and a number of stores around the town square, some of which continue to stand today.  Historic buildings at Menorís Ferry in the town of Moose also continue to stand.

 

At the base of the Grand Teton National Park and near Yellowstone National Park, Jackson Hole is one of the country's most popular destinations for outdoorsmen and tourists alike.  With a unique culture, blending its western heritage with that of a destination resort, visitors from all over the world are drawn to its incomparable natural beauty, wide variety of outdoor activities, galleries, and festivals. 

 

 

Questions From Our Readers

 

Question:  Can you tell me what the the slang term "plow handle" was used for during the days of the Old West ? - Stephen

 

Answer:  Plow Handle referred to a single action pistol.  Other slang words used also included

"thumbusters," "cutters," "smoke poles," and "hawg legs."

~~~~~~~~

Question:  I heard in the western part of Kansas there is a giant maze a man constructed for his dead wife.  At the end of this maze there is rumored to be her remains, preserved in a glass coffin.  Do you know anything about this?  Is it a ghost story, or is it real?  - Katie

 

Answer:  Hmmmm, never heard of it Katie and I grew up in western Kansas.  However, it doesn't mean it isn't true.  Readers?  Do you know anything about this?

 

Featured Guides and Books

 

 

It's Back!! Our most popular selling book was sold out but now has a brand new 2005 edition!

Rest Areas and Welcome Centers, by William C. Herow

This is one of our most popular titles and now it has been completely updated and revised! Quickly and easily locate rest areas, welcome centers, roadside turnouts, and scenic vistas along America's Interstate highways. Find out where these areas are and the facilities available such as restrooms, phones, picnic tables, vending machines, RV dump stations, and designated pet walk areas.

 

 

 

Bumper Sticker Wisdom

 

There is no shortcut to anywhere worth going.

 

Don't wish upon a star ... reach for one!

 

A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it.

 

Why does "fat chance" and "slim chance" mean the same thing?

The Old West

 

 

Apache Kid Wanted PosterApache Kid - Said to have been the fiercest Apache next to Geronimo, as well as a notorious outlaw of the late 19th century, was the Apache Kid.

 

But, was it really so?  History varies as to whether "the kid" was really as guilty as some of many stories would like us to believe.  Once an Indian Scout for the U.S. Army, he was so good, he was soon promoted to a sergeant and in 1883, accompanied General George Crook on the expedition of the Sierra Madre.

 

However, left in charge of the camp on one occasion, a drinking spree ensued that would eventually result in the shooting of a an anglo scout.  Though "the kid" was unarmed, he would be blamed for the assault and eventually sent to Alcatraz. However, his conviction was soon overturned due to prejudice among the officers of the court-martial trial and he was freed.

 

Causing an outrage among the citizens of the area, a new warrant was issued in October, 1889 in Gila County, Arizona for the re-arrest of the Apache Kid, and he was soon on the run.

 

Over the next few years the Apache Kid was accused of various crimes and said to have led a small band of renegade Apache followers, raiding ranches and freight lines throughout New Mexico , Arizona and Northern Mexico as he hid out in the Mexican Sierra Madre Mountains.

 

There are so many different variations of the crimes committed by the Apache Kid, all with the purpose of exacting revenge for the treacherous way in which the Apache scouts had been treated by the army, that even historians cannot agree on exactly what he was responsible for, nor when he died.

 

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Ghost Towns

 

 

Nicodemus, Kansas - A Black Pioneer Town - Nicodemus, Kansas is the only remaining western community established by African Americans after the Civil War.   Having an important role in American History, the town symbolizes the pioneering spirit of these ex-slaves who fled the war-torn South in search of "real" freedom and a chance to restart their lives.  This "ghost town" has since gained recognition as a National Historic Site.

In the late 1870's the black population of the South was extremely restless, as the Reconstruction following the Civil War failed to bring the long awaited freedom, equality and prosperity.  Instead, they were racially oppressed, poverty-stricken, debt-ridden and starving. 

The town site of Nicodemus was planned in 1877 by W.R. Hill, a land developer from Indiana, and Reverend W.H. Smith, a black man, forming the Nicodemus Town Company.

More than a half-dozen black settlements sprung up in Kansas after the Civil War but Nicodemus was the only one to survive.  Kansas' first black settlement and Graham County's first community, was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1976.  Twenty years later, on November 12, 1996, Nicodemus was designated as a National Historical site. 

Today, Nicodemus is called home to approximately 20 people. The only remaining business is the Nicodemus Historical Society Museum, which operates sporadic hours. Pamphlets, a Walking Tour Map & Guide, and video presentations are available at the Nicodemus Community Center.  

 

 

From Legends' General Store

 

Discoveries...America, Colorado DVDVideo Store - Legends of America and the Legends' General Store has collected a number of DVD's so that you can check out your destinations before you travel.  Sixty minute videos will provide you with historic treasures, cultural icons, natural wonders and portraits of Americans from coast to coast revealing the heart & spirit of the U.S. 

 

Discoveries...America, Arizona DVD    Discoveries...America, Nevada DVD  Discoveries...America, South Dakota   Discoveries...America, Texas DVD 

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

660-723-2550

 

Kathy Weiser

Owner/Editor

   www.legendsofamerica.com

 Email

 

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