from Dave - Howdy! It's been a great, but busy summer for
Kathy and I as we continue to settle into our homestead and grow the
business. Last couple of months we've been stuck at the lake
house, but you won't see me complaining too much. Although
it's a tough job to be entertainer, boat driver and barbeque
director on the weekends, I somehow managed to pull through just
We also decided to start our final
construction project, adding 15 feet onto the front of the house for
Kathy's new office. Trying to make sure everything is in place
by the time colder weather gets here so maybe I can have the garage
back. Right now it's full of stuff that still needs a spot, which
hopefully the addition will address. (Note to Kathy - Sure
would like to park "in" the garage before it snows!)
Speaking of construction, as Kathy
mentioned last month, you may have noticed quite a bit of that on
Legends. Kathy spent a good part of July "remodeling" the website. Ya see, back in
'03 when she established
Legends, she was learnin' on the go,
so a few of the older pages had to be corrected to make more sense
moving forward. In the process, we wound up breaking quite a
few links to pages that have been renamed. We think we have
most of them corrected, but if you run into one, please let us know. You can still find what you're looking for by using the site search
on the upper left hand border of every page. Not to worry, we
haven't removed anything, just re-arranged.
Now that all that mundane technical
stuff is calming down, Kathy and I are looking forward to our next
adventure. She's been busy planning a leisurely trip through more of
Arkansas and Eastern
Oklahoma, with plenty of history to take in
along the way. While I'm excited about that, my real
anticipation comes from our hopes to learn more about the legend of
Bigfoot. I know what some of you are thinking, but, I can't
imagine not having more stories of the elusive beast to talk and
write about. It's a part of Americana I'm fascinated with, and
who knows what we may get pictures of :) Winding up in Howe,
(that's north of Dallas) to visit
family, we'll keep you updated on our progress on the
blog and Facebook.
Finally, I promised a while back that we
would offer something special to our loyal readers, and the best way
I can think of doing that at the moment is through Exclusive Offers
Newsletter readers only. This time it's books, next time,
something else. So if you
have a chance, check out our pages for Newsletter Readers only. You won't find a link to these pages anywhere else on our website,
and you can only get to them if you receive the
newsletter by email. They include clear out prices on some books that were already on
sale, as well as special offers to some more popular books on
These pages will change from time to time, and some of these books
in our initial offering are limited in stock, so it's first come
first serve. I'll keep thinking of different ways to
say thanks and include more Exclusive stuff in future
Next month, we're off to Chicago,
from St. Louis, Missouri.
Planning on taking a tour of the Museum of Westward Expansion and
Jefferson Barracks, which is supposed to be very haunted, in
grabbing lots of good photographs and eats at the diners along the
and while in Chicago
-- a gangster tour and perhaps a ghost tour. Boo!
In the meantime, we truly value you as a
reader, and hope that you enjoy this
Legends Of America for years to come.
Dave Alexander - Owner/Operations
*(Shipper Dude, digger of rocks, griller of steaks and
anything else Kathy can come up with).
In this Edition:
& Feature Stories
Featured Travel Destination - Cairo, Illinois
Route 66 - San Gabriel Valley
Bumper Sticker Madness
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.
History is a kind of
introduction to more interesting people than we can possibly
meet in our restricted lives; let us not neglect the
opportunity. ~ Dexter Perkins
New Additions and Feature
Sure can tell it's been too hot to play
in the yard. Kathy's been spending a lot of time indoors this
month and our readers are reaping the benefits with plenty of new
additions. She wrapped up July with
The Purple Gang. Led by Abe Bernstein, the
Purple Gang was a mob of bootleggers and hijackers who operated
out of Detroit, Michigan in the 1920s. Then she moved into
August with a fascinating in-depth look at how racism killed
This eight page article includes the 150
year history of the town located at the confluence of the
Mississippi and Ohio Rivers at the southernmost tip of
and is by far, one of the strangest and saddest cities Kathy's ever
enjoy reading a tribute to a true
Route 66 Icon by one of his good
friends. We thank Ken Turmel for his contribution to
with A Tribute
to Bob Waldmire, renowned
devotee, who lived on the
his entire life, died in December, 2009.
then spent some time in southwest, writing about
The Civil War in New Mexico,
and several battles including
First Battle of Mesilla, the
Battle of Valverde, and the
Battle of Glorietta Pass. You'll also enjoy
Forts of the Old West, which includes several new
Fort Marcy, and
We've added to our
as well, including the
Five Civilized Tribes which were five
Native American nations that
were officially and unofficially called such to collectively
Seminole tribes. The term was applied by Anglo-European settlers
during the colonial and early federal period because these tribes
had adopted many of the colonists' customs and generally, had good
relations with the white settlers.
Kathy's always expanding our long
Native American Tribes, and you'll now see dozens of new
summaries, which include both current and extinct tribes, such as
Costanoan, and dozens of others. And, we can't leave out
Pocahontas - Legendary Indian Princess.
This month Kathy also
added to our list of
American Women in history, with stories on
Mary Bickerdyke, an energetic heroine
whose sole aim during the
was to more efficiently care for wounded Union soldiers;
abolitionist, prohibitionist, alleged spy, prisoner of war and
surgeon in the
who is the only woman ever to receive the Medal of Honor; and on the
complete opposite end of the spectrum she wrote about
first female serial killer, who was hanged in
Charleston, South Carolina in 1820, and
ghost is said to continue to haunt this historic city.
Charleston, though it has experienced two major wars, fires,
hurricanes, and largest earthquake ever to rock the eastern coast of
the United States, an extraordinary number of
Charleston's historic buildings remain. These many events of the
last three centuries have all combined to make
Charleston an unrivaled tourist destination for history buffs,
and Kathy writes about it as we continue our expansion into
States - Back East. We
were never sure that we would move eastward beyond the
Mississippi River in our writings on
Legends of America.
Since its inception in 2003, we have dedicated ourselves to the
However, as we delve deeper into
American History on topics
Native Americans to the
legends, people, and historic destinations that just beg to be added. This includes
People of the Old States - We keep adding up people related
eastern United States, so they now get their own page. And this
month a couple of new stories on Eastern Forts. Including
Sumter, South Carolina best known for being the site upon which the shots initiating the
Civil War were fired, and
Moultrie, South Carolina, with
a history that dates back more than two centuries,
Moultrie, located on Sullivan's Island off the coast of
Charleston, South Carolina, has a long history of seacoast
defense, encompassing three different forts over the years.
It's quite possible I left something
out, as I know Kathy's been busy uploading new stuff. Luckily for me
the weather is starting to cool a bit and I might just see my wife a
little more. In the meantime check out the ever changing
What's New page to keep up to date.
Parent Impaled on Front Bumper
Money isn't everything but it sure keeps the kids in touch.
Shop Bumper Stickers!
August in American History
August 5, 1861 -
Lincoln signed into
law the first Federal income tax, as an emergency wartime measure during
Civil War. led 450
irregular Confederate raiders on a pre-dawn terrorist raid of Lawrence,
Kansas, leaving 150 civilians dead.
August 9, 1974 - Richard M. Nixon resigned the presidency as a result of
the Watergate scandal. He was the only U.S. President ever to resign.
August 14, 1935 -
President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act.
August 16, 1896 - Gold
was discovered in Rabbit Creek, Alaska, resulting
in the Great Klondike Gold Rush.
August 18, 1920 - The 19th Amendment to the U.S.
the right to vote.
August 21, 1863 - During the
Civil War, William
August 24-25, 1814 - During the
War of 1812, Washington, D.C., was invaded
by British forces that burned the Capitol, the White House and most other
August 28, 1963 - A march on Washington D.C. occurred as over 250,000 persons
attended a Civil Rights rally at which Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
made his now-famous I Have a Dream speech.
Featured Travel Destination
Illinois - Death By Racism -
Located at the confluence of the
Mississippi and Ohio Rivers at the southernmost tip of
is the town of
Cairo, pronounced "Care-O." By far, one of the strangest
and saddest cities I've ever visited, I am immediately intrigued by the
empty streets and abandoned and crumbling buildings.
We pass under an arch depicting "Historic Downtown
Cairo" to take a peek
at this city that has been standing on the river for more than 150 years.
Though the town has a population of some 3,000 people and is the county
seat of Alexander County, its Main Street, called Commercial Avenue, is
empty of people and lined with buildings in various stages of decay.
Doors stand wide open on commercial buildings
that display rubble filled interiors, windows are broken or boarded up,
Kadzu crawls up brick walls, streets signs are faded and rusty – the
streets and sidewalks cracked and choked with weeds. On a side street the
lovely Gem Theatre stands silent next to the Chamber of Commerce. In other
parts of the city, the large brick hospital is overgrown with vegetation,
churches are boarded up, and restored mansions sit next to abandoned and
crumbling large homes.
What has happened here? I'm sure, with
Commercial Avenue's proximity to the Ohio River, the town has been
devastated by a flood, but I don't know and find no one to ask. Finally,
after wandering about the deserted buildings for a time, an elderly
gentleman parks his truck and walks out along river. I stop and ask him.
He tells a brief story of how the town was destroyed by its own
inhabitants, and points out a building that once served as a fine dining
and dancing establishment that he and his wife enjoyed decades ago.
died because of racism.
The peninsula where
Cairo now stands was first
visited by Father Louis Hennepin, a French explorers and missionary priest
in March, 1660. It was noted again by other traveling priests over the
next few years, but it would not be settled until 1702, when French
pioneer, Charles Juchereau de St. Denys and a party of about 30 men built
a fort and tannery a few miles north from the confluence of the Ohio and
Mississippi Rivers. The party of men was extremely successful
collecting thousands of skins for shipment back to France. However, the
next year the fort was attacked by Cherokee Indians who killed most of the
men and seized the furs, effectively ending the life of the fort and
Nearly a century and a half later,
Clark left Fort Massac,
and arrived in the vicinity of what would later become
Cairo in November,
1803. Here, they worked jointly on their first scientific research and
description; to study the geography at the junction of the
Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. On November 16, they began the diplomatic
phase of their journey when they visited the Wilson City area of
and met with
Indian chiefs. They ended their surveys at
Cairo on November 19th, and
proceeded up the
Mississippi River, now working against the current.
The first attempt at settlement occurred
in 1818 when John G. Comegys of Baltimore, obtained a charter to
incorporate the city and the Bank of
Cairo from the Territorial
Legislature. He bought 1,800 acres on the peninsula and named it
"Cairo," because it was presume to resemble that of Cairo, Egypt.
Working along with Comegys, was Shadrach Bond, who was the first
These men and other speculators invested and tried to develop
into one of the nation's great cities.
The land of the peninsula was to be made into
lots and sold, a portion of the money put into improvements, and the rest
of it was to constitute the capital of the bank. The peninsula was
surveyed and a city laid off. However, when Comegys died in 1820, his plan
died with him. But, he left behind a contribution in his choice of the
name Cairo, and as a result, "Egypt" became the popular nickname for
always, enjoy the ride!!
Did You Know?
in Switzerland didn't receive the right to vote until 1971.
There are 83 million
acres in the National
About 150 couples get
Vegas each day.
Five of history's
trails, including the Oregon Trail
and the California
Trail, cross Southern
Wagon ruts are still visible all along the rugged terrain.
Just For You!
Newsletter Exclusive Offers
History is herstory, too. ~
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email address, please return to the
page and unsubscrbe, then
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The San Gabriel Valley on Route 66-
Lying at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, the 200 square
mile valley that was once primarily agricultural, is today highly
developed into a diverse urban area. Steeped in history, the drive
through the valley provides an abundance of museums, historical
landmarks, roadside peeks, and entertainment for a new generation
travelers. To the north of the valley, in the San Gabriel
Mountains, adventurous travelers can find find hiking trails,
camping, water sports, and old mining towns among the forests and
San Dimas - A Slice of the Old West
Straddling the San Gabriel and Pomona valleys,
San Dimas was first called Mud Springs when people began to
settle there in the early 1800's. Part of the Rancho San Jose, the
last Spanish land grant, the area was swampy, hence its nickname.
The town was officially formed by the San Jose Ranch Company when
the railroad came through in 1887 and the community's name was
San Dimas to reflect the
San Dimas Canyon to the north. E.M. Marshall opened the first
business – a hardware store at the corner of Bonita and Depot
In each of the town sites along the railroad, a hotel was built
for the expected rush of settlers. However, the land boom lasted
only two short years before collapsing in 1889, without the hotel
ever having had a single visitor. This historic building is the
only one of the many hotels along the line from
that has survived into modern times. When the hotel failed, it was
purchased by the J.W. Walker family whose family occupied the home
for six generations, from 1889 to 1978. Listed on the National
Register of Historic places, the old hotel is now owned by the
with plans for restoration. The historic landmark is located just
north of the intersection of Bonita Avenue and
developed as an agricultural center like the many other small
towns along the railroad. After trying out several different
crops, area farmers recognized that oranges, lemons, and avocados
did the best. At one time, the city boasted four citrus packing
houses and a marmalade factory. It was here that the Sunkist name,
originally spelled "Sunkissed," originated. The
Feed Company, established in 1897, continues to operate today and
is the oldest business in the city. Unfortunately, by the 1950's
the citrus trees were suffering from a disease and the quiet
agricultural life came to an end as groves were cleared for
today prides itself in its heritage, especially that of the
In the 1970's a "Western Village" concept was developed for the
downtown core, complete with wooden sidewalks and false wood
storefronts for a frontier look. In the fall each year,
hosts a rodeo at Horsethief Canyon Park along with Western days,
and a myriad of equestrian paths exist throughout the city.
historical peeks can be seen at the
Train Depot, which now serves as a museum, located on Bonita
Avenue at the west end of Old Town; the old hotel, called the
Walker House today, is just north
of the intersection of Bonita and
Avenues; and the Chamber of Commerce located in the
historic Martin House at
246 East Bonita
What our readers are saying about Legends
Just wanted to thank you all for this
website. It's got such a huge variety of information and things to
read, I just enjoy it immensely. Thought maybe you don't hear it
every day and wanted to tell you it's appreciated! -- Jennifer
I've been looking at the most famous
gunfighters -- the Earps,
Doc Holliday, Ben Thompson, who I did
not even knew was a gunfighter, alongside
Wild Bill. Also, I've
watched all of
Deadwood and did not know
that Al Swearengen,
Seth Bullock and
Sol Star were true life characters. Your website is
great and I hope you unearth other characters whom we know nothing
about. Carry on with the good work. --
Alfie Smith, Cheshunt, England
This is a great site. I've had the opportunity to
travel to many of the places noted and continue to go back there every year.
I've also sent this to my friends with kids who still have to write history
reports! -- Mona V., San Diego,
Well shoot, I got every one of those,
You Know Your
in Kansas When's. Does that make me a red neck or what? I bet there
are people who think that stuff is made up but, I'm liven' breathen'
proof that it's for real. Thanks for putten' it out there ya'll. --
Clinton Helena, Andover,
Fantastic website! I've only scratched the surface,
but am truly impressed. I grew up in Ohio at least 100 years too
late. As a kid, I could be found digging around in the biography
section of the library for a new story of someone who went West.
There is a lot of new ground to cover on your site - Thanks for
getting me digging again. -- Gregg
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
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Legends of America
A Travel Guide
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