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Legends Letter

October, 2005


Kathy WeiserOk, for those of you that have been reading the Legends Letter for a while, you know my whole summer got "blasted" with rehabbing and selling a house.  Bummer!  Anyway, that whole chore is done, Dave and I are moved, and it's back to adding up bunches of great stories and hitting the road!


While travel and history are my main focus, I've also got to make sure this website gets "seen" and visited by lots of people every month.  That's what keeps it alive!  So, I've been working on several things to expand the website and its readership.  I've also been wanting to make Legends of America more interactive - especially for my regular readers. So... I've added up a bunch of new stuff to hopefully achieve both goals.


So, if you will, check out these new features:

  • NEW Legends of America Blog - Lots of you know what a blog is, but for others, mebbe not.  Really, it's another website, but one that is more personal, including almost anything from informative details that seemingly can't find a place on Legends of America, to interesting links that I run into, to my personal ramblings; the goal being to allow us to get to know each other a little better.  But, the very best part is - it, too, is interactive!  Add your comments!  Tell me what you think!  Tell me where you think I should head to next or that I'm "full of it."

  • Submit Your Travel Destination! - We love to feature travel destinations in the American West and can't possibly be everywhere at the same time!  If you live in a great historic city or have an destination that is an absolute "must see" for historic travelers, you can now add it to Legends of America HERE!  Better yet, it's FREE!  Your historic place can also become the Featured Travel Destination by following a few simple steps.  Click HERE for more information. This is also FREE!

Ok, ok, that's enough shameless self-promotion, so 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


San Antonio - A Mecca For History Buffs


Featured Book - Lure, Lore & Legends


Hidden Treasures in Arizona


Ghost Town - Shaniko, Oregon


Coming Next Month:

Results of the Haunted Places Poll and related stories.


Nebraska Treasure Tales


A Lil' More of the Pacific Northwest


Haunted Places Poll


Getting ready for Halloween, we have decided to conduct our own poll of the most haunted cities and places in the American West.  Yup, the Travel Channel and the History Channel do it for America, but we just want to know about the American West.  After we get your nominations, we will post a poll that rates the top ten places and cities, then publish our results!!  Though we've got several ideas, feed us some more!


New Additions to Legends of America



Now that those domestic chores are all done, I'm back on the trail again with lots of new stories and legends.  Continuing to get ready for Halloween, you'll see a bunch of haunted places in San Antonio, Texas - my vote for the most haunted city in the Lone Star State.  Check out the Ghost Children upon San Antonio's Railroad Tracks, the Haunted Menger Hotel, the Sheraton Gunter Hotel, and the Ghosts of the Alamo .  From our reader, Patty Quinn, we hear about the Ghost Lights of the Silver Cliff Cemetery in Colorado, from Misty read the story of The Ghosts in the Old Doll House, and finally a tale that could be a ghost or maybe even an alien - Little White Men in Kentucky, from our reader Donald Patton.


Here's an interesting update to our Lemp Mansion Story.  A reader wrote in wanting to know about the little boy's face that appears through the banisters on the stairway.  Here's a link to the photograph:  http://www.legendsofamerica.com/photos-missouri/LempStaircase-600.jpg  It's very strange that I had never noticed this before.  But, just to let you know, there were no children at the Lemp Mansion that night.  Furthermore, where his face appears, is about 15 feet above the floor with nothing below to stand on.  Very interesting!!  The Lemp Mansion is in St. Louis, Missouri.


On the Old West Trail, we also added up a bunch of new stuff including outlaw Cherokee Bill - Terror of Indian Territory, the Mountain Meadows Massacre in Utah , the Marias Massacre in Montana, and last, but certainly not least, the California Gold Rush!  You'll also find a couple of new Littler Known Outlaws, including a Texas Ranger turned outlaw by the name of Scott Cooley, and a crooked sheriff in Idaho.  This amazing tale of Big Dave Updyke also includes a cache of hidden gold for our treasure hunting fans, and we also added up a number of other stashes said to be buried at the City of Rocks.


For scenic views of the American West, be sure to check out our new stories on the Petrified Forest National Park, Hovenweep National Monument, and Grand Canyon - One of Seven Wonders.


Camera - Vintage Photos IconLastly, we've begun to get a lot of requests for the many  photographs that appear on the website.  You can now purchase these at very reasonable prices at our brand new Photo Print ShopNot all the photographs on the website our in the Print Shop yet.  If you want one in particular, just zap us an Email and we will add it up!



What our readers are saying about Legends of America:


I enjoyed your site as you give feeling and a different way of looking at these buildings and places. - Sheena from England


I was in Tulsa, on business. In driving back to the Kansas City, Missouri area, I went to Coffeyville, Kansas, then to Miami, Oklahoma .  Visited the Coleman theater and then followed Route 66 to Carthage, Missouri.  Thank you for listing all the sites along the way!  I met the most interesting people and had a very enjoyable drive. -   Frank from Lees Summit, Missouri


This is the greatest site.  Here I am at work and had looked at this site all afternoon.  Just can't get over what a wonderful site this is.  Thanks for all the work you've done! - Donna, Amarillo, Texas


There is so much history in my back yard. You've given me the motivation to get out and hike around to explore and imagine. - Bea from Arkansas City, Kansas



Featured Travel Destination 



San Antonio - A Mecca For History Buffs - Capturing the spirit of Texas , San Antonio is a Mecca for history buffs.  From its Native American occupation, discovery by Spanish explorers, old missions, the Battle of the Alamo, and the Old West , the history and attractions of this beautiful city can entertain its visitors for days.


The actual founding of the city came in 1718 by Father Antonio Olivares, when he established Mission San Antonio de Valero.   Soon, more Spanish missions were built and by 1778, the

settlement's population had reached more than 2,000.

By 1795, all of the missions had been put to work for other purposes and the San Antonio de Valero Mission became a military barracks.  Later it would become known as the Alamo. During the Texas Revolution, San Antonio was the site of several battles, including the siege of Bexar in December, 1835 and the Battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836, which made it one of the most fought-over cities in North America. In the Battle of the Alamo 189 defenders held the old mission against some 4,000 Mexican troops for 13 days. The cry "Remember the Alamo" soon became the rallying point of the Texan revolution against Mexico.

As the city grew and expanded, San Antonio succeeded in merging its past into the new modernization of each generation. Old Spanish walls remain beside modern glass towers, with rows of Victorian mansions a block away, a combination that lends the city a charm sought out by millions of visitors.


The jewel of the city is the Paseo del Rio, or River Walk, which meanders through the downtown area, lined with numerous shops, bars, restaurants, and theaters  This attraction is transformed into an impressive festival of lights during the Christmas and New Year holiday period. San Antonio is also famous for the Alamo, three-time NBA Champion Spurs basketball team, the Tower of the Americas, and being home to SeaWorld and Six Flags Fiesta Texas theme parks.



Questions From Our Readers


Kathy - I've just been wondering how you make money with your website to pay your expenses?  Or, do you just do this as a passionate hobby? - Steve, Tulsa, Oklahoma




Well, Steve that's an excellent question.  One that I often get from friends and family.  It is a passionate endeavor, but since I quit my real job, I also have to make money somehow.


You can see at the bottom of each page where I sell books, postcards and Route 66 items.  This helps, but it's not the main source of revenue.  At the top of each page you see banner ads and, embedded in the body of each page, you see text ads by Google. These ads are primarily how the website pays for itself.  Each time you or anyone else clicks on these ads, I get a get a couple of cents, whether you buy anything or not.  Though, I won't be retiring anytime soon from the income, it at least pays for the maintenance of the website and keeps it up and running. 


Thanks for asking.


Featured Guides and Books



We were temporarily out of one of our most popular books, as it was being updated for a new edition.  It just came in yesterday!!


Lure, Lore and LegendsLure, Lore and Legends of the Moreno Valley, by the Moreno Valley Writer's Guild. 

This 200 page paperback book is a great compliment to our High Country Legends. The Moreno Valley is in northeast New Mexico and is rich in history with gold boom towns, outlaws and Indian lore.  A "Must Read" for those who love the Angel Fire and Eagle Nest area of New Mexico.


Sorry, this book has been discontinued.


Bumper Sticker Wisdom



I am not young enough to know everything.


Stereotypes are devices for saving a biased person the trouble of learning.


What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it's all about?

The Old West



Hidden Treasure in Arizona - Allegedly, Arizona has more lost treasure tales than any other state in the nation.  Between Coronado's expeditions, to the Wild West days and legends of  buried outlaw loot, the tales of hidden treasures can astound you and keep you busy searching for years to come. 


Along with numerous places in the Arizona desert, the mountains of Flagstaff also offer a number of tales of outlaw robberies and hidden caches. 


For example, and old trading post located on the Little Colorado River was often the site of so many robberies, that the owner,

Herman Wolf, got in the habit of burying his profits in cans and jars around the fences on his property.  Each one of these  treasure troves are said to have contained hundreds of dollars  with a thirty year accumulation estimated at $250,000.  The tale has been verified by two different finds of coins, the first in 1901 and the second in 1966.  However, these two discoveries are but a small percentage of what was buried and the main cache remains to be found.  The old store was located on the Little Colorado River River just off the California-Santa Fe Trail near Canyon Diablo


At Rogers Lake, during the winter of 1881, two outlaws named Henry Corey and Ralph Gaines stole eight large gold bars from the Tip Top Mine near Gillette, Arizona.  Each of these bars, which were three feet long and four inches wide, were buried near a cabin at Rogers Lake.  The pair then headed to Flagstaff, where they relieved a stagecoach of $25,000 in gold and silver coins.  Returning to the cabin with the treasure, they dug up the gold bars and placed these, along with the stagecoach loot, into large wooden kegs.  Chipping a hole in the ice, they then lowered their stolen booty into the lake.  Before long the sheriff learned that the outlaw pair was holed up at Rogers Lake and,  along with a posse, set out to capture them.  Spying the approach of the lawmen, the bandits made a hasty retreat, leaving the treasure behind.  Later, Gaines would be killed in a brawl and Corey was arrested during a holdup near Globe, Arizona and sent to prison.  When Corey was released 24 years later, he and a friend made repeated searches for the loot but it was never found. Corey died in 1936.  During dry times throughout the year, the waterless lakebed areas of this low level lake can be easily searched.


These are just a few of the many treasures and outlaw tales of Arizona.


Hey, if you like the newsletter, forward it on to your friends!!

They too can receive updates when we add new content, provide product specials from our Legends' General Store, and more!  Click HERE to sign up for the newsletter.



Camera - Vintage Photos IconLegends of America Photo Print Gallery



Ghost Town Photo GalleryGhost Towns - A growing collection of historic ghost towns in the American West.

Route 66 Photo PrintsRoute 66 - Includes photographs from all eight states through which the historic Mother Road travels.

Scenic Views Photo GalleryScenic Views - Random photographs we've taken during our travels.


Ghost Towns



Shaniko, Oregon - Wool Capitol of the World - On the stage route from The Dalles to central Oregon , the Scherneckau Ranch, settled shortly after the Civil War, became the site of a stage station.  However, the town didn't sprout up until 1900, when an official community was planned and built by businessmen in The Dalles for the terminus of the Columbia Southern Railroad. 


Within a year, two financiers constructed a huge wool warehouse in Shaniko, the largest in Oregon at the time. Shaniko quickly became a major trade center for the wool produced in central and eastern Oregon .  By that time, the town already sported a bank, two blacksmith shops, a two-story city hall, that included the fire station and the jail, three hotels, two newspapers, a post office, five saloons, two stores and many other structures.  Church services were held in the school building. 


By 1903, Shaniko was referred to as the "Wool Capital of the World," after three wool sales brought in the largest total sale of wool on record to date. The next year, sheep men sold an estimated five million dollars worth of wool.  The village continued to play an important role in the wool industry into the 1940's, when its population began to decline.


Today, this "almost" ghost town, with just about 20-25 residents, is like stepping back in time.  Recognized as one of the best ghost towns in the State or Oregon , it's old water tower, City Hall, complete with old jail, the school, and post office continue to stand.  Also intact, are the enormous sheep sheds on the edge of the village.  Several of its buildings are maintained in an Old West theme, complete with authentic boardwalks and false fronts.  The Shaniko Hotel is the town's biggest attraction.  Restored to its former grandeur, the hotel features an antique shop, history of many of the families who once lived in Shaniko, and a cafe with home cooking that is said to the best in the area.




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



Kathy Weiser





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