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Legends Letter

October, 2009


Well, folks, Dave is "officially" on board here at Legends of America. It's taking just a little time for the transition, but he's already gotten lots done and I can readily see how this will not only give me a little reprieve and a chance to catch up, but also provide lots of new opportunities.Some things he's taking on may not readily see, but it will make the website better and provide a higher level of customer service, such as all of the shipping, taking most of the phone calls, many of the emails, the technical challenges, and lots of other things that take time away from writing. OMG -- here is a dear!


We did have an opportunity for a little road trip last month. Just so happened, that my friend Kim's 50th birthday party was being held in Colorado Springs, just a week before a family reunion out in Dodge City, Kansas. So, we took the time in between to do a little more exploring of Colorado and into southern Wyoming, as well as toodlin' along the Santa Fe Trail on the way west and back. Great fun and you'll be seeing full articles on our travels in the near future. In the meantime, you can take a peek at the tour on our Legends Blog HERE.


Since we've returned home, we've been focused on getting a lot of new products up for the Christmas season as well as several projects that improve communication and interaction with our readers and customers. Dave is responsible for our new Legends Fan Page on Facebook. If you like keeping with what's going on here and what's new, more than what we've got on our Blog and newsletter, Dave is making all kinds of updates on the Legends Fan Page. If you aren't on Facebook or don't want to mess with it, you can still keep up with our updates on our Legends Facebook page HERE.

However, our "official" Fan Page provides you with the opportunity to make comments on items posted and share your own thoughts and information. On our Discussions Panel, you can add to existing topics such as Travel Destinations, Route 66, the Old West, Ghost Towns, or start your own topic. You can also add your own travel pictures to our Photo Panel and write a review of either a travel destination or a Legends article on our Review Panel. It's a great opportunity to get to know everyone a little better.


On the other hand, if you just want the "sound bites," you can also follow Legends of America on our Twitter page.


Ghostly LegendsIn the meantime, I hope you have a great Halloween and if you want to enjoy a good scare, check out our many Ghostly Legends.


Enjoy the newsletter and the website!!


Kathy Weiser, Owner/Editor





In this Edition: 

New Additions


Featured Travel Destination  Chloride, New Mexico


The Old West - Train Robber, Black Jack Ketchum


Ghostly Legends - Ghost Hunting on Oregon's Coast


Featured Book - Old West Books



Bumper Sticker Wisdom 


Madness takes its toll (please have exact change)



Heck is for people that don't believe in Gosh.



Drive Home a Point! Shop

 Bumper Stickers!



New Additions


While we were traveling in southern Wyoming, we visited some fascinating places along the old Oregon Trail. Check out new tale on Fort Caspar, which was first established as Platte Bridge Station in 1858. The fort was abandoned in 1867 and what was left quickly fell into ruins. However; today it has been reconstructed utilizing 1860s sketches, and certainly provides a flavor of life more than a century ago.


Fort Laramie BarracksWe also made a quick stop at Fort Fred Steele, which is truly a "ghost", having just a few buildings remaining.


Fort Laramie, first established in 1834 as a fur trading post, and later as a military post, in 1849. Today, this unique historic place preserves and interprets one of America's most important locations in the history of westward expansion and Indian resistance. The site includes numerous original buildings that include numerous historic artifacts. A great visit!! Also taking place here was the historic Fort Laramie Treaty in 1868, which was to bring peace between the whites and the Sioux who agreed to settle within the Black Hills reservation in Dakota Territory.


Before we made our way to Wyoming, we stopped at several places in Colorado, that we have already visited including Cripple Creek, Central City, Leadville, and we actually stayed at the allegedly very haunted The Stanley Hotel. Watch these places for lots of new updates.

Kind of consumed with the old trails of the west, we traveled the entire Santa Fe Trail through Kansas and parts of Colorado. You'll also find another historic Kansas cowtown and now ghost town, at Brookville, Kansas.


For a little more information on Westward Expansion, we've also added up the Louisiana Purchase and the Mighty Missouri River. For our outlaw enthusiasts, you'll also find a rendition of a 1907 article entitled Bad Men of the Indian Nations.


Another project I've been working on is adding an avenue for lots more photographs -- both vintage and current. While our articles include just a few, so that you can get the "flavor" of a place, there's simply not enough room for adding the many that I take at each destination. Primarily focused on ghost towns at the moment, we will expand this to include lots more destinations. To see the entire gallery, click HERE.


Our friend and reader, Carol Fisher, makes a great suggestion while we're streamlining our business and our travel schedule is dramatically reduced. She says "Ask your fans about the stories passed down through the years and about the different places that 'legends' have occurred." I love it!!. Send your tales and pictures. Don't worry about your writing abilities - we'll help you out!

Mostly; however, we've been focused on new products including our custom postcards, personally designed by yours truly. We are also offering these at wholesale to retailers, in case you know someone or are are one. On a "design roll" Old West Prints & Wanted Posters. These are "exclusive," either personally designed or utilizing our vintage photographs.


Oh, yeah, one more thing. Please note: Legends Of America will be offline starting around 9pm Central on October 21 so that our hosting provider can move our server to a new location.  This outage is expected to last from 90 minutes to 3 hours.  We thank you in advance for your patience.


Ok, better run!



Did you know?

It is estimated that each year there are approximately 500,000 detectable seismic tremors in California.


The Lemp Mansion in St. Louis, Missouri is allegedly one of the ten most haunted places in the U.S.


The Farmer's Market at Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington, operating since 1907, is the longest continuously operating farmer's market in the US.


North Dakota has more registered vehicles than it has residents.


In Death Valley, California, the Kangaroo Rat can live its entire life without drinking a drop of liquid.




Legends of America's Photo PrintsLegends of America Photo Print Gallery* - From vintage photos of the Old West and Nostalgic American Scenes to current photos of Route 66 and travel destinations in the American West, you'll find hundreds of photos to choose from. See the entire gallery or go directly to specific galleries by clicking the links below. Click HERE to take you directly to our printing partner.


Historical Photographs of American Cities and Buildings   


Historical photographs of the Old West   Vintage Advertising Photo Prints




Every trail poster

Every trail has some puddles.




Featured Travel Destination 


Chloride, New Mexico False Front BuildingChloride - Center of the Apache Mining District - About 40 miles northwest of Truth or Truth or Consequences, New Mexico is the former mining boom town of Chloride. When a mule skinner, freighter and veteran prospector, Harry Pye discovered silver float in the Black Range Mountains in 1879, it would spawn one of New Mexico's biggest mining rushes.


It was when Pye was delivering freight for the Army from Hillsboro to Camp Ojo Caliente that he discovered the silver in the canyon where Chloride would be born. When he had the sample assayed, he was thrilled to learn that it was high-grade "chloride of silver," a term for which the town would later take its name. After completing his freight contract, he returned to the canyon with a few other prospectors and found the "Mother Lode," which was called the "Pye Lode." 


Immediately a tent city was born with the first log building completed in 1879. But for Harry Pye, he would not live to enjoy his new found fortune. The area was rife with Apaches, who were unhappy with prospectors and settlers invading their lands. Just a few months after Pye found the mother lode, he was confronted by the hostile Indians and when his pistol jammed as he tried to fend them off, he was killed.


Grafton Cabin, Chloride, New MexicoThough the camp was under constant threat of Indian attacks, which continued until as late as 1887, the new settlement continued to thrive. By June, 1881, Chloride had 8 saloons, 3 general stores, 3 restaurants, a lumberyard, 2 butcher shops, a boarding house, livery stable, post office, a Justice of the Peace, and the Pioneer Stage Line ran through town.


Over the years, the mining district produced about $500,000 in silver and other ores. Mining continues in the area for Zeolite, a mineral utilized in agricultural products, water and air filtration, and numerous other consumer products.


Today, Chloride is a ghost towner's dream with about 27 of its original buildings still standing, including the Pioneer Store, which now serves as an excellent museum. Its historic main street is lined with false front structures, as well as adobe buildings, some restored and some suffering the effects of time. There are two cemeteries in Chloride which can be viewed. The 200 year-old oak "Hangin' Tree" tree still stands in the middle of Wall Street.


Though officially a "ghost town," the town is occupied by about 20 residents, many of whom are decedents of the original founders.


More ...


Featured Book:


Old West Books - Legends of America and the Legends' General Store has collected a number of Old West books for our frontier enthusiasts. Click HERE!






Old West Wisdom


Don't name a cow you plan to eat.


Only a fool argues with skunk, a mule, or a cook.


Never mention "rope" in the home of hanged man.


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




Free eNewsletter


Our eNewsletter features articles on the Old West, travel destinations, ghostly legends, and subscriber only specials from our Legends' General Store. Sent directly to your inbox, grab a cup of coffee and travel the historic paths of the American West. Sign up today!

The Old West


Thomas Black Jack KetchumTrain Robber - Black Jack Ketchum - This outlaw dude comes not only with a rich history, but also a ghost story as he allegedly continues to haunt his old train robbing haunting grounds in northeast New Mexico.


Tom and his brother, Sam, worked as cowboys on ranches throughout west Texas and northern and eastern New Mexico. On their many drives, they quickly learned the territory as well as the settlers and ranchers in the area.


In 1892, Black Jack, his brother, Sam, and several other outlaws learned that an Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad was on route to Deming, New Mexico with a large payroll.  The gang set up to rob the train just outside Nutt, New Mexico, a water station about 20 miles north of Deming.


The gang stopped the train, holding it up at gunpoint, and made off with about $20,000. During the robbery, the conductor had sneaked away, making his way to Nutt, where he telegraphed for help. Soon, a posse from Lake Valley, 18 miles to the north was on its way. However, by the time the posse arrived, the gang was well hidden in their safe house, and Black Jack soon slipped into Arizona. The $20,000 was never found.


The gang stopped the train, holding it up at gunpoint, and made off with about $20,000. During the robbery, the conductor had sneaked away, making his way to Nutt, where he telegraphed for help. Soon, a posse from Lake Valley, 18 miles to the north was on its way. However, by the time the posse arrived, the gang was well hidden in their safe house, and Black Jack soon slipped into Arizona. The $20,000 was never found.


While in New Mexico, the Ketchum Gang were well known at many of the dances, social functions and saloons in northeast New Mexico. These well-mannered young men, riding good horses, flashing plenty of money, and claiming to be cowboys, would arrive at the local functions where the women were enraptured by their manners. They were known to have frequented several establishments in Elizabethtown as well as Cimarron, specifically Lambert's Inn (now the St. James Hotel.) Not until later, when they were captured, did townspeople learn these young men were actually members of Black Jack Ketchum's outlaw gang.


In the end, Black Jack was caught and taken to Clayton, New Mexico for trial. He was found him guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. The execution was schedule for April 26, 1901. The hanging was a big attraction with stores closing and saloons remaining open, doing a brisk business. People came from all over the area to see the big event, where the local lawmen were selling tickets to view the hanging, as well as little dolls of Tom hanging on a stick.


However, the town of Clayton had no experience in hanging a man and there was a debate concerning the length of rope. The night before the scheduled hanging, the rope was tested by attaching a 200-pound sandbag to the noose and dropping it through the trap. Finally, at 1:13 p.m. Thomas "Black Jack" Ketchum was taken to the scaffold. While they were adjusting the hood, Ketchum stated, "Hurry up boys, get this over with." Finally, Sheriff Garcia took two blows with a hatchet, cutting the rope and Tom fell through the trap.
Black Jack Ketchum Hanging in Clayton, New MexicoUnfortunately, the inexperienced hangmen had forgotten about the sandbag they had used to test the rope and the weight of it caused the rope to be as rigid as wire. When Black Jack fell through the drop, he was immediately decapitated. Black Jack Ketchum was the only person ever hanged in Union County, New Mexico. He was also the only person who suffered capital punishment for the offence of "felonious assault upon a railway train" in the State of New Mexico


About his ghost???  See HERE.


More ...



A Few Native American Tribes















  From Legends' General Store



Jesse James Wanted PosterOld West Wanted Posters and Wild West Prints





Cowboy poster  Cowboy Poster      





Custom Postcards - Legends of America and the Legends' General Store introduces our own line of custom postcards. Utilizing original graphic designs and our own photographs, these postcards are exclusive and can only be found here! To see this new and expanding collection, click HERE!


Custom Arizona Postcard  Custom Old West Postcard  



Tell us what you think!

View our guestbook 


Ghostly & Other Strange Legends



Seaside, Oregon fogGhost Hunting on Oregon's Coast - From guest writer, Andre' Hagestedt, we learn that Oregon's northern coast has a load of ghostly tales swirling about.

Tales of things creepy abound in Seaside - but they're hard to find. It's almost as if they've been swept under the carpet.

For almost 100 years, the old Hotel Seaside (later named The Seasider) was a grandiose, beautiful building that was a sort of centerpiece to Seaside, at the Turnaround.


So it's no surprise that place acquired tales of apparitions and otherworldly guests over the years. There were numerous spirits that purportedly haunted it. These days, the Shilo Inn sits in that spot. But when the old hotel was torn down, the spooks moved to Girtle's Restaurant, just down the street on Broadway, according to owner Bob Girtle. He recounted numerous stories of otherworldly happenings in the restaurant, having seen them himself or coming from various employees who tell their own tales. They talk of seeing the mysterious shadows of feet walking behind the door of a closed-off area of the kitchen, visible from the small space between the floor and the door. This happens when it's not possible anyone else is in there, say Bob and his crew. They don't even check that room anymore when they see the shadows.


Then there is the notorious flying coffee pot in the galley area between the kitchen and the main dining room. Bob and others on his staff have experienced this more than once. Sometimes it moves a bit, others it literally flies across the hallway.


Manzanita, OregonManzanita, which caps the north end of the Nehalem Bay, is shrouded in mists and mystery, with Neahkahnie Mountain looming overhead and legends of a galleon and its buried treasures. Some versions of that tale contain atrocities, like purportedly burying their African slaves alive with the treasure to keep the natives away.

At the very tip of Oregon, Astoria is full of major ghost stories of one sort or another. That's no surprise, considering it's the oldest settlement west of the Mississippi.


More ...

What our readers are saying about Legends of America:

I can see I will spend many-many hours in the boonies looking at this site. Keep up the good work and I will spread the word to my friends. Larry, Washington.


Very professional looking. Enjoyed the history lesson and nostalgic prose of the old west. -  Joe, so a great teaching tool. - Patti, Missouri.


You have such a way of expressing exactly how I feel when I pass a cemetery- especially an old pioneer. - Andrew, Washington.


This is a great website. I love it. I have looked all over for pertinent information regarding Route 66 and decent websites; however, it is hard to find.

Planning to initiate a trip this week-end and this information works for me. - Millicent, Indiana







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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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