Move your mouse over our
West town, click, and see where it takes you!
From Kathy - Yup,
day comin' tomorrow! What cha gonna be? What cha gonna be?
Monster, ghost, historic or fictitious character? As you can
imagine, I've decided to be someone from the
Care to guess?
Etta Place?? Nope, I'm
Will be a very short
Holliday, but got my guns and mustache ready. Dave's going as my
side-kick -- no, not
Nose Kate, though I did suggest it. He didn't like that idea so
much. He's gonna be old
Me bad -- he good, errr... maybe he just not so bad. Pics
in the heck did this seemingly
holiday come about anyway? I just had to find out. Seems as if
it's one of the oldest holidays still celebrated, going back
hundreds of years. More about that below.
Well, we did do a
little traveling this month - made that Missouri-Illinois
we had planned on. Didn't make it all the way to Chicago
as we flat ran out of time. Me thinks we dink around to much. Anywho,
starting out finishing a little piece of the Santa Fe
Trail, we visited Blackwater,
Bucksnort Trading Company and Saloon,
Boone's Lick State Historic Site, and
before making our way to Daniel Boone's home near near Defiance, Missouri.
Then, we're of to
where we visit the
and the Museum of Westward Expansion, before crossing over to
and finding a quirky great big catsup bottle in
Collinsville. We then off looking
Mounds -- The Largest Archaeological Site in America
before heading northward on
stretch of old
is fascinating, I had forgotten how exhausting it could be. I mean,
sometimes, the many little towns along the route are only 4-5 miles
from each other. That's a lot of starting and stopping, visiting,
getting in and out, hunting for the dog, picture takin'! But, it was
great and you'll soon see all kinds of new stories and photos for
that piece the pavement.
We then toodled across
to the west where we did some more of the Great River Road down the
On this trek we made stops at places such as New Boston and
Fort Madison, Iowa; and Hannibal, Missouri,
before finally starting for home. You can follow along our whole
trip and see photos on our
Facebook Fanpage Album (you don't have to be a member) or on our
done for now.
In the meantime, we truly value you as a
reader, and hope that you enjoy this
Legends Of America for years to come. And, have a happy and safe
Kathy Weiser-Alexander, Owner/Editor*
*(user of power tools, digger of rocks, obsessor of history, legends
collector, and butt of Dave's jokes)
In this Edition:
& Feature Stories
Featured Travel Destination - Santa
Fe, New Mexico
The Old West - The Ghost of Jesse James?
Ghostly Legends -
The Origin of Halloween
Featured Product - Old West Books
Exclusive Newsletter Special
- Discount Coupon
More to See:
Facebook Fan Page - Daily posts and photos.
Flicker Photo Page - A growing gallery of our travel photos.
Legends of America Hits
the Highway - Our
blog when we travel.
New Additions and Feature
lot of our new stuff is about pieces of
Route 66 that we hadn't written about before including 66
Alignments in Illinois, as well as updates to our existing articles. You
will now see
Pre-1930 Segment of Route 66 - Chatham
to Staunton, Illinois, as well as,
Auburn - Home of Brick 66,
Chatham - Small Town
Charm in a Springfield Burb,
Virden and the Coal Mine Wars,
Thayer - Working the
Northern Mines, Girard - Still Keepin'
the Pace, and
and Funks Grove - Maple Sirup Country. Hold tight, there will be lots
more plus updates to the many
that we've already written about, such as
and Juliet of the Plains,
Litchfield, and bunches more.
we even left on our trip, I had already gotten a bunch of new
articles up especially about the
ghost towns of Death Valley. I knew there were a bunch, but, OMG, there are
dozens. Can't wait to make that trip. Maybe next year. Like a dog
with a bone, I just kept checking and digging for more and more
information and I'm still not done. However, you will already find
lots here including the
Mining District of Nevada, Swindle at the Gold Bar Mine,
Rise and Fall of
Cerro Gordo, California,
"Shorty" Harris - Single Blanket Jackass
California - A
Ashford Mine and Mill in
You'll also find
a couple more Old West tales including Disease & Death Comes to the Plains Indians. One of the earliest documented
disease pandemics in the history of the
West took place when Anglo-European settlers moving westward
during the 1830's and 1840's brought diseases to the
of the Great Plains. Saloon Cowboys
tells about how the
Old West made them the icon that they are today.
Ghost Towns Reveal Hidden Tales of Old West
Ghost towns, from mining camps to
windblown prairie farms and settlements, hide tales of days gone by throughout
the Old West.
Last, but, not
least, we're making several changes and additions to the
Legends' General Store including expanding our
while continuing to drastically reduce the price of
other categories. Our plan is to eventually offer the best
selection of books available for the
and eliminate the other groups. Expansion of our
Old West books will continue to include
Ghost Town, and
You will also start seeing numerous new offerings
Signs and lots of new photos in our
Photo Print Shop.
Last month we also added
Historic Maps on CD,
part of a new Digital History section that we will also be adding
many products to. Stay tuned.
Never moon a werewolf.
and the world thinks you're an idiot.
Witch's Parking - All Others Will Be Toad.
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Santa Fe, New Mexico -
Established in 1607,
Santa Fe is the second oldest city founded by European
colonists in the United States. Only St. Augustine, Florida is
older. It's long history of
Indians, Spanish, Mexicans, and pioneers have led the city to be
one of the most haunted in America. Furthermore, the city was
built over an abandoned Tanoan
Indian village where no doubt,
Indian burial grounds might be found beneath the city's depths.
is one of the few
cities that offers a full schedule of "ghost tours" and "ghost walks"
year around, with as many as five operators conducting tours from
historic plaza. These tours primarily focus on the ten block
historic area of
featuring such places as the La Posada and La Fonda Hotels, the Grant
Corner Inn, Palace of Governors, the oldest house in the nation, and
other historic buildings. Some tours also include
area superstitions, as well
history of vigilantes, gunfights, murders and
Whether you take a tour or stumble upon
its many ghosts on your own, here are are a few of
Street - Reportedly a headless horseman
haunts this street, riding his horse down to the
Santa Fe River. Brandishing a sword, it is said the he lost his head to two Spanish
witches, after complaining about a love potion they gave him. Most often this headless cowboy is sighted near the riverbank.
Casa Real Health Care Center
- At this senior health-care facility at 501 Galisteo Street,
employees, patients and visitors have complained of strange happenings
ever since the facility was built in 1985. Constructed over the
site of an old penitentiary graveyard next to another haunted
building, most people say that an oppressive, uncomfortable feeling
emanates from this building. Others have reported strange colds
spots moving throughout the rooms and unexplained moaning is often
heard in the north and south wings.
Grant Corner Inn
Just a few steps off
Santa Fe's historic Plaza sits the historic
Grant Corner Inn. The house was originally built in 1905 by a couple
new to the
Santa Fe area. Unfortunately for the young
couple, shortly after they built their new home, a sickly son was born who
required constant attention. To make matters worse, the woman's
husband died shortly thereafter. The young mother soon remarried a
man who was said to have not been a very nice person. Over the
years, child continued to get worse and the mother threw herself into
caring for the young boy. During this time, visitors to the home
would often report hearing the young boy crying and banging on the walls
of his upstairs room while his mother was downstairs visiting. Confined to a wheel
chair, the boy was said to have continually rolled too close to the
stairway, tumbling down, wheel chair and all, to the landing below. The child finally died of his ailments and the woman and her husband moved
Afterwards, when the
house was empty, neighbors would often report seeing lights in the
upstairs room that had belonged to the boy. When someone finally
purchased the house, the new owners reported hearing noises in the child's
room, as if he was still there. Today the house has been converted
into a Bed and Breakfast.
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Ghost of Jesse James? -
James was still alive, America already loved him, for in him,
there was adventure in an otherwise dull, slowly-turning-scientific age.
Late in America's second century, the man rebelled against a society that
he didn't like and became a folk hero. In the mid 1860's
journalists, eager to entertain Easterners with tales of the
exaggerated and romanticized the gang's heists.
James was touted as
being the modern day Robin Hood because it was said that he robbed from the rich and was
kind to the poor.
At the time, his exploits
were relished by those who could do no more than fantasize about
living such an adventurous life. This obviously remains true today, as
thousands of people are intrigued by not only
James, but by the
many outlaws who carved out the western frontier.
However, while Jesse was many things,
including being a sometimes kind man, a dapper dresser, and a prankish
charmer, he was also a cold-blooded murderer, robber, horse thief,
racist, and terrorist. He and his gang were very dangerous men.
should come as no surprise that the
James Farm in Kearney,
is said to be haunted. Given the violent
temperament of some of its inhabitants, the untimely death of
James, the violence that occurred on the property, and the tragic
Jesse's younger half-brother Archie, it would be more astonishing
to hear that the property had no tales of ghostly activity.
Frank James were raised in this house by their mother
Zerelda, who was married to three different husbands and bore eight
children. It was here that
James was whipped as a teenager by Union militia who strung up his
stepfather and burned nearby farms.
It was also here that Zerelda
watched as her son Archie was murdered by
detectives in an attack where she lost her right hand. After
Jesse was killed, he was
buried here, where she could protect the grave from trespassers or
souvenir hunters. Later, his body was re-interred at the Mount Olivet
Cemetery in Kearney,
Family Farm has said to have been haunted for more than a century. Evidently home to a number of lingering spirits, lights are said to
move about both inside and outside of the property buildings. Others report hearing the sounds of pounding hooves, muffled shots and
cries that are reminiscent of the area history, dating back to events
Did you know that the U.S. National
Capitol is allegedly haunted?? Read about it
What our readers are saying about Legends
I enjoy the art and history of these places.
Please remain educating on the wonders of art and life to the youth
today!! - Lindsey, Oklahoma
I hope to use it for more of my history projects. -- Caleb,
I was just there in your beautiful country. This is the real deal.
Nice people and landscape. -- Norbert, Germany
This is a most informative web site and gives plenty of information
on the subject that I was interested in. - Brenda, Bermuda
Thank you for all your hard work regarding this
website. Very moreish.
-- Elizabeth, Bristol, England
I love your page. I have lived in Wyoming all my life until I moved
to KCMO and I had no idea of some of the history in Wyoming that you
had found. Thank you for taking your time to put this together. --
Thanks for maintaining such a succinct, clean, and one-stop
site for these great
treasures of American lore and history. - Artur,
I was delighted to find your
site and it has been a
great pleasure to work with you. It truly is as unbiased and
informative as a site
like this can be. Kathy is a visionary and the "hobby" is a
very informative tool for the traveler and history buff. - Dale,
of Halloween - One of the
oldest holidays still celebrated, this seemingly bizarre tradition
originated hundreds of years ago with the Celtic people of pre-medieval
Europe. The Celts were were a diverse group of tribal societies of the
Iron Age and Roman-era Europe, which are thought to have originated in
Austria about 800 BC. All speaking some version of the Celtic language, by
450 BC, the culture had expanded across Europe.
Celts of Ireland, Britain, and France divided their year into halves: the
"light half," roughly consisting of the spring and summer months when days
are longer, and the "dark half," consisting of the autumn and winter
months when days are shorter and nights are longer.
The Celts celebrated the end
of the light half with the festival of "Samhain," which roughly
translated to "summer's end" in the old Irish language. It was regarded as
the "Celtic New Year," which not only celebrated the end of harvest and
the beginning of a new year, but also, honored the dead. During this time,
the ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the
Otherworld became thin, which would allow both harmless and evil spirits
to pass through and roam the streets and villages.
The event was celebrated with
bonfires, feasts, and many superstitions. Following the Roman conquest of
Britain, British Celts adopted the Julian calendar and fixed the date of
Samhain's observance to November 1st. The evening before was referred to
as All Hallows Eve, from which, the name "Halloween" comes from. To honor
their ancestors and ensure that next year's crops would be plentiful,
treats and gifts were left out for their spirits the night before. To ward
off harmful spirits, the Celts wore costumes, masks, veils, or blackened
their faces, and also left gifts in hopes of pacifying them. These customs
evolved into trick-or-treating. The event also was marked by taking stock
of food supplies and slaughtering livestock for winter stores. The
bonfires played a large part in this tradition, as people and their
livestock would often walk between two fires as a cleansing ritual.
While the holiday began
strictly as a Celtic festival, aspects of Roman religion were incorporated
into its observance over the four centuries of Roman rule in Britain
(43-410 AD). One of these is the tradition of bobbing for apples and
making candied apples, in honor of the Roman goddess of fruit trees and
gardens -- Pamona. As Christianity spread throughout the world, pagan
holidays were either Christianized or forgotten. Halloween continued as it
is the evening before All Saints Day, which was created by Christians to
convert pagans, and is celebrated on November 1st. The Catholic church
honored saints on this designated day.
In the early days of the United States, many
settlers came from England, Ireland, and Scotland, brining their
traditions and beliefs with them. Other immigrant groups added their own
cultural influences including witchcraft, voodoo beliefs, black cats and
more. The event was celebrated differently in various areas with barn
dances, parades, firecrackers, and more superstitions.
in American History
October 2, 1968 -
Redwood National Park was established.
October 3, 1863 - President Abraham Lincoln
issued a proclamation designating the last Thursday in November as
October 5, 1813 - Shawnee Indian Chief Tecumseh was defeated and killed
War of 1812.
October 6, 1927 - The first "talkie" opened in New York.
October 8, 1871 - The Great Fire of Chicago erupted.
October 12, 1492 - Christopher Columbus made his first landfall in the New
World in the Bahamas.
October 13, 1792 - The cornerstone of the White House was laid by George
October 24, 1861 - The first transcontinental
telegram in America was sent from San Francisco to Washington DC.
October 24, 1931 - Chicago gangster "Scarface" Al Capone was sentenced to
11 years in jail for Federal income tax evasion.
October 26, 1881 - The shoot-out at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona,
occurred between the feuding Clanton and Earp families.
October 28, 1919 - Prohibition began in the U.S. with the passage of the
National Prohibition Act.
October 31, 1941 - Mount Rushmore National Memorial was completed after 14
years of work.
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Legends of America
A Travel Guide for the
Nostalgic & Historic Minded
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