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Legends Letter

November, 2005

 Kathy Weiser

Yikes, yikes, yikes.  Thanksgiving is already past and it's time for Christmas shopping!!

I feel like I've haven't even caught up from Halloween and all the spook stories, and now the holidays are upon us!

 

Speaking of spook stories, thanks to all of you who participated in our Most Haunted poll.  Now, you'll find all kinds of tales on those places that you think are the most haunted in the American West.

 

For Most Haunted Cities in the American West, ya'll say that Tombstone is the most haunted with San Antonio, Texas coming in a close second.  Here are the full results:

  1. Tombstone, Arizona

  2. San Antonio, Texas

  3. Denver, Colorado

  4. St. Louis, Missouri

  5. Hollywood, California

  6. Cheyenne, Wyoming

  7. San Diego, California

  8. Seattle, Washington

  9. Albuquerque, New Mexico

  10. Tucson, Arizona

And, for Most Haunted Places in the American West:

  1. The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas

  2. The Queen Mary, Long Beach, California

  3. Lemp Mansion in St. Louis, Missouri

  4. St James Hotel , Cimarron, New Mexico

  5. Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, California

  6. Whaley House, San Diego, California

  7. Pike Place Market , Seattle, Washington

  8. Bullock Hotel, Deadwood, South Dakota

  9. San Antonio Train Tracks, Texas

  10. Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, California

Read about these haunted places plus a whole bunch more by visiting our Ghostly Legends pages.

 

Here's something you've all been asking for - Vintage Photographs of the Old West!  Well, maybe not everyone, but I get dozens of emails asking where I found the photos, can they get copies, prints, etc.  Now, you can at our new online Photo Print Shop.  These ship fast - great idea for the hard to buy-for history buff!  See more at right.

 

On a personal note, can I toot my horn for a minute?  I'm celebrating one whole year of being unemployed!!  Ok, well Legends of America is not exactly eating bonbons and watching soap operas everyday -- 'specially when you consider it's a "one man show."  But, it's still a struggling "new" business and sometimes I wonder how I made it for a full year.  But, I did it!!!  And, I'm never, never, ever going back to a "real job!"

 

In the meantime, I'm sure you'all have just as busy a month coming up as we do.  Thanksgiving saw us in the panhandle of Texas .  Next we have a Christmas party in Newport Beach, California, then Dave's son's wedding here in Kansas City, and a short stay at the Great Wolf Lodge here in the hometown over the holidays.  Stay tuned for more updates and tales of our travels.  P.S.  Dave and I have set a date for the wedding - July 1st next summer!!

 

Happy holidays to all of you!!!

 

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

 

Vintage Photos of the Old West

 

The Queen Mary in Longbeach, California

 

Questions From Our Readers

 

Featured Book - Eldorado: The California Gold Rush

 

The Dodge City Gang

 

Glen Rio - A Route 66 Casualty

 

 

Coming Next Month:

 

Back on the Outlaw Trail

Ghost Towns of California

Endless American Folklore

More Route 66 Ghosts

 

 

Camera - Vintage Photos Icon Legends of America Photo Print Gallery

Vintage Photographs of the Old West - From our personal Photo Print Shop, you can now order prints that provide dramatic glimpses into the rich heritage of the American West. From notorious outlaws, to Indian Chiefs, buffalo roaming the range, and pioneers on the trail, this varied collection grows daily.

    

      

 

Also see prints for:

 

Ghost Towns

Route 66

Scenic Views

Very Reasonable Pricing:

  • 3.5x5 and 4x6 prints - $2.99
  • 5x7 print - $7.99
  • 8x10 print - $10.99

SHIPS FAST!

New Additions to Legends of America

 

 

Well, for those of you that know me, and even those that don't, but have been reading the website and the newsletter for a while, you know that I tend to be a little obsessed sometimes.  It's like, I start one story and ohmagosh, it keeps going and going and going.  So, this latest obsession began when I wanted to write up some Fun Facts & Trivia for Washington state.   Did you know that it is against the law to ride an ugly horse in Wilbur, Washington ? Ok, well I figured I'd do California Fun Facts too -- some informational facts and a lot of trivial stuff like living with the knowledge that in Arcadia, California, peacocks have the right of way to cross any street.  I'm enamored with useless facts and trivia.  Anywho, while looking up California trivia, I just kept bumping into Hollywood, movie stars, and famous people.  So, the next thing ya know, I've got Celebrity Facts, Entertainment Trivia,!

 

Enough of that silliness!  I promised you some related stories for the nominations and winners of the Haunted Poll, so you'll see new tales on Haunted Denver, including the Brown Palace Hotel and the Ghosts of Cheesman Park; Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington; and ghostly apparitions in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Certainly, I couldn't forget that road of all roads - Route 66 More 66 Ghosts, including the Hotel Weatherford in Flagstaff , the Navajo County Courthouse in Holbrook, Arizona , and the Haunting of the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa , Oklahoma .

 

For our treasure hunting enthusiasts,  I found a couple of Oregon tales, including the Lost Blue Bucket Mine and the Cursed Treasure of Columbia City.  Even if you're not a treasure hunter, these tales often provide glimpses of the Old West .  Stay tuned, more to come on Oregon Treasures!

 

Last but not least, and living up to our name, we have added a whole new section entitled Legends, Myths & Campfire Tales of the  American West.  Here, you'll find legends of sea monsters, headless horsemen, ghosts, Indian tales, and more! The folklore of the West is endless, so this will, no doubt, go on for a while, but here's just a few stories to start: the Phantom Train of Marshall Pass, the Storied Waters of Oregon, and Riders of the Desert

 

 

What our readers are saying about Legends of America:

 

 

I'm writing a video script about a high-level executive (from Montana) who's retiring.  Your site is invaluable, brilliant really.  Thanks so much.  - John

I love the website it is very informative and for a history nut like myself who is stuck in an office most of the time, it is a godsend. One day I plan to visit some of the locations you have mentioned here and I will report back any findings! Thanks for such a wonderful sight. - Amanda from Florida

Just wanted to say that i loved the artwork on this page.  - Lynne from North Wales

I enjoyed your site.  Very informative and brings back many pleasant memories of my long ago travels on Route 66, America's Highway to the West.  Thank you. - Nikos from Pennsylvania

 

 

Tell us what you think!

View our guestbook 

 

Featured Travel Destination 

 

 

The Queen Mary in Long Beach, California

 

Coming in at #2 of our most haunted places in the American West is the HMS Queen Mary in Longbeach, California.  Some even say that this luxury ocean liner turned hotel and museum, just might be one of most haunted places in the world

 

Beginning her life as one of the fastest trans-Atlantic ships of her time in 1936, her luxurious accommodations soon attracted the likes of Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, David Niven, Mary Pickford, George and Ira Gershwin, and Sir Winston Churchill, just to name a few.

 

However, just three years after her maiden voyage, in 1939, World War II broke out, bringing an immediate stop to her luxurious cruises.  Soon, the luxury liner was "drafted" into the war and re-outfitted as a troopship, where she would carry some  800,000 troops and travel more than 600,000 miles before the war ended.

 

In 1947, she once again continued her glamorous cruises, but within years, air travel replaced ocean liners as the favored choice of travelers.  The Queen Mary hung on until 1967, when she was purchased by the city of Long Beach, California, for use as a maritime museum and hotel.

 

Today, the Queen Mary, though fully restored, retains its vintage decor of the past.  And, that's not the only thing it retains.  Reportedly, some 150 ghosts continue to wander on this historic ship.  Some of these spirits allegedly remain just to continue their good times, while others seemingly relive more tragic pieces of their past.

 

Whether looking for a ghost or a glimpse at the vintage past, the Queen Mary is a "must see" if your in the Los Angeles area.

 

 

Questions From Our Readers

 

Could you please tell me what the word "high-grader" means? That is the label that Mr. Wolcott gives the hired German and Cornish miners in the television series Deadwood and which seems to refer to their stealing of Mr. Hearst's gold but I can't seem to find this word in any dictionaries.

 

******************

 

Answer:  In the mining camps of the Old West , a "high-grader" was a man who appropriated any big nuggets which he saw in the sluice boxes.  Alternately, a "pennyweighter," was a miner who stole only very small amounts.

How did you come across this name?

Answer:  The website started as a personal page.  When I wanted to upgrade to a full blown site I just started thinking about what I was writing about and tried several different names to see if they were available.  Walla!  -- Legends of America!

 

Featured Guides and Books

 

 

Eldorado by Dale L. WalkerEldorado - The California Gold Rush by Dale L. Walker
With the exception of the call to arms in the North and South in 1861, no moment of nineteenth-century America was more electrifying than the shout, "GOLD ON THE AMERICAN RIVER!" first heard in San Francisco in the spring of 1848. Within a year, tens of thousands of dreamers from around the world were making their way to the vast territory on the Pacific. All routes to San Francisco, gateway to the goldfields, were lengthy---six months on average---arduous, and dangerous: over land from the
Missouri frontier and across the Rockies and Sierra Nevada; through the fever jungles of Panama to the Pacific; or 15,000 sea miles around Cape Horn. Click HERE to find out more about this book.

 

Bumper Sticker Wisdom

 

 Guns don't kill people, drivers with cell phones do.

 

The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.

 

Is it too late to be good?

The Old West

 

 

The Dodge City Gang of New Mexico

 

Though one might think to find a notorious group of desperadoes known as the "Dodge City Gang" somewhere in southwest Kansas, that wasn't the case in the summer of 1879. Called the Dodge City Gang because so many of its members had earned reputations for violent behavior in the western cow towns of Kansas, the group "conveniently" arrived in Las Vegas, New Mexico at a time when law in the the fledgling city was virtually non-existent.

 

It was the first year that Santa Fe trains steamed into the territory, bringing with it a whole host of gamblers, ruffians, thieves and painted ladies.  Arriving along with the rest of the unsavory characters, the Dodge City Gang soon set themselves up as the new "law" in town, with a character named Hyman G. "Hoodoo Brown" Neill, acting as Justice of the Peace.  Hand- picking his peace-officers, the "law" in Las Vegas, comprised of John Joshua (J.J.) Webb, "Mysterious Dave" Mather, Joe Carson, and "Dirty Dave" Rudabaugh, who were, in actuality, as lawless as the rest.

 

The Dodge City Gang soon became firmly in control of a criminal cartel, policing the railroad terminus for new arrivals and terrorizing the city for the next two years. During this time,  numerous stages and trains were robbed, organized cattle rustling was rampant, and the gang used their "authority" to lynch those that opposed them. In one month alone, some 29 men were killed in the Las Vegas area.

 

The crime rate became so bad, it prompted Miguel Otero, the New Mexico Territorial Governor, to declare:

 

"They are as tough a bunch of bad men as ever gathered outside a penal institution."

By April, 1880, Las Vegas had had enough and formed a Vigilance Committee, who threatened to hang anyone found breaking the law.  The Dodge City Gang scattered and Las Vegas finally settled down.

 

 

From Legends' General Store

Postcard-O-Mania - Literally, thousands of postcards from across the U.S. See Route 66, the Old West, Native Americans, and all the states.

    Route 66 Postcard    

 

Ghost Towns

 

 

Glenrio - One More Route 66 Casualty

Straddling the border between Texas and New Mexico is the forgotten ghost town of Glenrio.  Once a monument along the boom and bust highway of Route 66, it now remains home to only the critters and the blowing tumble weeds of the vast prairie.

In 1901 the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad came through the area and two years later Glenrio was born.  The name Glenrio, which stems from the English word "valley” and the Spanish word for river, is neither in a valley nor along a river. 

 

By 1920 Glenrio had a hotel, a hardware store, and a land office, as well as several grocery stores, service stations, and cafes. A newspaper, the Glenrio Tribune, was published from 1910 to 1934.  There were no bars on the Texas side of the community, since Deaf Smith County was dry, and no service stations on the New Mexico side because of that state's higher gasoline tax.

 

During the prosperity of the 1920s politicians and entrepreneurs decided that America needed a national highway system, and a decade later Route 66 was born. In 1938, just months after the final pavement through Llano Estacado (the Staked Plains) terrain of Route 66 was finished, John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath was filmed in Glenrio for three weeks.

 

In 1955, the small town suffered a severe blow when the Rock Island Depot was closed.  But, the town was doomed to extinction when Interstate 40 was built, bypassing the small community. 

 

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

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Trouble With Links Opening?

 

I've gotten several emails lately that when readers click on links or pictures, they don't seem to work.  I've had the same problem with my own website!!  The deal is - some links or enlarged photographs open in a new window.  This is so that you don't "get lost" and can't find your way back.  However, these days, the "pop-up" blockers are so good, they "block" even stuff that you do want to see.  Try using a control (CTRL)/click to open the links, or, better yet, turn your pop-up blocker "off" for this website.  We promise, Legends of America has NO "real" pop-up ads and never will!

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

This newsletter is copyrighted 2005 by Legends of America

Our reader's e-mail addresses are never sold, rented or

otherwise made public.

 

 

 

 

 

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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