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Legends Letter

November, 2007


Kathy WeiserHoping everyone had a great turkey day and are ready for the holidays. This time of year moves so fast I can hardly keep up, plus trying to squeeze in some last minute travel. Probably time to start snuggling in and addin' more stuff to this continuously growing website.


I did get a chance to take a short trip right before Thanksgiving when I and a friend headed on over to spend the night at the Lemp Mansion in St. Louis, Missouri - one of the ten most haunted places in America. Well, I'm afraid I have no ghost stories to tell, only that I was a little disappointed in the stay. The place was very nice, but I think the timing was bad. We felt rushed from the time we arrived through dinner. Ahah, there was an employee party going on that night - explains the "ok, hurry up and eat attitude." But, all in all, it is a nice place and it was fun to explore the mansion. Just wished I'd seen a ghost!!


Then, we headed through St. Louis and on to Springfield, re-traveling that stretch of Missouri Route 66. This was a great trip --  got lots of new pictures to update our tales and met several wonderful people at our various Route 66 stops. The "adventure" only began when we made the mistake of staying at a Days Inn in Lebanon, Missouri. Not the typical adventure I usually write about, but since it rates in my top two worst lodging experiences in a lifetime of heavy travel - it was an adventure none the less.


Yes, yes, I should have stayed at the vintage Munger Moss Motel, but as you know, I need internet to do my business, and alas, they don't have it. So, one chain motel is more or less like the next, so check into the Days Inn we did. Long story short, I stepped into wet concrete (not posted or roped off and it was dark,) the key didn't work, light bulbs out of  two of the four lamps, no coffee, no shampoo or soap, yuck, yuck, yuck!. When I report the concrete mishap, the manager starts yelling at me. Two hours later kicks us out, stating all charges would be reversed. They weren't of course -- so now having to fight that. Oh, whine, whine, whine. Can I have some cheese, please? Anyway, long story, bad stuff - you can read the whole thing on my blog HERE if you're interested.


In the meantime, I truly hope you enjoy the newsletter and the website!!


Kathy Weiser, Owner/Editor





In this Edition: 


New Additions


Featured Travel Destination - Fort Griffin, Texas


The Old West - Railroad Tales


Featured Book - Great American Saloons


Native American Wisdom






"I've never hanged a man. It is the law that has done it." -- Judge Isaac Parker


New Additions to Legends of America



Though travel and holiday have kind of taken precedence, we still have quite a bit of new stuff for ya.


First, did you do the whole Black Friday thang? Yuck, yuck, I hate shopping at 10:00 o'clock in the morning on a Tuesday, much less when everyone and their dog is there. Shop internet! And, I'm trying to make it easier for your by adding up our new Legends Exclusive Products. I've been working on some of these graphic designs for over a year -- just needed an outlet to use them.


We've also got a bunch of new Route 66 products, including more whacked out bumper stickers, home & gift items, one of a kind prints and postcards, and more t-shirts!


These one-of-a-kind products are exclusive to Legends of America - you can't get them anywhere else! Even better, these are print-on-demand products. We'll even make you a custom design on bumper stickers, shirts, or anything else. Pick a photo, pick a phrase and zap us an email! You've still got time for Christmas -- but not much -- HURRY!


One of my biggest undertakings, maybe ever (as far as the website goes,) are new Route 66 Online Maps. Now, this project is just getting started - part of the reason for re-traveling the Missouri Route 66 piece, so you'll see just a few maps for Missouri right now. Using Google Maps, I've created detailed maps with every little nook and cranny turn as Route 66 zig zags over and under I-44, veers away, comes back, etc. You'll also find printed directions and listings of interesting Route 66 stops. Our Gray Summit to Cuba piece is the only one that is totally complete, including the maps and directions on-line, plus printable directions, and its own image gallery. This is the plan for the entire road. Give us some feedback!


This is "beta," if you will, as we test our own maps and directions, make updates, and expand beyond Missouri. Route 66 fans - help me out when you travel the old road and let me know where I've failed.


On another "path," I've added up a "brand new" section of the Old West - the railroad. Figuring prominently into every aspect of America’s Old West history the railroad involved ingenious entrepreneurs, armies of workers, and the ultimate conflicts with Native Americans and outlaws. Our new Railroad Tales includes bunches of vintage railroad photos, along history, including historical accounts such as A Century of Railroad Building, Completion of the Railroad, Indian Troubles During Construction, Linking the Oceans By Railroad, and Progress of the Railroad. I'm also searching out true railroad tales told in the 1800's - you'll find a couple to start -- Mormon Joe - The Robber and The Phantom Train of Marshall Pass. Hold tight as Railroad Tales continues to grow.


Before you move on, check out our Old West Insults and More Old West Wisdom - They said it best in the Old West!


Time to mosey.



Bumper Sticker Wisdom 


bumper stickers


My mind is like a steel trap: rusty, dangerous, and banned in 37 states.



Cowboys kick ass!


Did you know?......


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.


Las Vegas, New Mexico  provided 21 Rough Riders to Teddy Roosevelt in 1898, most of whom were at his side during the famed charge up San Juan Hill.


Featured Travel Destination 



Fort Griffin, TexasFort Griffin - Lawlessness on the Brazos - Though there is little left of old Fort Griffin and even less of the settlement that formed below the bluff,  Fort Griffin was one of the wildest places in all of the Old West. Built on the rolling hills between the West Fork of the Trinity River and Clear Fork of the Brazos River, the area was a dangerous place as settlers made their way into Texas, conflicting with the Plains Indians who had long called the area their exclusive hunting grounds. Though Forts Belknap, Phantom Hill and Camp Cooper had already been built in the 1840’s, they were not enough to protect new settlers. However, the Civil War interrupted any additional fort building until it was over. Then, after the Civil War was finally over, the government began to build forts once again, including Fort Griffin and Richardson. 


When more and more people continued to arrive, Indian attacks increased across northern Texas, keeping the soldiers busy in what was called the Red River Campaign, the battles of which continued until 1874, when the Texas Army defeated the Kiowas and Comanches at Palo Duro Canyon.


In the meantime, the settlement below the hill was bustling with buffalo hunters, business men, cowboys, outlaws, gamblers, gunfighters, and "painted ladies,” quickly gaining a reputation for lawlessness. Some of these many people would later become well-known in the annals of history, including Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp, who first met in Fort Griffin. Also there were Big Nose Kate; famous lady gambler, Lottie Deno; lawman, Pat Garrett, and gunfighter, John Wesley Hardin. "Marshaling” the lawless town was outlaw/lawman John M. Larn as sheriff, and his deputy, John Selman who, in the mid 1870’s, were working both sides of the law by controlling the vigilantes and rustling cattle. John Larn; however, would be killed by those same vigilantes inside his own jail in Fort Griffin. Selman, on the other hand, quickly disappeared and almost two decades later would kill John Wesley Hardin. During these lawless times, the settlement was so decadent that it was labeled "Babylon on the Brazos.”


More ...



What our readers are saying about Legends of America:


I got to reading your material and forgot what I was looking for. This stuff is amazing. This website is a 5 star site. - Eva, Missouri


I never knew ghosts were so interesting until I read  the list of facts. - Keisha,


This site is easy to navigate, & really fascinating.  Thanks for a terrific site. -- Ann


I was inspired to research, Legends Of America, because of the Kansas/Missouri football game being played this week. Two states that had some serious issues in the 1800's. I am very impressed with all of the information presented.  It is as good as reading a novel. - Linus, Nebraska    


I enjoyed talking to you and thank again for the most wonderful website on the net!!!! - John


The Old West



Railroad TalesRailroad Tales - Figuring prominently into every aspect of America’s Old West history is the railroad. Involving ingenious entrepreneurs, armies of workers, and the ultimate conflicts with Native Americans and outlaws, railroad history and tales are yet another fascinating aspect of westward expansion.

Beginning in the 1830’s, the nation realized the need to connect the east with the Pacific coast, shortly after the railroads began large scale operations. The first survey for a transcontinental railroad system was made in 1849-50 by Howard Stansbury, who surveyed a route through the Black Hills and south of Salt Lake City.

Further measures where taken in March of 1853, when Congress approved a survey by the War Department. Seeing the future, George Pullman began building sleeping cars as early as 1858. 

But Congress would dally for another four years, debating the route the transcontinental railroad should be built, until finally it approved the passage of the Pacific Railway Act in 1862, authorizing the building of the transcontinental railroad westward from Omaha, Nebraska by the Union Pacific Railroad and eastward from Sacramento, California, by the Central Pacific Railroad. The act further provided loans for the building of the railroad, as well as sections of public land, ultimately resulting in the railroad companies acquiring 33 million acres of free land.

Because of the Civil War beginning, the building of the railroad was initially slow due to lack of investors; however, when the war was over, it began in earnest.



Railroad Tales includes historical accounts of the building of the transcontinental railroad, as well as the legends and lore of the 19th century railroad.



Railroad Superstitions::


It is bad luck to begin a journey by train on a Sunday.


Always lift your feet when you ride over a rail road track for good luck


Never sweep out a caboose after dark.


From Legends' General Store

Camera - Vintage Photos IconVintage Photographs of Railroads & Depots - From our personal Photo Print Shop, you can now order prints that provide dramatic glimpses into the rich heritage of the railroad and its part in the history of the American West.

    vintage railroad prints   vintage railroad prints  


Native American Wisdom



Native American Proverbs:


Blackfoot Indian and TeepeeIt is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand. - Apache 


They are not dead who live in the hearts they leave behind. - Tuscarora


Before eating, always take time to thank the food. - Arapaho


A brave man dies but once, a coward many times. - Tribe Unknown.


A good chief gives, he does not take. - Mohawk


It is easy to be brave from a distance. - Omah


Cherish youth, but trust old age. - Pueblo


The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives. - Sioux


Take only what you need and leave the land as you found it. - Arapaho


The way of the troublemaker is thorny. - Umpqua


Native American Proverbs Calendar HERE!


Come on!!! .... Give my book for Christmas!!


Featured Book:

Great American Bars and Saloons by Kathy WeiserGreat American  Saloons

By Kathy Weiser


My first venture into the publishing world takes you into the many watering holes of America's past, particularly the numerous saloons that sprouted up during our nation's Wild West days. Hardcover, 2006, 224 Pages. Signed by ME!! Check it out HERE!


Free eNewsletter


Our eNewsletter features articles on the Old West, travel destinations, ghostly legends, and subscriber only specials from our Legends' General Store.




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

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Kathy Weiser







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