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Legends Letter

December, 2006


Kathy Weiser

Eye, yie, yie, I've been remiss on these newsletters, so we've got a lot to catch up on -- unfortunately, at a time that nobody has any time. Nonetheless, here it is!! 


We've been super busy the last few months with growing the website - and oh my gosh is it growing! We're now have about 3,000 pages, 10,000 photographs and average about 9 million hits every month. Now, that's not visitors, but every time someone clicks on something on our site. Anyway -- it's a bunch! We've also been working real hard to expand our Photo Print Shop - one of the fastest growing areas on Legends of America. Here, you'll find a bucket load of new photos on everything from outlaws to lawmen, to the Civil War, ghost towns, historic places and more. These make great gift for the history buff and beautiful decorations for your home. Check them out HERE!


Plus the holidays always keep us busy shipping out a whole bunch of books and postcards. And so what do we do in the midst of all this business, but plan a two week vacation to Mexico. Crazy!!


Was thinking it would be a true "vacation" if I was out of the country and not tempted to go visit every little surrounding town, museum or historic site.  Plus, no fast speed internet, so how could I work?


Wished I woulda!!  Paradise was miserable!  I've been to Puerta Vallarta two times previously and loved it, but not anymore! Yes, it's still beautiful. Yes, it's still wonderful weather. Yes, I got a great tan. But....... not without someone trying to sell me a timeshare, a piece of jewelry, or a beach dress every single place we went!  There's not a restaurant, lounge, beach view, excursion, or any other destination that one can escape the constant onslaught of vendors loudly hawking their wares. Well, I guess I coulda stayed in the room the whole time. And, to top it off - nothing is cheaper there anymore, any more than it is right here at home!  Relieved when it was over, I just had to come back so I could get a vacation from our vacation!!


Nope, never again!  "working" as I tour Arizona or Montana, taking photographs in Colorado or Texas , visiting a museum in California or South Dakota -- now that's a vacation!!  More fun, more relaxing and besides, I'm too old for getting a tan!!


Anyway, we're back on U.S. soil and staying here!! Guess I better get busy with what I do best, huh?


Oh, yeah and Happy Holidays to all!!


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


The Old West


Featured Book


Ghosts & Mysteries



Bumper Sticker Wisdom 


When you do a good deed, get a receipt, in case heaven is like the IRS.


Reality? That's where the pizza delivery guy comes from!


If We Quit Voting, Will They All Go Away?


According to my calculations, the problem doesn't exist.



Cowboy in the Old West


New Additions to Legends of America


Since, it's been a while since our last update, you'll find tons of new stuff here - most notably -- on the Civil War . Now, what can I say about that important part of our history that hasn't already been said?  Nothing!


That's why, instead of rewriting what's already been written thousands of times, I've found some of the best and most interesting material from old books and newspapers, as well as information on specific campaign battles from the National Park Service and organized it here for your reading pleasure. And, of course, jazzed it up with great photographs.  Check out a few of these interesting articles: A Boy Soldier, Hardtack and Coffee, A Private in Battle, A Cavalry Raid, and The Guilty Deserter. You'll also find information on Civil War Battle Campaigns including the Gettysburg, Peninsula, and the Maryland Campaigns. You'll also find a Civil War Timeline to help you straighten out all those dates and Civil War Facts & Trivia for those of you that just want to skim the highlights.


Along with the Civil War , you'll also find updates to our Soldiers of American History which include several noteworthy men of the Civil War including Nathan Bedford Forrest, Ulysses S. Grant, "Stonewall" Jackson, Robert E. Lee, George B. McClellan, and many more.

And, this is just a start. Hold tight as keep filling in the gaps of this conflict that tore our nation apart. Of course, to go along with all the articles, you'll find bucket loads of new Civil War photographs available for photographic prints HERE!

You'll also find some "new" historic information on the building of the railroad across the West, including A Century of Railroad Building and Linking the Oceans By Railroad. Along with these tales, we've also added up a bunch of new Railroad Photographs.

For our many fans who are interested in our Ghostly Legends, check out these new articles: Sleeping With Ghosts in Arizona, Types of Ghosts, Haunted Hotel Colorado, and Awakening Psychic Ability and Mystical Experiences.

And, last but not least, we would never forget our Old West history buffs who will find a bit of Old West Wisdom, The Code of the West and more Words of the Old West; as well as lots of updates to our Women of the Old West including Mary Elizabeth Van Lew Bowser, an African-American spy for the Union; the "Unksinkable" Molly Brown; Lillie Langtry, the most famous stage name in the Old West ; and Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, who disguised herself as a man and fought in the Civil War.

Old West readers can also learn about the most popular gambling game of the times - Faro, or "Bucking the Tiger", as well as take a peek at our new Gamblin' In the Old West Gallery and Vintage Gambling Prints.

Well, I think that's enough "new" for now, so I'll be mosyin' on.



From Legends' General Store

Vintage Photographs of the Old West - From our personal Photo Print Shop, order prints that provide dramatic glimpses into the rich heritage of the American West.




Old West Factoids:


Surgeons never washed their hands or instruments after an operation during the Civil War.


Cowboys driving cattle to the market could expect to make between $25 and $40 per month.  A Trail Boss might make as much as $125 per month.


America’s first train robbery is believed to have occurred on October 6, 1855 in Jackson County, Indiana.  The two bandits, John and Simeon Reno, took $13,000 from the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad.



Featured Travel Destination 


Route 66 in Arizona


Grand CanyonWith winter setting in why not take a nice "long" leisurely drive down Arizona Route 66. The Grand Canyon State's ribbon of the Mother Road is one of the most picturesque along the entire route. From volcanoes, to painted deserts, to lush green forests, and snow topped mountains, your journey provides numerous scenic photograph opportunities as well as a wealth of history, great side trips, and a volume of Route 66 era icons.

Passing through this beautiful state provides you the opportunity to follow the trail of early pioneers and outlaws, see historic Indian ruins, visit ghost towns, and fill your bags with treasures from hundreds of historic trading posts along the way.

From the eastern border until you reach Seligman, Route 66 closely follows Interstate 40. From here, the old route veers away from I-40 on the longest unbroken original stretch of the Mother Road , taking you all the way to the California border.


This historic path will take you by the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest National Park before you come to Holbrook, where you can explore its notorious Old West days.  Onward, you'll come to a number of noted Route 66 icons such as the famous Jack Rabbit Trading Post at Joseph City, before you make sure to stand on the corner in Winslow, Arizona. Continuing to mosey on down the trail, you will soon spy the Meteor City Trading Post before running into the ghost towns of Two Guns and Canyon Diablo. Time to put your jacket on, you're climbing in elevation and in Flagstaff, you just might run into some snow.

At Williams, take a ride on the historic train on a side trip to the Grand Canyon, before continuing on to Seligman and a ghost town stretch of the old road. Stop at the Arizona Route 66 Association in Kingman before you put your cowboy boots back on and travel to the old mining camp of Oatman. Soon your headed south to Topock, where you will cross the Colorado River to enter the Golden State of California.


More on Arizona Route 66


What our readers are saying about Legends of America:


I stumbled on your site and had a wonderful relaxing couple of hours reading everything.  It was soo fun!  I just had to let you know.

--  Marianne


This is a fantastic site that really brings back memories. -- John


I just found your site by way of The Fence Post newspaper, out of Windsor, Colorado. I didn't know there is such a place as yours. I'll be visiting again, and often. -- Hal


All I can say is wow!! Really enjoyed my first visit to your website. Don't know how I missed it for so long. All of the content that I have had time to cover is really interesting and well written. Have put you in my favorites list and hope to come back often. -- John


Tell us what you think!

View our guestbook 

The Old West



Henry StarrHenry Starr -- The Cherokee Bad Boy


During his 32 years in crime Henry Starr robbed more banks than both the James-Younger Gang and the Doolin-Dalton Gang put together. He started robbing banks on horseback in 1893 and ended up robbing his last in a car in 1921.  The Cherokee Badman netted over $60,000 from more than 21 bank robberies.


His uncle was the notorious Sam Starr who was married to Belle Starr, the "Outlaw Queen.”  Belle Starr was widely known for her relationship with the notorious Younger Gang and her criminal escapades through Oklahoma. Henry though, reportedly was not fond of Belle, finding her to be crude and reprehensible, quickly informing anyone who commented on the relationship, that she was his aunt by marriage only.


By the age of sixteen, while Henry was working on a ranch near Nowata, in Indian Territory, he had his first run-in with the law.  As Henry was driving a wagon to town two deputy marshals caught him with whiskey and arrested him for "introducing spirits into territory."  Though he plead guilty to the offense, he maintained that he was innocent, having borrowed the wagon without knowing that the whiskey was in it.

Starr returned to Nowata and continued to work as a cowboy, but it wasn’t long before he had another run-in with the law.  In December 1891, he was arrested for stealing a horse, again he denied the charge, but was locked up at Fort Smith, Arkansas anyway.  His cousin paid his bail and Starr hit the road, with a warrant for his arrest hanging over his head. After jumping bail, Henry had made a conscious choice to live on the wrong side of the law.  The warrant for Starr's arrest was given to Deputy Marshals Henry C. Dickey and Floyd Wilson who were quickly on Henry's tail.

Joining up with Ed Newcome and Jesse Jackson, the gang began to rob stores and railroad depots.  Hitting their first railroad depot right where he lived, Starr and his gang relieved the Nowata Depot of $1,700 in July 1892.  In November 1892, they hit Shufeldts Store at Lenapah, Indian Territory taking $300 and in the same month robbed Carter’s Store in Sequoyah, Indian Territory making off with $180.

Starr and his friends soon moved on to bank robbery and over the next 28 years, Henry would rob some 21 banks. Though he would serve time in prison and end up making a movie of his life, Starr could not live the life an honest man for very long. On Friday morning, February 18, 1921, Henry and three companions drove into Harrison, Arkansas. They entered the People's State Bank and robbed it of $6000. During the robbery, Henry was shot in the back by the former president of the bank, and his partners fled, leaving him to face the music alone. He was carried to the jail where doctors removed the bullet.  Obviously proud of his record, he boasted to the doctors on Monday, February 21, 1921 "I've robbed more banks than any man in America."  The next morning he died.

Henry died as he had lived, in a violent manner, but true to the code of the outlaws, he never revealed a single partner in any crime.  He never shot anyone in the commission of a crime, and served his time in jail like a man. He had succeeded where others had failed by robbing two banks at once, and by robbing more banks than anyone else.

More ...


For our Treasure Hunting enthusiasts, some of Starr's stolen loot is said to be stashed somewhere along the Cimarron River in Stevens County, Kansas.  To read more about the hidden treasure, click HERE.


From Legends' General Store

Mother Road EmporiumRoute 66 - ah, what great memories she brings.  Well, at the Legends' General Store, you will find all kinds of memoriabelia to bring you more!  Our Mother Road Emporium  has added dozens of Route 66 Postcards, Books, Historic Signs, photographic prints and more.


Route 66 Framed Prints 




Old West Wisdom


Polishing your pants on saddle leather don't make you a rider.


Life is simpler when you plough around the stump.


Always drink upstream from the herd.


When you're throwing your weight around, be ready to have it thrown around by somebody else.


Never let your yearnin's' get ahead of your earnin's.



Featured Book:


Villains and Outlaws, by MacMillan Profiles

Villains and Outlaws is a unique reference featuring over one hundred profiles of notorious characters from antiquity to the present.


Ghosts & Mysteries



The Phantoms of Vallecito Stage Station - Not only is the Vallecito Stage Station in San Diego County, a California Historic Landmark, it is also reportedly haunted.


Located on the west side of the forbidding Colorado Desert, the name "Vallecito" means "Little Valley," which dates back to the times when the Spaniards were exploring this vast land.  The valley, with its natural spring and grasslands, was a welcome relief to travelers after crossing the desert, which they called "The Journey of Death."

Though a welcome relief after days of exhausting travel through the desert, the stage station also had its dark side.  Like numerous other places of the Old West, the station was witness to murder, robberies, and daily human miseries.

It is from this darker side, that the station allegedly became haunted by the spirits of those who had met their death there -- natural or otherwise.


One of the ghostly tales is the specter of the White Horse of Vallecito that allegedly began with a stage robbery long ago.

Usually appearing around midnight, the White Horse seemingly appears out of nowhere, before galloping through the sand and disappearing once again.

Two more ghosts who are said to lurk about the old stage station are two old Texas emigrants named Buck and Roland who were allegedly both killed in a duel with each other.

In the Carrizo Wash area there is supposedly a phantom stagecoach that has been spied numerous times over the last century.  Pulled by four mules, the ghostly stage lumbers along the old Butterfield Stage Road carrying no passengers but driven by a spectral figure.  

More ...


Did You Know? 


The deepest river gorge in the North American Continent is Idaho's Hells Canyon - 7,900 feet deep. Yes, it's deeper than the Grand Canyon.


If you are in a covered wagon in North Dakota , it is legal to shoot an Indian on horseback.


Located in a collapsed lave tube in New Mexico , the Bandera Ice Cave’s temperature never rises above freezing.  At the bottom of the 75 foot deep cave, the ice floor is 20 feet thick, believed to date back to 1100 B.C.



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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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