and neighbors, hoping all of you are having the greatest of holiday
seasons, and wishing you a wonderful new year.
As usual, I'm
combining November and December's
newsletters - it just gets too busy
this time of year to keep up. And, I've been inundated with the "must
dos" required of any small business -- unfortunately keeping me away
from doing the stuff I like best -- writing and traveling. Instead, I've
been shipping packages, took a quick trip to
Texas for Thanksgiving,
preparing for holiday guests, and
boringly consumed with transitioning some 5,000
postcards to a new
shopping cart that provides you with a choice of Google Checkout or Paypal. This
is kind of a test, to see if you like it better, though I haven't seen a
large difference so far. In the meantime, this transition also expanded
our postcard offerings to include every state in the Union with hundreds
of new postcards never offered before. Check them out!
On a more creative note, I've also been
designing a new line of our own
custom postcards. These unique
incorporate a 'lil bit of my own artistic abilities, along with
photos, and many of our own pictures taken throughout our travels. Take
a look and I would love to hear some feedback from
I've been pretty focused on
Route 66 and the
Old West, but am expanding
out to "Greetings From ..." each state, and whatever else
you might like.
And, as to the
postcards, Dave is calling me a "postcard
nut!!." Yes, I can be a little obsessive-compulsive and I did have
postcards stacked up in three rooms all over the @*#*! He's right about the
"mania," but he also just likes to have a good laugh at me. Hehehe!
with all these mundane business tasks, you won't see a lot of new
material recently, but rest easy, the new year is just around the
I've also been working on a custom line of of small books
which will incorporate much of the writing here, historical texts, and
photographs. Look for those in the early part of 2009, as well as a
bunch of other new titles as we expand our book offerings.
Ok, enough of the tedious - on to more interesting
In the meantime, I truly hope you enjoy the
newsletter and the website!!
Kathy Weiser, Owner/Editor
In this Edition:
& Feature Stories
Featured Travel Destination - Tombstone,
The Old West
- George Maledon - Prince of the Hangmen
Ghostly Legends -
Hell Dogs of Eldorado Canyon
Featured Book - Route 66 Map Series
New Additions and Feature
Well, I did get time to add a little new material, but not nearly
on the scale as usual, so I'll also "re-run" a couple of interesting older
After a reader brought an error to my attention on
Younger Brothers, I decided that I just hadn't given
them proper attention, simply having grouped them with the others on the
List, so you'll see an expansion on these lawless dudes and their capers.
To our endless lists - I have once again been expanding on
West Forts, and you will now see feature stories on
Fort Supply and
as well as More
Oklahoma Fort Summaries including
Fort Towson and
We've got a new section on
Cowboy Songs & Frontier Ballads.
I just love these old jingles that tell the story of the
Old West, sometimes with eloquence and sometimes with
cowboy lingo. Check out just a
few of these:
The Cowboy's Dream,
San Antonio Rose,
and dozens more.
I also rustled up a few more frontier characters
including the fascinating story of
Albert Jennings Fountain,
a soldier, lawyer and politician who, after making a number of enemies during
his career went missing, along with his 8 year-old son, in the desert of
His mysterious disappearance has been the subject of many a writer and
investigator, but yet today, remains unsolved.
Adding yet another "bad boy" to our long list of
outlaws, you'll see
"Doc” Middleton - The King
of Horse Thieves.
Leading a horse thieving gang
known as the Pony Boys,
Doc Middleton probably stole more
horses in his time than any other
And, on the "white hat" side of
Old West , is
Daniel Boone May, a shotgun
messenger on the
who, in the line of duty,
killed several stage robbers in the 1870s and built, for himself, a fierce
reputation as not a man to contend with.
I also dug up an old article
which was actually a chapter in a book entitled The
Red-Blooded Heroes of the Frontier by Edgar
Beecher Bronson, written in 1910. Shoot, just the title was
enough to get my brain a itchin'.
On another note, let's revisit an old article called
Old Time Cures & Remedies. Recently, I had a bad bout with a
wicked head and chest cold and I'm tellin' ya, I was so desperate I might just
of tried some of these crazy cures. Thank goodness I didn't, cuz I'm still here
to write about it. Imagine, gargling with cow dung, or packing sheep droppings
around your neck. Really, don't try these remedies. They're funny but
And last, but not last, take a
peek an at old-time
Pioneer Christmas, where, in some places was not so different than today, but
from "civilized" life -- pioneers,
explorers, and mountain men, usually
celebrated Christmas with homemade gifts and humble fare.
On a final note, some of ya'll have been tellin' me
that you want to know me better and here's a way --
Facebook -- No, it isn't just for teenagers. In fact, I recently connected
with one of my oldest and dearest friends that I had lost track of for 25 years.
Great fun! Meet my friends and family - just look up "Kathy Weiser" and request
to be "my friend."
Ok, moving on ...
The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad
There is no shortcut to anywhere worth going
As long as there are tests,
there will be prayer in public schools.
Drive Home a Point!
An angry bull is less
dangerous than an angry woman.
Speak your mind,
but ride a fast horse.
Letting the cat
out of the bag is a whole lot easier than putting it back in.
Tumbleweeds are best left to themselves.
Never let your yearnin's' get ahead of your earnin's.
Featured Travel Destination
Tombstone - The Town Too
Tough To Die
As I stare out the window at the drizzling sleet and shiver at the
plunging temperature gauge, I can only dream of warm places and re-live
fond memories. And, immediately, one of my most favorite destinations
comes to mind --
Arizona. Filled with
ghostly legends, and high temperatures, I
wonder what Christmas looks like in the
One of the most lawless mining camps in the
was soon dubbed "The Town Too Tough to Die.”
The mining camp was born when a
prospector named Ed Schieffelin looked out on the mountains from where
he stood at Camp Huachuca,
Arizona. Thinking that
the rich colors of the mountains looked like a promising place to
prospect, he commented on this to a nearby soldier. However, the
soldier was quick to warn him that the area was controlled by
and responded him "All you'll find in those hills is your tombstone."
However, Schieffelin was not deterred,
and the next year, in February 1878, he set out to hills alone in
search of his fortune. After hiding for two nights from the
Apaches he spied what looked like it might be a silver vein on a
ledge high above his hiding place. Climbing to the ledge, he
pried out several pieces of pure silver and was elated when he
estimated the vein to be some fifty feet long and twelve inches
wide. Remembering the soldier’s warning he called his vein,
which would later become a mine, "Tombstone.”
After filing the first two claims he found
two more sites laden with silver ore, which he dubbed the "Lucky
Cuss” and the "Toughnut." In no time at all, word spread that silver had been
discovered and other prospectors began to search the area. Before long, more mines began to open including, the Grand Central,
the Charleston and the Contention mines, and a mining camp was born
named after Ed’s first claim – Tombstone.
post office was established December 2, 1878 and has never been
discontinued. On March 5, 1879 an official town site was laid out
and lots were sold on Allen Street for five dollars each. Soon, Tombstone
had some 40 cabins and about 100 residents. More people began to travel to
the area including the
Holliday, Bat Masterson, Charlie Storms,
and other notable frontier characters. The
was already "working" in the area, rustling cattle and making
mischief, which would ultimately lead to the infamous
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
Unlike many old frontier towns,
still "lives" on, with its dusty streets and frontier character still
intact. Infamous Allen
Street, once full of bars, casinos and bordellos has been restored for visitors
and the original 1882 Cochise County Courthouse
and gallows are now a State Historic Park. This old town, full of life and history,
survives the test of time and is well worth the visit.
Route 66 Map Series
- Created by Mother Road Experts Jerry McClanahan and Jim Ross, the
Route 66 Map Series, consisting of a separate fold-out map for each
state, provides an easy-to-follow through route and clear, simple
directions to keep you on the right track as you take the historic journey
down America's legendary highway.
of America Advertising!
See your ad HERE!
A danger foreseen is half-avoided.
Cherish youth, but trust old age.
Don't let yesterday use up too much of today.
The Old West
George Maledon - Prince of Hangmen
George Maledon earned the moniker of the Prince of Hangmen while
Judge Isaac Parker's
chief executioner during the lawless days when Parker served as judge of
the Federal Court for the Western District of
Maledon, a diminuitive man standing at just about five and a half
feet, was described as a "whispy" little fellow, with dark eyes and hair,
a fair complexion and a long beard. Quiet in nature, he rarely smiled and
was almost always dressed in black, an "appearance" that would soon seem
appropriate to his new profession.
Maledon worked as a deputy sheriff at
Fort Smith before being hired as a turnkey at
the federal jail in May, 1871. The next year, he was appointed as a
"special deputy" incharge of execution of the condemned prisoners. For the next 22 years, he would execute more than sixty criminals and
was forced to shoot five prisoners during escape attempts, two of
which were killed. In no time, he was given the title of the "Prince
of the Hangmen" by the local newspaper - the Fort Smith Elevator,
who was only too happy to publish each and every morbid detail of
Maledon's handiwork for the "entertainment" of its readers.
On September 3, 1875, the largest group
ever to be executed at once occurred when
Maledon hanged six men. The schedule
event had been widely publicized in the media and a week before the
execution was to occur, the city began to fill up with strangers from all
over the country.
This event earned
Judge Isaac Parker
the nickname of
"The Hanging Judge”
called his court the "Court of the Damned."
Ironically, though the public flocked to watch
these gruesome displays, Maledon was shunned by the community, as the town folk were afraid to
associate with the "Prince of Hangmen."
However, there was one man who was morbidly
attracted to Maledon's occupation -
One one occasion while
he was asking
Maledon for all the particulars when the executioner proudly displayed
a collection of leg irons, straps, and ropes that were actually utilized
in some of the hangings.
After more than two
decades carrying out these gruesome tasks, Maledon retired from the
federal court in 1894. Later, he left
and took a "show" on the road where he displayed relics from hangings,
including ropes, pieces of the gallows' beam, and photographs of some of
the nation's most notorious
Setting up a tent in various cities, hundreds of people flocked to the
show to hear
Maledon speak and view the gruesome displays.
What our readers are saying about Legends
I love the
newsletter -- I don't know where to start. I like
everything about it. I am 61 and blind now, it takes me to places I
can't go, and I, like everyone else, read about people I never met --
outlaws, and even
ghosts. Keep it up. Hank
Totally fascinating. I'm 82 and enjoy it immensely. Such a relief
from politics. Thank you for a job well done. -- Bob,
Love your site. I was looking for information about
Wanting to take the trip, but also looking for information about
where, why, how and don't miss, before I start the trip. Thanks for
all the information. - Barbara, Alabama
I spend hours on this site when I get a
newsletter--all the links
lead to other interesting stories. This the most entertaining site!
Thank you for providing a wonderful place to escape! - Robby,
Kathy, I have spent hours reading and looking at your website. I
will be spending more time as I go along. It is a wonderful work with
so much information. Thanks for providing this website for the
pleasure and information of others. Best regards and keep up the good
work. -- St. Augustine Florida
Ghostly & Other Strange Legends
Hell Dogs of Eldorado Canyon,
per man and mile per mile,
has a wider range of historical events than anywhere in the
This rich history, coupled with the turbulent events taking place in
in the 19th century has led to numerous
ghost stories of dead miners,
and pioneers who once roamed the area.
However, some of the most fascinating are
tales of canine spirits. Reportedly, during the rowdy mining days,
many of the prospectors kept dogs at their claim sites to protect their
property. Reared to attack at the slightest trespass by strangers, the
dogs were often extremely vicious.
best friend” or not, many of these dogs were shot, left chained at the
claim site to die, or released into the wild, when the gold played out
and the miners left the area. Over the years, numerous tales of
sightings of these many spectral hounds have been told by exploring
visitors and locals alike. A few even tell of being attacked by
these ferocious canine apparitions.
One story describes two brothers who were compelled to
test the validity of the canine tales. Exploring the area, they
soon found an old mine shaft where they noticed an ancient weathered
chain embedded into the rock wall near the entrance. Entering the
old mine, they came upon a pile of bones that appeared to be those of a
large dog. As the sun was quickly setting, they determined to camp
near the mine shaft. Sitting around a small campfire, they
listened to what sounded like coyotes yipping in the distance. Not
alarmed, they ate dinner around the fire until both men began to feel
uneasy as the atmosphere changed, seeming thick and somehow charged.
Before long, they heard the sounds of large dogs panting in close
proximity, followed by low and hateful growls.
Always thinking of something new and a way
to use our thousands of photos, and a bit of artistic talent,
we've started our own line of
Did You Know??
Harry Longabaugh became known as
because he served a jail term for horse stealing in Sundance,
The first fort constructed west of the
Atkinson near Blair, Nebraska.
Though the term "stick 'em up" is widely used in Western films, it wasn't
actually coined until the 1930's.
Seattle's houseboat population is the largest east of the Orient.
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
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