Legends Of America
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Castle Mirage, Death Valley, Digital compositionThe Queen of Death Valley - Shoshone legend tells of a Queen's greed that led to a lush valley being turned into 'ground afire', and her alone in a half finished castle that can sometimes be seen on the horizon.


William Becknell blazes the Santa Fe TrailWilliam Becknell - Father of the Santa Fe Trail - Known as the 'Father of the Santa Fe Trail', Captain William Becknell was the first to blaze the path. He was also a frontiersman, trader, soldier, and politician.


The Negro Motorist Green-BookRoute 66- A Nostalgia Not Experienced By All (Crucial Role of the Green Book) - While many remember the Mother Road with nostalgia and fond memories, for Americans of color it wasn't the same. Thankfully they had Victor Green and the Green Book


Bavaria, Kansas - Ranching on the Santa Fe Trail - From our Legends of Kansas website. An unincorporated community located about nine miles southwest of Salina Kansas, Bavaria was originally known as Hohneck (or Honek), for the first settler, Ernst Hohneck, who came to the area in 1865. It is a ghost town today.


A rusty truck in Elk City, Ks. Photo by Dave AlexanderKansas Rail Towns and Little House on the Prairie - From our Photo Blog, we wrap up a quick trip over into Kansas by coming home via 1880's railroad towns and a quick stop at the childhood home of famed author Laura Ingalls.


Old buildings in Elk City, KansasElk City, Kansas - From our Legends of Kansas website. Situated in the northwestern part of Montgomery County at the confluence of Duck Creek with Elk River, Elk City began as a trading post established by John Kappell in early 1868 when the area was still part of the Deminished Reserve of the Osage Indians.


A Kansas Roadtrip to Old Cowtown Museum - From our Photo Blog - We took a toodle into Kansas for an Old West experience at Wichita's Old Cowtown Museum, worth the price of admission!


Nara Visa, New Mexico about 1900Nara Visa - A Picturesque Ghost Town - Sitting in the midst of the Canadian River Breaks in northeastern New Mexico, sits the small town of Nara Visa, a semi-ghost town today.


Kiva at the Pecos Pueblo, New Mexico

Pecos National Historic Park - Located on the historic Santa Fe Trail, where the Pecos Indians once commanded the trade path between Pueblo farmers of the Rio Grande and hunting tribes of the buffalo plains, lie the ruins of the Pecos pueblo and Spanish missions.


Steins New Mexico Town Site, Kathy Weiser-Alexander 2008Ralston/Shakespeare - Born Again and Again - Major updates, including more primary source references, clarification of history and additional information to our story on the popular New Mexico ghost town.

Steins - A Railroad Ghost Town - Major updates and edits made to one of our earlier stories of this interesting ghost town close to the Arizona border in New Mexico.

The Story of Jim the Wonder Dog - From Marshall, Missouri comes the tale of a dog so smart he could predict the future. It's a legend so powerful they dedicated a park and statue to Jim the Wonder Dog.

Abilene in its glory daysWild & Woolly Cowtowns- This historic 1904 text comes from the National Livestock Historical Association.  During period of about fifteen years, beginning in 1868, the history of the range-cattle industry was made lurid in places by the notorious "wild and woolly cowtowns." These came into existence, one after another, each flourishing for few years, on the lines of several of the pioneer Western railroads as these iron trails advanced farther and farther into the range country; the worst being those that were made shipping points for the great trail-herds coming from the South.

The Great Moon Hoax of 1835 - In August of 1835, The Sun, a penny paper in New York, published a series of articles claming fanciful life on the moon, which sparked excitement throughout the U.S. and Europe


Bill Doolin - Leading the Oklahombres - Bill Doolin hooked up with the Dalton gang, but would eventually lead the Oklahombres on a crime spree that would be forever noted in Old West legends.


Bat MastersonBat Masterson - Loyalty in Lawlessness - Lawman, gunfighter, gambler and well-known Old West character, Bat Masterson was one of the very few who lived during the lawless days of the Old West who wasn't there to make a name for himself or to count the notches on his belt.


Imagine You Are Marie Dorion - Author Lenora Rain-Lee Good takes us on an imaginative fact based story, as Marie Dorion goes on a perilous journey to Oregon Country, the only female member of the Astor Expedition in 1811.


William Galloway and his spreader early 1900sWilliam Galloway - From Legends Contributor Jim Hinckley: Born on a farm near Berlin, Iowa, William Galloway would go on to create an expanding farm business and even teamed with Maytag for an automobile.


Downtown McGregor, Iowa, August 2014. Photo by Kathy Weiser-AlexanderAlexander MacGregor & The Historic Rivertowns of McGregor and Marquette - McGregor and Marquette Iowa have a storied history on the Mississippi River thanks to the foresight of businessman Alexander MacGregor.


Great Bend, Kansas, 1870sGreat Bend - Booming on the Santa Fe Trail - Situated in central Kansas, Great Bend is the county seat of Barton County. The area had long been called home to the Plains Indians before explorers began to come to the region, beginning with Francisco Vasquez de Coronado in 1541. It really began to see people in numbers when the Santa Fe Trail was developed which passed right through what would later become Great Bend, leaving in its wake a long trail of history including Indian skirmishes, tales of frontier characters, rowdy cowboy days, and more.  


Pawnee Fork Crossing, Kansas.Famous Men of the Santa Fe Trail, by Colonel Henry Inman, 1897 - There are number of famous men whose lives are so interwoven with the history of the Old Santa Fe Trail that the story of the great highway is largely made up of their individual exploits and acts of bravery. It has been my fortune to have known nearly all intimately, during more than a third of a century passed on the Great Plains and in the Rocky Mountains.


Shawnee Methodist Mission on the Santa Fe Trail - Through a treaty initiated in 1825, the Shawnee Indians were moved from their homes in Ohio and Missouri to a reserve established for them in Kansas.






Kit Carson drawing, 1922Kit Carson (The Nestor of the Rocky Mountains) - Author Charles Haven Ladd Johnston writes about the hero of the southwest, Kit Carson, in this excerpt from his book "Famous Scouts, Including Trappers, Pioneers, and Soldiers of the Frontier", published in 1910. 


Kenilworth, Utah Company StoreKenilworth - A Still Occupied Mining Camp - Though Kenilworth, Utah is not quite a ghost town, still sporting a population of about 180 people, as well as a post office, it isn't what it once was during its coal mining hey days. Like most other Carbon County towns, Kenilworth got its start when coal was discovered in the area


Charleston, South CarolinaAn Obsession With Doors & Windows - What is about doors and windows that fascinate many of us? Especially artists and photographers? Big, small, colorful, antique, new, arched, stained, and paned, it seems that they beg to be opened -- to learn about what might be behind them, what stories they may tell?. History, culture, experiences and tales, lurk behind. Sometimes, doors and windows are full of patterns, textures, and designs -- so much so, that many are art forms, in and of themselves. Must See Doors-Windows Photo Gallery.


HackBerry General Store, ArizonaGhost Towns of Old Arizona Route 66  - Just west the Grand Canyon Caverns, old Route 66 meanders into the lands of the Hualapai (“Wall-ah-pie”) Indians, a reservation that encompasses more than a million acres, including 108 miles of the Colorado River and a portion of the Grand Canyon. A beautiful stretch through the high-desert Hualapai Valley, the old pavement runs closely parallel to the Santa Fe Railroad tracks, passing through the ghost (or near-ghost) towns of Peach Springs, the tribal headquarters of the Hualapai Indians and the only access to the west rim of the Grand Canyon; Truxton, which was born specifically to cater to Route 66 travelers; Valentine, the home of an old Indian School; and Hackberry, which got its start as a mining town. This is an update to an old story with new information and photo gallery.


When Traveling Route 66, visitors make a choice whether to go through Yucca or Oatman.Kingman To California on Route 66 - There are two Route 66 alignments from Kingman, Arizona southwest to the California border. The pre-1952 alignment along the Oatman Highway is by far the most beautiful, providing numerous photographic opportunities, legendary Route 66 icons, and a peek at the wild old west in historic Oatman, Arizona. The later alignment, bypassed Oatman, allowing travelers to move through more quickly via the Yucca Bypass. This is an update to an old story with new information and photo gallery.


Building ruins in the El Polvo area of Redford, TexasRedford & the Lost Mission of El Polvo, Texas - A farming community today, Redford is located about 16 miles southeast of Presidio, Texas along Farm Road 170, which follows the Rio Grande River through both Big Bend Ranch State Park and Big Bend National Park. The settlement of Redford was officially established in about 1876, but, the area had been inhabited for centuries.


Scotty's Castle, Death Valley, CaliforniaScotty's Castle, California - Hidden in the green oasis of Grapevine Canyon in far northern Death Valley, California, the Death Valley Ranch, or Scotty's Castle, as it is more commonly known, is a window into the life and times of the Roaring '20s and Depression '30s. It was and is an engineer's dream home, a wealthy matron's vacation home and a man-of-mystery's hideout and getaway.


Death Valley ScottyWalter Scott, Better Known as Death Valley Scotty - A prospector, performer, and con man, Scott was made famous by his many scams involving gold mining and the iconic mansion in Death Valley, popularly known as Scotty's Castle


The Death of Sheriff Tom Logan - Author Jackie Boor writes about her great-grandfather, Nevada Lawman Tom Logan, and his murder in Manhattan, Nevada near Tonopah, at the hands of Walter Barieau, which made headlines in 1906.


Bunches of updates to our stories, photos, and new slideshows. Check out: Rhyolilte, Nevada; Death Valley National Park; Death Valley Junction, and More.



Fort Bowie, Arizona, 1894Fort Bowie National Historic Site - This was a fun trip that provided us a sense of the lonely isolation that the soldiers experienced while stationed there as well as seeing numerous sites where history was made.


Death Valley's Corkscrew Peak- Dave Alexander, 2015

Winter History Tour:  We're on the road for our Winter history tour of in warmer climates. But, before we got too warm, we decided we need to hit a bit of Route 66 west of Santa Rosa, New Mexico through Arizona, that we haven't done in a decade. Follow our journey in images through our Photo Blog.


Revisiting the Mother Road - Western New Mexico

Along the Painted Landscape of Arizona Route 66

Eclectic Path to Kingman

Motherload on the Mother Road

Our Journey To Death Valley

Death Valley to Yuma Via the Salton Sea

Journey Home Via Arizona, New Mexico and Texas

Riddle Brothers Ranch National Historic Site, OregonRiddle Brothers Ranch - Pioneer Homestead - The old Riddle Brothers Ranch, located in Harney County, Oregon is part of the historic context of pioneer settlement in the American West.


When Wisconsin Was Discovered - A Parisian mail carrier's son was the first white man to step upon Wisconsin soil. The year was 1634, and King Louis XIII reigned as monarch of France. Thus, by the law of nations relating to new discoveries, Wisconsin became part of New France.


Paul Bunyan and the Blue Ox near St. Ignace, Michigan.Paul Bunyan, Hero Lumberjack - Paul Bunyan is a giant lumberjack in American folklore who has long been the hero of the American logging camps. His exploits, which revolved around the tall tales of his superhuman labors, were told by the fires of bunkhouses in the northern camps from Wisconsin to Maine, from Minnesota to Oregon, to Washington and California for decades.


On the Road - Oregon's Main Street: U.S. Highway 99 - In the early part of the 20th century, travel through and between the Pacific Coast states of Washington, Oregon and California was cumbersome. Towns and developing cities were connected haphazardly and, for the most part, the roads were still dirt trails wending through all types of terrain. Authors Jo-Brew and Pat Edwards take us back to when the famed Pacific Highway that answered the problem, and became Oregon's Main Street, U.S. Highway 99.


Americana - Original DesignAmericana - From baseball to apple pie, Thanksgiving to cheeseburgers, Norman Rockwell paintings to a genre of American music having roots in early folk and country styles, Americana is all things American. More specifically, it is those values, traditions, cultures found within the melting pot of the United States.




Central Mine Powder House Ruins, Kathy Weiser-Alexander 2014Central Mine (Copper Ghost Preserved) - The Central Mine in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula was the most productive of all the fissure deposit mines, producing nearly 52 million pounds of copper before playing out. The town that grew around was abandoned, but today it is preserved for all.


Furnace Complex at Fayette Historic TownsiteFayette Historic Townsite - Located on Michigan's Garden Peninsula, Fayette Historic Town Site is a 19th Century, well preserved, company town, that manufactured charcoal pig iron and lime from 1867 to 1891.


Old World Wisconsin - The largest outdoor museum of rural life in the United States, Old World Wisconsin covers some 600 acres and features 60 historic buildings.


The Ioway Tribe - People of Iowa - The Ioway tribe, also known as the Iowa and Baxoje, are a Native American Siouan people. Their name was thought to have been borrowed by the French from Ayuhwa, the Dakota term applied to them, which, signifies “sleepy ones.”  The state of Iowa, where they once lived, was named after them.




Compiled by Kathy Weiser/Legends of America


Legends of America's Photo BlogLegends Blog - Follow our travels as we make our way across AmericaLegends' Photo Blog - Follow our travels as we make our way across America finding bunches of out of the way places, legends, historic sites, ghost towns, and great photo opportunities. Here, is where you'll also get a more personal view of our travels -- from the many great folks we meet, to what we think about the places we visit, and, of course, hundreds of photos & slideshows that we hope you enjoy.


While Legends of America is our Go To site for history, facts, and information; our Photo Blog is our first stop in developing these many articles, where you'll find more personal information, and reviews of the places we visit.


  National Parks    Dave & Kathy meeting a Legends' fan for the first time. Meet Diana Beatty. She was great fun!    Ghost Towns    Route 66    A little fun personal stuff.    Native American

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