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Hamatsa emerging from the woods by Edward S. CurtisIndian Shamans & Priests - A shaman is a person who acts as intermediary between the natural and supernatural worlds, using magic to cure illness, foretell the future, control spiritual forces. By Frederick W. Hodge, 1906


Cynthia Ann Parker - White Woman in a Comanche World - Captured at an early age during an Indian raid on Fort Parker, Texas, Cynthia Parker would end up marrying and give birth to famed Comanche Chief Quanah Parker


Hachita - Old and New - The original town of Hachita was a mining settlement in the Little Hatchet Mountains. The town moved with the railroad to the east, but there are still remains of previous glory.


Medicine Woman, No-Ah-Tuh, Harris and Ewing, 1913Native American Medicine Men & Healing Practices - Various Native American tribes showed many similarities in regard to medicine including magic, prayers, songs, exhortation, suggestion, ceremonies, fetishes, and plant remedies. By Frederick W. Hodge, 1906.


Levi Strauss - King of the Blue Jeans - Jewish immigrant Levi Strauss, through his already successful dry goods company in San Francisco, would team up with Jacob Davis to patent the riveted Blue Jean.


Ghosts of Abó (Pueblo Ruins and Ghost Town) - The history of Abo, New Mexico, dates back to the Mogollon and Anasazi, and is rich with Spanish Missions, Apache attacks, and briefly a typical old west town.



Ojibwa Bandolier bag in the permanent collection of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indiana, circa 1900.Medicine Bags or Bundles - A Native American medicine bag or medicine bundle is a container for items believed to protect or give spiritual powers to its owner. Varying in size, it could be small enough to wear around the neck or it could be a large bag with a long strap called a 'bandolier.'


Historic Berlin, Maryland - Berlin's history dates back to a 1677 land grant, and the settlement long predated its incorporation in 1868. Today it includes an historic district and is a popular tourist stop.


Excerpt from Whiskey River Ranger: The Old West Life of Baz Outlaw - Author Bob Alexander gives a balanced account of this infamous Texas Ranger, his heroic triumphs, legendary courage, but also his dangerous temper, and his losing battle with alcoholism. Excerpt from Chapter 10 - Undaunted Courage and Fine Generalship


The Real Billy - Billy the Kid may be known as a mean hombre outlaw, but he was quite jovial, intelligent, and a ladies man to boot. Author Terri Meeker explores the lesser known William H. Bonney, a.k.a. Billy the Kid.


Upper Missouri River Breaks, MontanaUpper Missouri River Breaks National Monument - Containing a spectacular array of biological, geological, and historical objects of interest, the Upper Missouri River Break National Monument spans 149 miles of the Upper Missouri River.


William Clark 'Co-Leader of the Corps of Discovery Expedition - Explorer, soldier, Indian agent, and territorial governor of Missouri, William Clark was born on August 1, 1770 in Caroline County, Virginia.


Kathy on AHC's American Lawmen SeriesKathy on AHC's "American Lawmen" - Legends of America's founder/editor Kathy Weiser-Alexander takes part in the television series "American Lawmen" on AHC (American Heroes Channel) in season 1, episode 5  "Dallas Stoudenmire: The Hero of El Paso", original air date March 16, 2016.


Pirates - Renegades of the Sea - Pirates and piracy on the high seas are almost as old as history itself. Long before the first permanent English settlement was established at Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, piracy was flourishing off the North American coast. By Hugh F. Rankin in 1960


Edward Teach was better known as the infamous pirate, Blackbeard.Blackbeard - The Fiercest Pirate of Them All - Blackbeard, more than any other, can be called North Carolina's own pirate, although he was not a native of the colony and cannot be considered a credit to the Tar Heel State. By Hugh F. Rankin in 1960.


Abilene, Kansas in its glory daysThe Men That Tamed the Cowtowns - Abilene, Dodge City, Ellsworth, Hays City, Newton -- these and more were names that spelled romance in the early days when Kansas was the great clearing house for Western cattle. Historic text from 1905 by Arthur Chapman.


The Hidden City of Death Valley - Mummies -- Giants -- Underground Caverns! So said a San Diego, California newspaper in describing an event in Death Valley in 1947. This story and more telling of a lost race beneath the sands of Death Valley.


The Shawnee Trail - Driving Longhorns to Missouri - The Shawnee Trail was a major trade and emigrant route from Texas through Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri in the 19th Century.  Texas Cattle would be brought up the trail as early as the 1840's.


Rio Puerco Valley west of Albuquerque, New MexicoRio Puerco Valley Along Old Route 66 - Traveling the pre-1937 alignment to Route 66 from through the Rio Puerco Valley, New Mexico.


Zebulon Pike - Hard Luck Soldier & Explorer - Captain Zebulon Pike led the Pike Expedition to explore and document the southern portion of the Louisiana territory, during which he recorded the discovery of what later was called Pikes Peak.


Jim Bridger, Mountain Man and ExplorerJim Bridger - Quintessential Guide of the Rocky Mountains - An accomplished trapper, scout, and mountain man, Bridger was one of the first non-Indians to see the natural wonders of what would become Yellowstone Park.


Crossing the Wyoming grasslands.The Bozeman Trail - A Violent Path to the Gold Fields - Of all the overland trails blazed during the westward movement, the Bozeman Trail ranks as one of the most violent, contentious and ultimately failed experiments in American frontier history.


Ranchos de Taos & the San Francisco de Asis Mission Church - Spain began to issue land grants one of which is was called Las Trampas de Taos. In 1725 it became a permanent Spanish settlement called Ranchos de Taos.


Mexican Gambling HallDoña Gertrudis Barceló - Commonly known as Madame La Tules, Maria Gertrudis Barcelo was a prominent saloon owner and professional gambler in Santa Fe, New Mexico during the heydays of the Santa Fe Trail.


Taos, New Mexico todayTaos - Art, Architecture & History - The valley of Taos, with its two great Pueblos, the old town of Taos and the still more ancient settlement known as Ranchos de Taos, is one of the most fascinating and historical points in the entire West.


Susan Shelby MagoffinWomen on the Santa Fe Trail - The Santa Fe Trail was primarily a commercial and military road mostly used by male traders, but it also served a smaller role as an emigrant route for individuals traveling in both directions between the United States and Mexico. Despite previous historical writings, Women played a role on the trail. (Based/Sourced from 'Santa Fe Trail National Register of Historic Places Nomination)


Rock Springs Wyoming Riot, 1885 - Harpers WeeklyRiot in Rock Springs Leads to Massacre - September 2, 1885 brought violence and mayhem to Wyoming as racial tensions between white and Chinese immigrants leads to the Rock Springs Massacre.


Santa Fe Trail - Exploration & Illegal Trade - Pre-1821 - Trade was an integral part Native American life well before the opening of the Santa Fe Trail. Since prehistoric times, communication, travel, and trade had connected the American Plains with both the Southwest and prairies to the east. (Based/Sourced from 'Santa Fe Trail National Register of Historic Places Nomination)


Emigrants arrive in what will soon be Denver, ColoradoThe Pike's Peak Gold Rush and Colorado Territory - The mountains of northeastern Colorado once held vast treasures of silver and gold and when prospectors found gold in 1858, it spiked the Pikes Peak Gold Rush. Written by Steven F. Mehls for the Bureau of Land Management, 1984.


Jackson's Arm - Thomas Jonathan 'Stonewall' Jackson, a Confederate General revered second only to Robert E. Lee, lost his arm before he died, but the arm was given a Christian Burial. Excerpted from the book "The Last Days of Stonewall Jackson", by Chris Mackowski and Kristopher D. White.


Moonpies - Author Greg Bailey explores one of the South's greatest contributions, the Moonpie, which has endured for more than 75 years in its Chattanooga home.


Westport Landing, Missouri by William Henry JacksonThe Santa Fe Trail in Missouri - In 1821, the land beyond Missouri was a vast uncharted region until William Becknell left Missouri with four trusted companions and blazed the Santa Fe Trail. This story covers the events leading up to the establishment of Missouri and the trail.


Fort Osage in Sibley, MissouriFort Osage Trading Post - Lewis and Clark passed through the area of Fort Osage, Missouri in June, 1804 and considered this spot to be a good place for a fort with its high commanding position overlooking the Missouri River.


Franklin-Boonville, MIssouri Historical Markers,Old Franklin & the Start of the Santa Fe Trail - Franklin, Missouri was the starting point for the first Santa Fe caravan of pack mules led by Captain William Becknell in 1821. Today this once prominent city is nothing more than a marker.


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 - 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 Diminished 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.




Compiled by Kathy Weiser/Legends of America


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