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Legends Letter January, 2014

  Icey December on the Lake of the Ozarks, Dave Alexander 2013

An Icy December morning in our world on the Lake of the Ozarks


Is it too late to say Happy New Year? Well, being late for some things isn't new for me, however I wish you a happy new year now, and hope that your feelings about 2014 are the same as ours... it's going to be a great year! I don't mean great for "wealth" or "possessions", but, great in the aspects of life that truly matter. Family, health, and happiness that the small things bring.


Of course, some of that does have to do with possessions. For instance, just hours before the Polar Vortex made it's way to Missouri, a water line in the cabin I use for an office decided it wanted to let its presence be known. That meant I was planted in the kitchen, in the house, for 7 days while we cleaned up the mess. There's a reason for the cabin (my own sanity), and Kathy will tell you it was a darn good thing I got out of the kitchen when I did. Not only for her mental well being, but for my health. I think I gained 5 pounds that week, and so did the dogs, but I'm back in the cabin now and life is great.


Small things are big things. That's what I've come to realize over the past few years. Walking out of the house each morning to go to work, I get to enjoy all that God has provided. We may not have a mansion (and really don't want one, too much mess to ignore), nor do we live in a tropical climate (over rated anyway, always predictable weather gets boring). But we found our piece of heaven on the Lake of the Ozarks and threw the dice on living our way. Working for ourselves and enjoying what we do, even on the menial tasks. Although I will say there are times I ask the boss if I can skip out early, or put off one of those less enjoyable projects (imagine the guy in the Fed Ex commercial giving himself a new title, since he's the boss), but, as many of you know, that just means more work on the weekend.


I digress. The point here is that I am truly more appreciative each and every year that passes for the small things in life. Waking up to my best friend and partner. Exiting the house to walk that long 50 feet to the cabin, taking in the sunrise over the lake. Yelling at the dogs to 'quit barking at the damn ducks' or the neighbor on the dock fishing. Writing personal notes of thanks on packing slips as I ship out an order (I sincerely apologize for my hand writing. I hear they are doing away with teaching cursive in school. I'm a poster child for their cause). Small things, like Life. I guess I've finally stopped to smell the roses as they say. Which leads me back to being late on some things. In my zest for appreciating the small stuff, I'm letting some of the bigger things brush aside, like paying attention when I really need to.


Case in point was a conversation between Kathy and I the other night. Kathy spends evenings at our dining table doing "crafty crap" this time of year (this was our compromise in getting her away from the couch with her millions of beads and needles, some of which I sit on occasionally). Meanwhile I'm zoning in my lounger as we talk about the news of the day, or her latest creation. "Dave, we have a new book out." Kathy says matter-of-factly. "What's it called?", my curiosity peaked. "I don't know, but it's about lynching and vigilantes and available on Amazon". I think my carefree nature has effected Kathy. And did she tell me we had another book in the works? Did I really blow that off?


Lychings, Hangings & Vigilante Groups, by Legends of AmericaThe book is called "Lynchings, Hangings & Vigilante Groups" and is a short, good read on the dark side of "justice". It's Kathy's fourth published book, and the second in our partnership with Roundabout Publications with author credits to Legends Of America, the first being "Old West Lawmen". We have some on the way for our General Store, but you can also get the Kindle version directly from Amazon HERE.


In addition to the latest Book project with Roundabout Publications, we've started putting together PDF e-Articles. These are some of the shorter stories you find on our website that have additional driving directions and maps that you can download as a PDF. Our first is "Across the Painted Desert on Route 66".


In the meantime, I have focused on some bigger things recently to help "small things", like implementing a new remodel of our General Store to make it "mobile friendly". Everything should actually fit on your screen now if you are browsing our store website by phone. Making our stories on Legends Of America more mobile friendly is a much larger project that I hope to take on soon.


So, here's to the small things in life that make us happy. May they be so bountiful for you and your family in 2014 that they truly are Big Things.


Dave Alexander

Keeper of the cookie jar (when she lets me)


In this Edition:


New Additions and Featured Stories


Featured Travel Destination: Leadville


Native American Legends: Chief Gall


Featured Product


Feedback and Suggestions




More to See:


Legends General Store - Supporting our website since 2003


Legends Photo Prints - Our growing gallery of Vintage and Modern images available in various print sizes. Shop, or just enjoy browsing.


Legends Travel Blog - Follow us on our travels and catch special announcements.


Legends Facebook Page - Daily posts of all things American History.


Ghost Towns of the American West Facebook Page - Occasional posts of all things Ghost Towns.


Native American History Facebook Page - Occasional posts of all things Native American


Vintage Photos of America Facebook Page


Legends on Twitter


Legends of Kansas - Our website dedicated to the state Legends was born in.



Cherokee Herbal Remedies from the Rocky Mountain General Store

Natural Remedies from

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New Additions and Featured Stories  

Kathy's been playing around with Videos lately and put together several we think you'll enjoy. They are over on our YouTube Channel.


New Videos include:


Route 66, Saloons of the Old West, Ghost Towns of the American West, The Old West, The Good Old Days, and Kathy's educational video on Westward Expansion & Manifest Destiny.


She's also put together several slide shows, including: Best of Route 66, California Route 66, and Arizona Route 66.


It hasn't all been fun with pictures though. New stories are up including more expansion east as we write about Georgia. New stories since our last news letter include:


Curse of the Petrified ForestThe Curse of the Petrified Forest - When visiting, the Petrified Forest National Park, folks are enamored by the beauty and uniqueness of the petrified wood. But, since the time the Petrified Forest became a National Monument, it has been illegal to remove any specimens of petrified wood from the park. But, people still do it. They obviously are unaware of the Curse.


John Lorenzo Hubble and the Hubble Trading Post - Located in Ganado, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation, the Hubbell Trading Post was established by John Lorenzo Hubbell in 1878. It is one of the oldest operating trading posts in the American Southwest, where the differing cultures of the Indians, Spanish, and Anglo-Americans have come together for mutual benefit.


Fort Wingate, New Mexico - Reigning in the Navajo - Having two different locations, Fort Wingate, New Mexico was established to control the Navajo tribe.


Sherman's Famous March to the Sea - Union Major General William T. Sherman's March to the Sea is the name commonly given to the Savannah Campaign conducted through a Georgia from November 15 to December 21, 1864 in the Civil War.


Civil War Battles of Georgia - On January 19, 1861, Georgia seceded from the Union as the "Republic of Georgia" and on February 4, 1861 it joined the Confederate States of America. Most Georgians hoped to avoid war and peacefully leave the Union, but, when Fort Sumter, South Carolina was fired upon on April 12, 1861, the Civil War began.


James Edward Oglethorpe (1696-1785) - British general, Parliament member, philanthropist, Oglethorpe, along with 120 immigrants founded the city of Savannah and the Georgia Colony.


The Founding of Savannah - At high noon on November 16, 1732, the good ship Anne spread her white sails and, like some great canvas-winged bird of the sea, flew from the shores of England westward over the Atlantic Ocean, carrying with her, British general, Parliament member, and, philanthropist, James Oglethorpe, and his 120 emigrants. They would establish the city of Savannah and the colony of Georgia the next year.


A Tour Along the Georgia Coast - Georgia’s Coast stretches approximately 100 miles between historic Savannah - Georgia’s oldest city - to St. Marys, the gateway to Cumberland Island National Seashore.


St. Augustine - Oldest U.S. City - Located in Northeast Florida, St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement and port in the continental United States.


Castillo De San Marcos - Spanish Stronghold - The oldest existing permanent seacoast fortification in the continental United States, Castillo de San Marcos, in St. Augustine Florida was built between 1672 - 1756.


Fort Matanzas - Protecting St. Augustine - Fort Matanzas National Monument is a Spanish fortress built in 1742 to guard the Matanzas Inlet, which could be used as a rear entrance to the city of St. Augustine.


The Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 - Taking place in western Pennsylvania, the Whiskey Rebellion was the first test of federal authority in the United States, and enforced the idea that the government had the right to levy taxes and pass laws that effected all states.


Guest Author Jim Hinckley has also submitted two more articles, including a follow up to Selling The Sizzle - Part One. In Selling The Sizzle - Part Two, the world of marketing, advertising, and sales, substance often takes a back seat to perception. Hinckley explores how Calkins & Holden Make Art out of advertising the automobile.


Jim also explores the rise of Morris Markin and Checker Motors in Rise of an Empire.


For more "What's New" on Legends Of America click HERE.

Native American Wisdom

Seek wisdom, not knowledge. Knowledge is of the past, Wisdom is of the future. - Lumbee

Cherish youth, but trust old age. - Pueblo

What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset. - Blackfoot

The one who tells the stories rules the world. - Hopi

White men have too many chiefs. - Nez Perce


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Old West Trivia

The first gold strike in the Old West was made by Jose Ortiz in 1832 south of Santa Fe, New Mexico, in what would quickly become the boom town of Delores.


Though the term "stick 'em up" is widely used in Western films, it wasn't actually coined until the 1930's.


Texas was the most active gunfighting state, with some 160 shoot-outs from the 1850's through the 1890's.


On September 8, 1883, Sitting Bull, the main chief of the Lakota tribes, delivered a speech at the celebration of the driving of the last spike in the Northern Pacific railroad joining with the transcontinental system. He delivered the speech in his Sioux language, departing from a speech originally prepared by an army translator. Denouncing the U.S. government, settlers, and army, the listeners thought he was welcoming and praising them. While giving the speech, Sitting Bull paused for applause periodically, bowed, smiled, and continued insulting his audience as the translator delivered the original address.

Featured Travel Destination  


Leadville - Cloud City USA


Leadville, Colorado, 1901Leadville, Colorado, often called "The Two Mile High City" and "Cloud City," was the highest incorporated city in the United States at 10,430 feet. However, that title has now been replaced by Alma, Colorado (highest incorporated municipality). Located at the foot of two of Colorado's highest peaks - Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive, Leadville is one of America's last remaining authentic mining towns.

Self-described as quaint and absolutely original, Leadville has been designated as a National Historic Landmark District. The small city is comprised of seventy square blocks of Victorian architecture and is adjoined by the twenty square mile Leadville mining district, where many old mines and cabins dot the landscape.


Population in the area began in 1859, when gold was discovered in California Gulch. In 1860, Horace and Augusta Tabor arrived in the Gulch, where Horace tried his luck at placer mining, and Augusta became the camp provisioner, acting as cook, laundress, banker and postmistress. By 1861, over 5,000 prospectors were swarming the area and the settlement of Oro City was established. The Tabors followed in the miners wake for several years, moving from one mining camp to another, but, finally returned to Oro City in 1868 and reopened their store.


But, the placer deposits quickly played out and even though the Printer Boy Mine successfully opened in 1868, Oro City was almost deserted by the 1870's. Most of the miners quickly left to follow gold discoveries in Buckskin Joe, Payne's Bar, which is now Idaho Springs, and other mining camps on the eastern slopes of the Continental Divide.


Leadville, Colorado todayHowever, in 1875 a metallurgist named Alvinius Woods and his partner William Stevens discovered that the local sands which had made sluicing gold so difficult were composed of carbonate of lead with an extremely high silver content. They were able to keep their secret for and quietly began to buy up many of the abandoned gold claims in the area.


Nevertheless, when Woods sold his interest in the partnership for $40,000, the word was out, leading to a second boom in the area. Thousands of prospectors again flooded the gulch which, eventually led to the founding of Leadville. In January 1878, the city of Leadville was incorporated and by 1879, the population had reached 18,000. In the summer of 1878, Horace Tabor struck it rich after grubstaking two miners on a small claim. Quickly he became the alleged Silver King of Leadville.


In 1879, Horace Tabor built the Tabor Opera House, which was a legend in its own time. Quickly replacing the smaller theatres and show houses, it became the social Mecca of the community. On its opening night on November 20, 1879, the premier had to compete with one with even greater appeal - a double lynching where two claim jumpers were taken from the county jail by the local vigilante organization and outfitted with hemp neckties.


Click HERE to read more



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What our readers are saying about Legends Of America.

This is a very interesting site and I will add it to my favorites - Douglas of Virginia


Great Site. Abundance of info - Clive in England.


I had the pleasure of visiting Nicodemus, KS over my Christmas vacation. I took the tour and found that is was a very interesting town. I am in awe of how the settlers travel the plains and settled in Kansas. The plains have not changed that much except for the sightings once in a while of a cell tower here and there. The houses are spread apart and your nearest neighbor is a good two miles away. ... the settlers in Nicodemus were truly REMARKABLE!! - Tonya in New Jersey


Native American Legends  


Chief Gall - Aggressive Sioux Leader

By Charles A. Eastman (Ohiyesa) - 1918


Chief Gall, Sioux LeaderChief Gall was one of the most aggressive leaders of the Sioux nation in their last stand for freedom.


The westward pressure of civilization during the past three centuries has been tremendous. When our hemisphere was "discovered”, it had been inhabited by the natives for untold ages, but it was held undiscovered because the original owners did not chart or advertise it. Yet some of them at least had developed ideals of life which included real liberty and equality to all men, and they did not recognize individual ownership in land or other property beyond actual necessity. It was a soul development leading to essential manhood. Under this system they brought forth some striking characters.


Gall was considered by both Indians and whites to be a most impressive type of physical manhood. From his picture you can judge of this for yourself.


Let us follow his trail. He was no tenderfoot. He never asked a soft place for himself. He always played the game according to the rules and to a finish. To be sure, like every other man, he made some mistakes, but he was an Indian and never acted the coward.


The earliest stories told of his life and doings indicate the spirit of the man in that of the boy.


When he was only about three years old, the Blackfoot band of Sioux were on their usual roving hunt, following the buffalo while living their natural happy life upon the wonderful wide prairies of the Dakotas.


It was the way of every Sioux mother to adjust her household effects on such dogs and pack ponies as she could muster from day to day, often lending one or two to accommodate some other woman whose horse or dog had died, or perhaps had been among those stampeded and carried away by a raiding band of Crow warriors. On this particular occasion, the mother of our young Sioux brave, Matohinshda, or Bear-Shedding-His-Hair (Gall's childhood name), entrusted her boy to an old Eskimo pack dog, experienced and reliable, except perhaps when unduly excited or very thirsty.


On the day of removing camp the caravan made its morning march up the Powder River. Upon the wide table-land the women were busily digging teepsinna (an edible sweetish root, much used by them) as the moving village slowly progressed. As usual at such times, the trail was wide. An old jack rabbit had waited too long in hiding. Now, finding himself almost surrounded by the mighty plains people, he sprang up suddenly, his feathery ears conspicuously erect, a dangerous challenge to the dogs and the people.


Continue reading HERE


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Legends of America


A Travel Guide for the

Nostalgic & Historic Minded


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Dave Alexander
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Email - Kathy

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