An abandoned car sits in the ruins of a
building in Cross Timbers Missouri.
Photo by our grand daughter Ella Nobo.
So, what do you do when the weather finally
starts warming up enough to get out of the house and office? You do some
day tripping of course! While old man winter continues to cling on
now and then, recent warmer weather and the passing of the Spring Equinox
pushed Kathy and I away from our keyboards for a couple of adventures
of those day trips took us to the Butterfield Trail here in
Benton County Missouri, where we revisited an historic cemetery, took some
cool shots of abandoned barns and visited a ghost farm. It provided
much relief to our claustrophobia and I think the dogs appreciated getting
their noses out of the neighborhood for a while.
The trip was short but got our minds going in
fresh directions, shaking out the cobwebs that have formed from staring
out the window at the cold lake. We called it our "Sunday Tour of
the Dead". Yeah, we need to get out more.
I skipped out on the second recent trip as
Kathy planned a "girls day out" for our grand daughters from Lawrence, Ks.
We took advantage of Ella and Graci's spring break to snag them back to
Missouri, during which Nana planned an all day excursion for picture
opportunities of "abandoned Missouri". They didn't have to go far to
find what they were looking for, and it seems that the girls have
developed some of Nana's quirky eye for photo ops.
In this Edition:
Featured Travel Destination - Garnet
Old West - Belle Starr
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Nana's love of doors and windows rubbed off on
who took this picture in Fristoe Missouri.
This was followed by a night out in the travel trailer. We were
going to actually take the trailer over to Truman Lake and find a spot,
but with cold weather that night we decided to keep it parked at "Fort
Alexander RV Park."
That meant that Papa Dave was designated Park Manager, and let me tell
you, those gals can be a bit demanding. What do you mean you need
water? And what part of "the RV Park Store is closed" do you not
look from those eyes is enough for Papa Dave to give in to most demands
though, and I played my part in spoiling them rotten before shipping them
back to Kansas.
These small day outings haven't been our only escape recently. In
late January, Kathy got a call from a television production company
wanting to do an interview in Parson's Kansas about the Bloody Benders.
Thought we would make it a week long travel excursion, but mother nature
got in our way so we just stayed for a couple of nights. One before
the interview, and another to let a winter storm get passed us.
was a fun trip as we made new friends at the Cherryvale Historical Museum.
It was there we learned that Cherryvale is famous for more than the serial
killer Bender family. In fact, there are a few famous characters
from this small Kansas town. Like Mary Louise Brooks, born there in
1906, who would go on to become a trend setting star of the silver screen
in the late 1920's. Her bobbed hairstyle would become very popular
with women. Then there is Vivian Vance, born in Cherryvale in 1909,
who would go on to fame as Ethel Mertz, Lucille Ball's sidekick in "I Love
Lucy". Vance continued to return once in a while to her roots in
Cherryvale until her death in 1979.
one that I found even more interesting was the uncelebrated author of our
very own Pledge of Allegiance. In 1892, as a high school teen
in Cherryvale, Frank E. Bellamy wrote a 500-word patriotic essay, part of
which is the original version of the Pledge, and instruction on saluting
the American Flag. His "Salute to the Flag" was was submitted to the
popular scholastic publication "The Youth's Companion" as part of a
contest, which won him first place and a small cash prize that same year.
Although it was recited by many,
Bellamy would not see his Pledge become the official Pledge of the nation
before his death in 1915. In fact, it wouldn't become official until
June of 1942 when Congress included the Pledge to the Flag in the United
States Flag Code. Of course his original Pledge has been altered a
little, changing his words of "my Flag" to "the Flag of the United States
of America" in the early 1920's, and then adding "under God" in June of
1954. Because "The Youth Companion" only credited anonymous as the
author, Bellamy wouldn't be widely recognized as the author of the Pledge of
Allegiance until 1995, when after some disputes, Cherryvale resident
and Bellamy historian LaVerna Huneycutt set the record straight.
was pretty darn cool running into that tidbit of American History, and we
truly appreciated our private tour while there. Be sure to check out
the Cherryvale Museum if your ever in the area. They are located at
215 East 4th Street in historic Cherryvale Kansas.
and by the way, Kathy did a pretty good job on that television interview,
and we are under the impression that parts of it will be used on a cable
show later this year or early next on Investigation Discovery (ID) Channel. We'll keep you posted.
Dave Alexander - Sugar King to grand girls (who knew they can actually
Kathy Weiser-Alexander takes "cheese" to a whole new level
during her interview about the Bloody Benders.
Touch of Color - Kathy's had her "right brain" in gear toward photo's in
this new gallery in our Photo Print
Shop. Taking some vintage, and some more recent photos and adding a small
touch of color to each. Be sure to check out this "growing" gallery, which
includes other works by
David Fisk, and give us some feedback.
of Horseshoe Bend - In the Spring of 1814, a deadly and decisive battle
would occur on the Tallapoosa River in Alabama, killing more Native American's
in a single battle than any other in the history of America. It would also
result in the end of the Creek Civil War, and lead to the State of Alabama.
(200th Anniversary March 27, 2014)
the Pembina Post Office - Author Jim Benjaminson takes us to Pembina North
Dakota and a dark day in November 1878 when the effects of the Sam Bass gang
rippled into this tiny border town.
Washington Carver - Scientist, Educator, Inventor - Born to slave parents,
George Washington Carvers thirst for knowledge and love of nature would leave an
incredible legacy on the agricultural community of the United States.
Fort Caroline may not be in Florida after all. New evidence points to ruins
found on the Georgia Coast.
For more "What's New" on Legends Of America click
Native American Wisdom
What the people believe is true. -
All dreams spin out from the same
web. - Hopi
Cherish youth, but trust old age. -
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Featured Travel Destination
Best Kept Ghost
is a fun, entertaining way to relive aspects of the American West. Some
such as Oatman,
are not only inhabited, but make the most of their opportunity to
capitalize on their town’s former glory. In other cases, ghost towns
truly are empty and totally uninhabited, aside from archaeologists and
occasional tourists passing through. Such is the case high in the hills of
where the historic
of Garnet is located.
been to any of
other well-known ghost towns
like Virginia City or
Bannack, you’ll find Garnet just as
intriguing if not even more so.
situated in a remote valley located at the head of First Chance Creek,
6,000 feet up in the green pine forested mountains east of Missoula.
Garnet has an isolated feel to it and is not heavily touristed or
commercialized. As you might expect (especially when you see it),
Garnet has a reputation of being a haunted ghost town.
Garnet dates back to
the turn to the 20th century. It was named for the semi-precious
garnet rock first mined there before gold was found. Like most mining
towns, Garnet wasn’t built to last, yet over a century later,
buildings lacking foundations still stand.
Placer mining was practiced around the area later to be established as
Garnet in the 1860s, and gold was found at the First Chance Gulch in
1865. Miners worked about 50 mines in the vicinity. Garnet dates back
to 1895, but it wasn’t until an abundant strike at the Nancy Hanks
Mine that the town began to boom. In 1896, the Nancy Hanks Mine
produced $690,000, and the boom continued throughout the 1890s as
mining companies rolled into Garnet.
Based on the wealth it was producing, you can get a good idea of what
life there must have been like when Garnet was thriving. Garnet had
four hotels, four stores, two barbershops, a butcher shop, a doctor’s
office, laundry facilities and thirteen saloons.
Continue reading HERE
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Belle Starr - The Bandit
"I regard myself as a woman who has seen
much of life."
- Belle Starr stated to the The Fort
Smith Elevator about one year prior to her death.
Belle Starr was born Myra Belle
Shirley in a log cabin near
February 5, 1848 to "Judge” John Shirley and his third wife, Elizabeth
Pennington. Her father was the black sheep of a well-to-do Virginia
family who had moved west to Indiana, where he married and divorced twice.
His third wife, Eliza, was on the Hatfield side of the feuding Hatfield
and McCoy families.
they married, the Shirleys moved to Missouri in
1839, where John prospered raising wheat, corn, hogs and horses in
Jasper County. Myra’s older brother, John Allison "Bud” was born
to the Shirleys in 1842, and a younger son, Edwin, in 1850. The
next ten years were a financial success for the Shirleys who had two
In 1856, they sold
their land and moved to Carthage, Missouri,
where they built an inn, a tavern, livery stable and blacksmith
shop—their businesses taking up almost an entire city block. John
Shirley had become a respected member of the burgeoning county seat of
first, Myra Belle
lived the life of a spoiled, rich girl, attending the Carthage
Female Academy, where in addition to the basics, she was taught music
and classical languages. She was a bright student, with polite
manners, and a talent for playing the piano. However, she also
liked to flaunt her status a "rich girl” and liked having an audience. She also loved the outdoors, where she spent many a day roaming the
countryside with her older brother Bud, who taught her how to ride a
horse and handle a gun.
However, her life changed dramatically
Border War broke out. Jasper County watched both armies pass through time and again, forcing
residents to take sides, and making neighbors into bitter enemies.
Irregular bands of "Jayhawkers" and "Red Legs" laid waste to
communities in support of the Union.
Continue reading HERE.
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