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Legends Letter June, 2015


Kathy Weiser-Alexander doing her thing in Pahrump NevadaHey Ya'll!!


It's our birthday and we'll sing if we want to ................ La, la, la.


Actually, it prolly won't be our birthday when you get this, but, it's getting written on June 27th (that counts, right?), which is the date that I registered the domain name Legends of America 12 years ago in 2003. In actuality, we're even older because it started more than a year before, while I stumbled around trying to learn how to build a website, changed my mind about the direction a couple of times, and rebuilt the darn thang several times. Some of ya'll have been with me way back before it was Legends of America -- when it was tiny little High Country Legends. Thank you bunches!


Twelve years, and we're still growing! We are thrilled that you are a visitor, reader and fan of our website! We never could have imagined the joy it would bring to our lives, much less the thousands of miles traveled since. The people we've met along the way, even if just by email or social media, have been a large part of the driving force behind our passion (yeah, I'm talking about you). Over the past 12 months we've seen over 5.1 million of you come to our site to enjoy the Old West, travel destinations, Native American history and more, through 15.1 million page views.


And yet, we have more growing to do. Even with all that web traffic, we're still a small Mom & Pop shop, eking out a living, with dreams of sharing even more history from all corners of our great nation. There is so much to write about and share, it's nearly impossible to cover it all with just the two of us.


We've got dreams and we want to drag you along, if you'll let us. We've kind of reached a plateau and have come to a conclusion that we need some help. We've always welcomed submissions from other authors as a way to expand our content, but you'll soon see a larger push in that direction. If you are one, or know of one, let us know. We're looking for those lesser known/talked about pieces of history from all corners of the U.S., but especially the Eastern half, Alaska and Hawaii. I also just got off the phone with SCORE, an organization of individuals who are "Counselors to America's Small Business." Oh, my, my mind is racing. We can do this, we can, we can.



  • Website redesign to be friendly across all platforms - your phone, I-Pad, etc. That's huge given the fact that we have more than 4,000 pages.

  • Increased interaction with YOU and all of our readers.

  • Partnerships including writers, photographers, event planners, destinations, and more.

We've entered a contest through Wells-Fargo that offers 6 months of mentorship and a grand prize of $25,000 to fund business growth. There are hundreds, if not thousands of entries, but, hey, it's worth a shot. Part of the judging is based on Voting. If you've got a moment, would you give us your endorsement??



Vote For Legends of America!



We got bunches more ideas, but, I got to thinking .... Hey, we have business people, historians, website folks, and bunches more following us via this newsletter. What do ya'll think?? Got an idea? Own a business that we could cross promote? Want to write an article to be featured on LOA, or a photograph? We give bunches of Kudos!! Like to partner on a product, event, or have skills that you can offer that we can promote?  Drop us a line and let us know, we'd love to hear from you.



Kathy Weiser-Alexander

Wondering Around the Roads of American History Since 2003



In this Edition:

New Additions and Featured Stories

Rain-in-the-Face (1905 interview includes his key role in Custer's Last Stand)

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 Photo Travel Blog - Follow our travels in pictures with interesting historic tidbits to boot.

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

In Social Media:

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

Legends Photo Prints Facebook Page

Legends General Store Facebook Page

Legends on Twitter

Legends on Pinterest


New Additions and Featured Stories  


We have quite a bit of "new" stuff and updated stories since our last news letter. First, let's highlight some other authors and photographers that have contributed great material to Legends Of America.

William Galloway and his spreader early 1900sNoted Route 66 Author and car nut Jim Hinckley continues to expand our selection of Automobile History. William Galloway was born on a farm near Berlin, Iowa, and would go on to create an expanding farm business and even teamed with Maytag for an automobile. A great story of the rise and fall of the Galloway Empire and a must read here.

In addition, Jim also expanded his photo collection in Legends' Photo Print Shop. See them all in our "Jim Hinckley's America" gallery.

Pueblo Hotel Vintage Sign, by Jeroen and Maggie BoersmaAnd Jim was kind enough to introduce us to some European talent that have another artistic view of the United States that truly appreciate. Jeroen and Maggie Boersma, from Amsterdam, The Netherlands, have a special love of highways and signs in the United States. They make two to three trips a year to the United States, documenting historic neon signs and more before they disappear forever. We hope you enjoy their incredible work in our special Boersma Collection in Legends' Photo Print Shop.

We also want to congratulate Author Jackie Boor! In our last newsletter we introduced her submitted article The Death of Sheriff Tom Logan, which gives you a peek at her book LOGAN. Since then Jackie's book took first place in the Midwest Independent Publishing Association's history category, and received two more honors in the annual Eric Hoffer Book Awards, one of the largest international book awards for small, academic, and independent presses. If you missed it last time, be sure to read her Legends exclusive The Death of Sheriff Tom Logan. Congrats Jackie!!

You might also notice a different look at feel on our home page. We've added our Twitter Feed so you can see what we are highlighting on social media, and have remodeled to include interesting tidbits, what's getting the most attention on our website, and monthly highlights in history. Would appreciate your feedback, and stay tuned for more changes as we move forward as this is not the final change.

Here's just some of other stories we've added since our last newsletter:

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. Dave writes about this interesting town we passed through during our travels last summer.

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.

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. Also check out our Doors-Windows Photo Gallery.

See more What's New here



Happy Birthday United States of America!


Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776



Patriotic Quotes


Liberty can not be preserved without a general knowledge among the people. -- John Adams, 2nd U.S. President


Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.-- Martin Luther King, Jr., American Baptist Minister and Civil-Rights Leader



Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same. -- Ronald Reagan, 40th U.S. President



Old West Insults


He lasted as long as a pint of whiskey in a five-handed poker game.


His mustache smelled like a mildewed saddle blanket after it had been rid on a soreback hoss three hundred miles in August



Old West Wisdom


Nobody ever drowned himself in his own sweat.


Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.




Rain-in-the-Face "Strategic Sioux Warrior"  


Rain-in-the-faceThe Battle of Little Bighorn, June 25-26, 1876, is the most famous of Indian Battles. In 1905, Charles Eastman sat down with Sioux Warrior Rain-in-the-face who told about his life, and battles, including his key role in Custer's Last Stand.

The warrior, Eastman wrote, said "Many lies have been told of me. Some say that I killed the Chief, and others that I cut out the heart of his brother [Tom Custer], because he had caused me to be imprisoned. Why, in that fight the excitement was so great that we scarcely recognized our nearest friends! Everything was done like lightning. After the battle we young men were chasing horses all over the prairie, while the old men and women plundered the bodies; and if any mutilating was done, it was by the old men."

Here's more of this historic interview by Charles A. Eastman (Ohiyesa) in 1905, from his book Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains, published a decade later in 1918.


The noted Sioux warrior, Rain-in-the-Face, whose name once carried terror to every part of the frontier, died at his home on the Standing Rock reserve in North Dakota on  September 14, 1905. About two months before his death I went to see him for the last time, where he lay upon the bed of sickness from which he never rose again, and drew from him his life-history.

It had been my experience that you cannot induce an Indian to tell a story, or even his own name, by asking him directly.

"Friend," I said, "even if a man is on a hot trail, he stops for a smoke! In the good old days, before the charge there was a smoke. At home, by the fireside, when the old men were asked to tell their brave deeds, again the pipe was passed. So come, let us smoke now to the memory of the old days!"

He took of my tobacco and filled his long pipe, and we smoked. Then I told an old mirthful story to get him in the humor of relating his own history.

The old man lay upon an iron bedstead, covered by a red blanket, in a corner of the little log cabin. He was all alone that day; only an old dog lay silent and watchful at his master's feet.

Finally he looked up and said with a pleasant smile:

"True, friend; it is the old custom to retrace one's trail before leaving it forever! I know that I am at the door of the spirit home.

"I was born near the forks of the Cheyenne River, about seventy years ago. My father was not a chief; my grandfather was not a chief, but a good hunter and a feast-maker. On my mother's side I had some noted ancestors, but they left me no chieftainship. I had to work for my reputation.

"When I was a boy, I loved to fight," he continued. "In all our boyish games I had the name of being hard to handle, and I took much pride in the fact.

"I was about ten years old when we encountered a band of Cheyenne. They were on friendly terms with us, but we boys always indulged in sham fights on such occasions, and this time I got in an honest fight with a Cheyenne boy older than I. I got the best of the boy, but he hit me hard in the face several times, and my face was all spattered with blood and streaked where the paint had been washed away. The Sioux boys whooped and yelled:

"'His enemy is down, and his face is spattered as if with rain! Rain-in-the-Face! His name shall be Rain-in-the-Face!'

"Afterwards, when I was a young man, we went on a warpath against the Gros Ventre. We stole some of their horses, but were overtaken and had to abandon the horses and fight for our lives. I had wished my face to represent the sun when partly covered with darkness, so I painted it half black, half red. We fought all day in the rain, and my face was partly washed and streaked with red and black: so again I was christened Rain-in-the-Face. We considered it an honorable name.

"I had been on many warpaths, but was not especially successful until about the time the Sioux began to fight with the white man."

Continue Reading HERE



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What our readers are saying about Legends Of America.


Absolutely love reading the articles. So envious that you can travel and visit these places, but glad you do and are willing to share - Jim in California


I stumbled onto your website and find it to be a treasure trove for western history among other things. I really enjoy the style of writing you folks use, it is down to earth, witty and real "folksy", not the contrived, pseudo-intellectual, boring style of other authors. As a history teacher, and lover of history, I find your website a great resource for information... Your website is one of the most entertaining on the net, good wholesome entertainment that provides really fun information. I am a fan for life. Thanks, Randy (location unknown)


Thank you for your website and adventures. I actually feel like I am traveling with you. I learn much from your tails and trails. - Jerry in So. California.



Feedback and Suggestions  


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Kathy Weiser-Alexander

Dave Alexander


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