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Legends of America - A Travel Site for the Nostalgic & Historic Minded
Legends Letter July, 2014


Longhorn at the Ft. Worth Texas Stockyards. Kathy Weiser-Alexander, July 2014

Longhorn at the Ft. Worth Texas Stockyards. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander, July 2014.

No Bull - We made it to Video!  I'll tell you more about that in a second, but first we want to thank all our readers for yet another great year on the world wide web.  Legends of America turned 11 years old back in June, and it's all because of you that we're still kickin. 

Since the last newsletter we've been busy with the usual and sometimes not so usual.  Kathy has filled our garage with stuff for her booth at a local antique mall and flea market, now known as The Coal Bin.  I've persistently pestered her to get it out of the garage and into the booth. She finally relents, I enjoy parking in the garage for a couple of weeks, then she starts the process over again.  Current status:  I'm parked in the driveway.  But she's having fun doing it, so that's what matters right? 

Barn near Huntsville, Arkansas. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander, July 2014We've also gone on a couple more adventures not too far from home, but far enough to drag along our mobile motel (Travel Trailer).  Kathy was about to lose her mind I think (or was she losing mine?) and we just had to push aside our projects for a quick trip for ghost towns and history adventures, picking St. Joseph Missouri as our main attraction.  Look for stories soon about the ghost town of Doniphan Kansas, one of our favorite stops on the trip. 

Kathy also did a rare solo trip (first time she has driven alone in several years) down to Ft. Worth and Dallas to see her sister.  While there she paid a visit to the Ft. Worth stockyards and explored a bit of scenery on the way back home, including some great shots in Arkansas. Meanwhile I stayed home with the dogs and prepared for our usual Independence Day visitors and fun on the lake.  Had a blast with the grand kids, made some new friends and had a very enjoyable holiday.  We hope you had a chance to celebrate our Nations birthday with friends and family as well, and salute all those that continue to keep us Free! We are forever thankful.

On the not so usual side of things, we received a DVD in the mail back in May, and at first I couldn't figure out why.  After opening the package and reading the brief letter basically saying "Here it is, enjoy and let us know you received it", I was still a bit clueless, until Kathy chimed in "That's the video we're in!"  Hmmm... looking back through our newsletters of the past year, I don't think I've mentioned "the interview". 

Kathy Weiser-Alexander sits down with Ron Meyer of Centre Communications for Ghost Towns: America's Lost WorldOn April 15, 2013, Ron Meyer, an award winning documentarian with Centre Communications in Colorado, brought out a camera man and set up in our living room for a chat about Ghost Towns.  For me personally, receiving the DVD was the day I was dreading, because it was that interview which convinced me I was "not made for TV/Video".  I went first, and felt like I had completely lost every bit of intelligence as soon as the camera light came on.

Like a deer in the headlights, I muddled my way through about 45 minutes to an hour of stumbling around so much that afterward I was sure it would be the most humiliating experience of my life.  Kathy did MUCH better than I, as usual, but she too had issues after 'good ol' Dave' thought they were done and interrupted the session wanting to tell them about the Boston Bombing that had just occurred.  After that it kind of fell apart. 

So, convinced that I had jinxed our debut on film, I shoved the whole episode out of my head, and was extremely thankful when Kathy got another shot back in early February with another production company, interviewing her about the Bloody Benders (still waiting for word on that one, will probably be late this year or early next on the ID Channel).  She did such a great job without me around that I figured it made up for my performance last year. 

I honestly didn't expect to hear anything more about the April 2013 interview, but here it was, staring me in the face.  After some anxious moments and fast forwarding through segments my worries were quickly alleviated. Centre Communications did an incredible job on this video, and we're both very proud to be a part of it.  Although, to be honest, I don't remember saying half of what I said in the video.  Here are the details:

Ghost Towns (America's Lost World) 2 Disc DVD

Kathy Weiser-AlexanderGhost Towns: America's Lost World DVDUnearth America's Lost World! This 5-Part series ventures into the roots of our nations high hopes and hard labors to discover the towns that boomed fast and went bust even faster. Through original footage, interviews with experts and archival materials, this fascinating documentary takes viewers on an amazing journey through our abandoned history. From the deserts of California and mountains of Colorado to the forts, trails and battle sites of war, witness the precious remains of the past that only exist today as shadows of former glories and empty promises.

Dave AlexanderFirst time on DVD! Legends of America's own Kathy Weiser-Alexander and Dave Alexander, along with noted Ghost Town author Philip Varney, authors Jeff Barnes, Kenneth Jessen and many more, even an appearance from Bob Boze Bell. Created and Produced by Award-Winning Documentarians, Centre Communications, exclusively for Mill Creek Entertainment. Total Running time 5 hours, 34 minutes. 

Exclusive Newsletter offer: Click HERE and use coupon code NEWS at checkout for 20% off everything in our General Store, including Ghost Towns (America's Lost World) 2 Disc DVD. Offer good through September 1, 2014.

Next up on our agenda is to escape the heat and head north.  As of this writing, Kathy's plotting a course for Wisconsin and Michigan in August and September. May be our only "big" trip this year, but we are sure to have a blast and look forward to sharing our adventure via the blog, on Facebook and Twitter and in new stories to come.

Dave Alexander - Overly Dramatic Dude and nail biter.

Legends of America


In this Edition:

New Additions and Featured Stories

Travel Destination - Kingman Arizona and the 2014 Int. Route 66 Festival

Old West Legends & Native Americans - Did John Jarrette of the James Gang really die in California? And the Plains Indians - Surviving with the Buffalo.

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

Legends Photo Prints Facebook Page

Legends on Twitter

Legends on Pinterest

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


Tall Oak, Troy Kansas, Kathy Weiser-Alexander 2014

Tall Oak, Peter Toth Indian Monument in Troy, Kansas.


Abandoned School In Doniphan Kansas. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander 2014

Abandoned School in Doniphan Kansas.


Abandoned Car in Doniphan Kansas. Dave Alexander 2014

Abandoned Car in Doniphan Kansas.


New Additions and Featured Stories  

Church in Watrous, New MexicoWatrous - River Junction on the Santa Fe Trail - The valley where the tiny town of Watrous stands today, has long been a resting and meeting place, beginning with the indigenous tribes of the area. It continued to be a popular stop when the Santa Fe Trail came through the area.

Samuel Watrous and third wife, Josephine Chapin WatrousThe Life & Mysterious Death of Samuel B. Watrous - Rancher and farmer of Mora County, New Mexico for whom the town of Watrous is named. After a long and successful life living along the Santa Fe Trail, he was killed by two gunshots to the head, which remains a mystery today.

The Lucien Maxwell House, Cimarron, New Mexico, 1864Maxwell Ranch on the Santa Fe Trail - One of the most interesting and picturesque regions of all New Mexico was the immense tract of nearly two million acres known as Maxwell's Ranch, through which the Santa Fe Trail ran. (By Colonel Henry Inman in 1897)

Soldiers and IndiansIndian Terrors on the Santa Fe Trail - Almost immediately after Mexican-American War and the addition of the southwest to the United States, the powerful Ute tribe inaugurated a bloody and relentless war against white settlers in the Territory. (By Colonel Henry Inman in 1897)

Deadwood, South Dakota StagecoachOverland Mail on the Santa Fe Trail - The Santa Fe line of beautifully painted, elegant mail stages left Independence, Missouri on its first monthly journey on July 1, 1850.

Raton Pass, New MexicoThe Treacherous Raton Pass on the Santa Fe Trail - Raton Pass, at the border of present day New Mexico and Colorado, was one of the most important, yet treacherous, segments of the Mountain Branch Santa Fe Trail. The pass cut through the snow-capped Sangre de Cristo Mountains, allowing wagons access to the vast western territory.

Branches of the Santa Fe Trail - The historic trade route of the Santa Fe Missouri through Kansas to Santa Fe, New Mexico had two primary branches -- the Cimarron Route and the Mountain Route. During the trail's heydays, both were well traveled for different reasons.

Morris County, Kansas Santa Fe Trail - Continue traveling the old Santa Fe Trail into Morris County, Kansas, where numerous historic sites can still be seen and visited.

Seth M. Hays, Founder of Council Grove, KansasFrom our Legends Of Kansas PagesSeth M. Hayes, Founder of Council Grove - Seth was a shrewd, colorful, and successful trader, rancher, tavern owner, and publisher. Settling early on the Santa Fe Trail, he founded Council Grove,Kansas. 

Legends Of Kansas Pages - Charles H. Withington - Santa Fe Trail Merchant - Withington was one of many who operated a store along the Santa Fe Trail and was involved in the tumultuous days of Bleeding Kansas

William Becknell blazes the Santa Fe TrailSanta Fe Trail People - Find many of the people who were involved in the trade of the Santa Fe Trail, folks who traveled the pathway, and those who wrote about it. Here, you'll not only find well known names such as folks like Buffalo Bill Cody, William Becknell, and Christopher "Kit" Carson; but, also, many of those small store proprietors, the Indians, who were displaced by the blazing of the trail, and more. 

Santa Fe Trail,Kansas - Continuing the expansion of Santa Fe Trail history through Kansas into Osage County, and Waubaunsee and Lyon Counties.

Independence, Missouri Square, 1850Independence, Missouri - Queen City of the Trails - Lying on the south bank of the Missouri River, near the western edge of the state, Independence, Missouri was originally called home to the Kanza and Osage Indians, who called the area Big Spring.


Santa Fe Trail Map Douglas, Osage and Lyon CountiesIn an expansion of our Santa Fe Trail history, we dive deeper into the trail in Johnson County and Douglas County, Kansas.


Johnson County Santa Fe Trail - The different Missouri River branches of the trail, whether from old Franklin, Fort Osage, Independence, Westport, or Kansas City, came together in Johnson County, Kansas and by one common course, passed out of the county near its southwest corner.


Douglas County Santa Fe Trail - The trail entered Douglas County near its southeast corner, a few miles east of the old town of Black Jack before taking northwesterly course through Palmyra and on to Willow Springs. Here, it turned to the southwest, passing close to the now extinct towns of Globe and Baden and into Osage County about three miles north of the southwest corner of Douglas County.

John Wilkes Booth - Actor to Assassin - John Wilkes Booth loved acting, but was even more passionate about his politics, which would lead to one of the darkest days in American History and the loss of a beloved President. 

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


Native American Wisdom

It is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand. - Apache

He who would do great things should not attempt them all alone. - Seneca

When a man moves away from nature his heart becomes hard. - Lakota

Ask questions from you heart and you will be answered from the heart. - Omaha


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Historic Liberty Quotes

Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it. -- Mark Twain, American writer

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their Constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it. -- Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President

Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government. -- Thomas Jefferson, 3rd US President and Author of the Declaration of Independence

The citizen can bring our political and governmental institutions back to life, make them responsive and accountable, and keep them honest. No one else can. -- John Gardner, American writer and politician

We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people. -- John F. Kennedy, 35th U.S. President


Travel Destination - Kingman, AZ Gateway to Hoover Dam  

Kingman Arizona will be a more lively than ever this August as it hosts the 2014 International Route 66 Festival.  There will be a lot to see and do during the event on August 14-17, including concerts, Bob Waldmire Art Exhibit, Artists, Authors and Collectors Exhibit, Car Show and much more.  Be sure to check out the official website for the 2014 International Route 66 Festival here for more information.  Hat's off to Jim Hinckley for leading the charge and keeping everyone up to date on the organization of this event.  We look forward to their success.

Kingman is an excellent choice for the Route 66 Festival and has some great history behind it.

Kingman, Arizona, 1940

Kingman, Arizona, 1940 vintage postcard.

In October, 1857, Lieutenant Edward Fitzgerald Beale first explored the present site of Kingman when he and his team surveyed the 35th parallel in anticipation of building the wagon road. In the heat of the desert they used camels for transportation, an idea they were sure would catch on. Alas, it never did. When the wagon road, stretching from Fort Defiance, New Mexico to the Colorado River was complete, it was named for the Lieutenant. Soon Beale Road saw all manner of travelers trekking through the desert. In the beginning these were primarily miners and prospectors seeking their fortunes.

When the railroad began to reach this part of the west, a man named Lewis Kingman surveyed the route between Albuquerque, New Mexico and Needles, California in 1880.  The new railroad, when it arrived, would closely parallel Beale’s old wagon road. Later when Route 66 came barreling through; it too, would closely follow this historic path.

In 1882, a settlement cropped up along the railroad tracks that soon had a rooming house and a couple of stores. The fledgling town was named after Lewis Kingman, the railroad surveyor. A year later the railroad tracks were complete and more new businesses began to pop up, including a hotel and several tent buildings housing a restaurant, a saloon, and a mining operations office.  Soon a post office was also established.

Continue reading about Kingman - Gateway to Hoover Dam HERE.


Featured Product:

We've expanded our line of Nuwati Herbal Products!

Cherokee Herbal Remedies from the Rocky Mountain General Store

Come see our new selection of Oils and Creams, Salt Scrubs and Bath Salts, all made right here in the U.S.A. by Nuwati Herbals.  Save 20% when you use coupon code NEWS at checkout. Offer good through September 1, 2014.


What our readers are saying about Legends Of America.

I have enjoyed your newsletter every month, I look forward to reading your journeys thru the history of our nation. I have visited several sites that you have mentioned in your column...I am so glad that you have kept up those journeys, so us common folk can enjoy it. Thank you, Karen in New Mexico

I'm a history addict and ran across your site via Pinterest while looking at old west saloons. I found the information interesting with attention to details!  Thank you and keep up the good work!  Amy in Mississippi


Old West Legends & Native Americans  


I have had your site bookmarked as one of my favorites for just over 10 years now and just realized that you had a Facebook page. ..This has been one of the best places I use almost daily as a great source of American History.... History was always my favorite subject in both grade school and high school and wish we would of been able to add this site to our history books years ago.... Please keep up the great work and if I can make a donation to help you in your endeavor please send me information on how I can do that. Thanks for a wonderful website!!! - Joe In Missouri  [Joe, while our store, advertising and photo's have paid the basic bills, we are starting to consider raising money to make our website more mobile friendly, give a platform to lesser known authors, and travel to write about more destinations. We'll let you know what we decide, but for the record, your visit and kind comments are tremendous support.- Dave Alexander]

Love the website. It's very obvious you have put a lot of time and work into it. Hard to believe you do it with just two people. Very impressive! Edward in Georgia

I was searching for "The first alignment of route 66" on Yahoo and your site came up first. I have been here all day today researching the Old Rte 66 in Illinois and the information is the BEST I have found on the internet. ...You have a GREAT site here and I am now working my way WEST from Chicago using Google Earth to mark the road and sights to see for myself AND my friends ...Thanks again for wonderful site. James in Arizona

Very informative and interesting. Started with Doc Holliday, Big Nose Kate, then Wyatt Earp and his brothers. Now I am reading about the cowboys. Enjoying this reading material immensely! Kathleen in Idaho.

Man was I born a hundred years late or what haha, I love the Wild West...this is by far the best website I've come across for historical info. I heard of the show Deadwood years ago but never watched until last week and its so good I watched the whole series in 5 days lol. Then I went on google to see what the real story was and I've been reading on your site for the last 2 days...amazing site, a million thanks...the more I read the more links I find to other cool Wild West stuff to read...take care...Big Jim in Washington

Did you know? That you can see daily stories, from the Old West to Route 66, on our Legends Facebook Page? It's a daily dose of Legends sure to please!



From our Native American Pages

The Plains Indians - Surviving with the Buffalo

Plains Indians Map

Plains Indians Map, courtesy Smithsonian Institution

The term “Plains Indians” refers to the many Native American tribes that lived on the plains and rolling hills of middle North America in the region between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains and from Canada to Mexico.

The Arapaho, Assiniboine, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Comanche, Crow, Gros Ventre, Kiowa, Plains Apache, Plains Cree, Plains Ojibwe, Sarsi, Shoshone, Sioux, and Tonkawa. and were all nomadic tribes who followed the buffalo herds and lived in tipis. Though nomadic, some tribes occasionally engaged in agriculture; primarily growing tobacco and corn.

A second group of semi-nomadic tribes, sometimes referred to as Prairie Indians, included the Arikara, Hidatsa, Iowa, Kanza, Kitsai, Mandan, Missouri, Nez Percé, Omaha, Osage, Otoe, Pawnee, Ponca, Quapaw, Santee, Wichita, and Yankton tribes. These groups spent part of every year in fixed villages where they raised crops, and spent the rest of the year hunting buffalo and living in tipis.

Buffalo on the PlainsThe nomadic tribes survived on hunting all types of game, such as elk and antelope, but, the buffalo was their main source of food. Every part of the buffalo was used. In addition to providing food, the the Indians used the skins for tipis and clothing, hides for robes, shields, and ropes; they used dried buffalo dung for fuel, made tools, such as horn spoons, scrapers from bone; sinew or muscle was used to make bowstrings, moccasins, and bags; and the hoofs were used to make glue. Following the seasonal migration of the buffalo, the tipis that the Plains Indians lived in were ideal for their nomadic lifestyle, as they were easily put up and disassembled.

Continue Reading about The Plains Indians HERE.


Feedback and Suggestions  


We always appreciate feedback about the website and our newsletter. Do you have a suggestion about content that you would like to see, or perhaps, would like to contribute a photograph or a story? We would love to hear about it! We also want to hear about suggestions for improvement. See a link that doesn't work or a picture that doesn't appear -- please let us know. Just drop us a line at our Email address and tell us what you think.


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Legends of America


A Travel Guide for the

Nostalgic & Historic Minded


28926 Cedar Hill Loop

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Kathy Weiser-Alexander


Dave Alexander
Owner/Operations Mgr.


Email - Kathy
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