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Legends Letter July, 2015


Howdy Y'all! 


Dave here, wanting to let you know that my partner in history will be on a TV screen near you this Sunday night (August 2) at 9pm Central. She's contributing to the popular series "Gunslingers" on the American Heroes Channel (AHC), jawing on about Bat Masterson. Not all of you get that channel, so here's a link to the clip of the show for your viewing pleasure. I've also included Kathy's own story on Bat in our Featured Old West story below. 


This was the interview Kathy did in Dodge City, Kansas that I mentioned in our January newsletter. Since that time she's done another interview in El Paso, Texas for a show called Lawmen, which will also appear on the American Heroes Channel (AHC). Don't know when that one will be, but we'll keep you posted.


In both this Sunday's show and the yet to be released Lawmen show, Kathy was wise enough to let go of the fancy pants look and stick to her roots. In other words, she wore her hat. I love that hat, which even has a Ranger star on it. She's had that wonderful hunk of felt since before we met and it fits her well. Personally, I thought when she got all gussied up for last years appearance on Discovery Channel's "Evil Kin" it just didn't suit her true personality. She looks more like the cowgirl I fell in love with in this years show, and I think some of her 'tude' comes across better as well. I mean really, who wouldn't have a sassy 'tude' wearing that hat?!


To say that I'm proud of her is an understatement, and with the "bucket load of cents" she got for doing the show's, she actually took me out for dinner at a nice Mexican Restaurant, and I'm not talking Taco Bell! I need to get her on another show soon...love those chalupa's.


In the meantime, it's been another hot summer at Fort Alexander in Missouri. Every July when the sauna cranks up we tend to stay inside, at which point Kathy comes up with major projects to do. That will translate to a slightly new look to our website over the next week or two, and while it still won't be all "mobile phone friendly", it should be a cleaner look that will fit better on your device as we continue to work on it. Good news is that our Photo Print Shop is now a complete "mobile friendly" shopping experience, with the ability to actually buy photos from your phone instead of having to save them and going to a desktop or laptop computer for purchase later.  Of course our General Store has been that way for over a year now, so we're making progress!


50 States and D.C. Postcard SetSpeaking of Legends' General Store, Kathy finally completed postcard designs for all 50 States and the District of Columbia, so we've put together a special Postcard Set that you can purchase. We've been asked about that for a while, so it's nice to have it to offer.


I'm Your Huckleberry T-ShirtIn addition, we now offer t-shirts in our Old West selection, and will be adding up quite a few more, including Route 66 designs. Also, be sure to check out "Personalized T-Shirts" for Dad and Grandpa, and we have a bunch of new 11x17 Poster designs in our Americana selection!  Plenty to come as we fill up the General Store with more goodies.


All this work and heat has kept me in the cabin office out back most of the time, but I haven't been alone. I found evidence of a mouse some weeks ago who had made a home inside a roll of toilet paper under the bathroom sink. Mr. Riley and Miss Kaydee Dog were not happy with the company, and let me know loud and clear (as they chased the poor thing around) that they were having none of it.  They never did catch the mouse, and I kinda forgot about it until it attracted another visitor to my cabin bathroom.  After my third cup of Cherokee Ground one morning, it was time to pay a visit, and as I unzipped I looked up to see a stick that appeared to be leaning on something behind the toilet and standing about 2 feet over the back. I thought "Who in the world has been in here, and why did they leave that walking stick there?"  Then it dawned on me that the damn stick was looking at me, and it wasn't made of wood.  You've never seen such a sight until you see me running out of the cabin with my fly open yellin' "SNAKE!". Figured out pretty quick it was a five foot black snake, and I assume him and the mouse had dinner together and left, cause I haven't seen either since.  But, for a while, I went into the main hacienda to take care of my business.


Well, that's about all I have for this round.  Hope you have a chance to catch Kathy on Gunslingers Sunday night. You'll see what I mean about the hat.


Dave Alexander,

Zipped and ready for my next adventure.


Ps. Thanks to everyone who showed incredible support for our entry into the Wells Fargo Works Project. We'll let you know after they announce the winners how we did.





In this Edition:


New Additions and Featured Stories

Bat Masterson

Bannack, Montana

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 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  


Author Lenora GoodImagine You Are Marie Dorion. That's what author Lenora Rain-Lee Good wants you to experience in this article submitted special to Legends of America.  A native of the Pacific Northwest with a life-long fascination of history, Good didn't really learn about the only female member of the Astor Expedition in 1811 until she found an historical roadside marker that peaked her interest.  So much so, she wrote a book "Madame Dorion - Her Journey to the Oregon Country", a fact based historical fiction published in 2014.  We're happy that Good contributed this wonderful article that introduces you to her book and tells the story of Dorion, the first pioneer woman to cross the country overland and settle in Oregon Country.  Thanks Lenora!


Meanwhile on our Photo Print Shop, although it's been there a while but not visible to visitors until now, Dave has a special gallery called "Sitting on the Dock at the Lake" that, if you're into scenery, is worth checking out.  It's mostly images from the dock across the road from us, with some other scenes of the lake mixed in.  We're blessed to live in this beautiful area, and thankful each and every day for our view. 


A Blue Heron sits upon the roof of a dock on the Lake of the Ozarks. Dave Alexander


There's also a bunch of new additions to Jim Hinckley's America gallery and our new Boersma Sign Collection. Be sure to check them out and give us your feedback on the new "mobile" experience rolled out this week on our Photo Print Shop.



Native American Proverbs & Wisdom

Every animal knows more than you do. - Nez Perce


A danger foreseen is half-avoided. - Cheyenne


Cherish youth, but trust old age. - Pueblo


It is no longer good enough to cry peace, we must act peace, live peace and live in peace. - Shenandoah


A rocky vineyard does not need a prayer, but a pick ax. - Navajo


A people without a history is like the wind over buffalo grass. - Sioux


Newsletter Email Address Changes:   If you need to change your newsletter email address, please return to the Newsletter page and unsubscribe, then re-subscribe with your new email address.


Bat Masterson - Loyalty in Lawlessness  


Also from our What's New page, Kathy has added up an expanded story on Bat Masterson, whom she will be discussing on the television show "Gunslingers" this Sunday night at 9pm Central on the American Heroes Channel.


Bat MastersonLawman, 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. He was actually a genuine and honest man, who didn't have a reputation for violence, but, was loyal to the end, in defending his friends.


William Barclay Masterson was born on November 26, 1853 in Iberville County, Quebec, Canada. His father, Thomas Masterson was born in Canada and by occupation was a farmer. His mother, Catherine McGurk, was an immigrant of Ireland. Bat was the second child in a family of five brothers and two sisters. They were raised on farms in Quebec, New York, and Illinois, until they finally settled near Wichita, Kansas in 1871. During his boyhood years he became an expert in the use of firearms, and accompanied expeditions that went out to hunt buffalo.


In the Fall of 1871, 18-year-old Bat headed west to hunt buffalo along with his 19-year-old brother Ed. During this time, he camped with hunters working along the Salt Fork River in present Comanche and Barber Counties in Kansas and during visits to other buffalo hunting camps, the brothers met several men who would also become legends in western history, including Wyatt Earp, Billy Dixon, Tom Nixon, and "Prairie Dog" Dave Morrow.


The nickname "Bat" was given to him by his companions one day while out on one of these trips, the name coming from Baptiste Brown, or "Old Bat," whose fame as a leader, hunter, and trapper was well known in the generation that preceded Masterson upon the Western stage.


In the summer of 1872, Bat and Ed worked on a construction crew that was expanding the Santa Fe railroad to Colorado. That winter, they returned to buffalo hunting and were joined by their younger brother, Jim in their camp along Kiowa Creek southeast of Dodge City. In January, 1873, the Masterson brothers gave up buffalo hunting. Bat remained in Dodge City, but his brothers returned to the family farm in Sedgwick County. However, Ed was soon back in Dodge, just the following month, and went to work in the Alhambra Saloon. Bat returned to buffalo hunting but, the number of buffalo were becoming fewer and fewer. By 1874, the vast numbers of buffalo roaming Kansas had been slaughtered, so many of the hunters moved south and west into what was hostile Indian Territory.


Continue reading "Bat Masterson - Loyalty in Lawlessness"



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Bannack - Gold to Ghost  


One of our favorite Ghost Town visits was in 2008 to Bannack Montana State Park.


Bannack, Montana

On July 28, 1862, John White and other members of the "Pikes Peakers” discovered gold in the creek waters where Bannack stands today. It was the beginning for both Bannack and the State of Montana, considered one of the last frontiers. The creek was originally named Willard Creek by the Lewis and Clark Expedition when they came through in 1805. But, due to the large grasshopper population in 1862, it was renamed Grasshopper Creek.


The Colorado prospectors filed one of the first gold claims in what was Idaho Territory at the time and, would later become Montana. News of the strike traveled fast and led to the greatest rush to the West since the California Gold Rush in 1848. A mining camp was quickly built, literally springing up overnight. Most of the miners lived in  tents, caves, dugouts, shanties, huts, and wagons.


Word spread quickly that Bannack’s gold was unlike other gold. Grasshopper Creek’s gold was 99-99.5% pure, compared to most gold at 95% and miners continued to flood the area. Bannack quickly became known as the New Eldorado of the North and by October the camp was called home to more than 400 prospectors.


The people who rushed to Bannack were not only miners, they also included many deserters of the Civil War, outlaws and businessmen intent on profiting from the many newcomers. These early settlers arrived by wagon, stagecoach, horse back, steamboat, and even by foot, in search of their fortunes. Not anticipating the harsh Montana winter, many came ill-prepared and lacking supplies, creating a great hardship for these early pioneers.


As in most mining towns Bannack’s population consisted of mostly men, with the exception of saloon girls and "painted ladies." For the few wives living in camp, dances were their only social activity and relief from household duties.


Continue reading Bannack - Gold to Ghost




What our readers are saying about Legends Of America.


I wanted to find out more about Nicodemus after reading the history of how it was settled. Great site, next time in Kansas I will make a point to visit the town. Thanks so much for the valuable history of this part of the country. - Bishop in Florida


I always hear the comment that America was an Indian nation/their land first. Googled it and this site came up. Very informative to me as I never put much thought into it and history classes were years ago. Never to old to learn. Thank you. Douglas in Ohio


Thank you so much for the outstanding customer service! We were thrilled with your assistance and very fast delivery - Patti at Old New Orleans Rum


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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