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

Kathy's "Patriotic Chicken" in Traverse City, MichiganWe were traveling down a major street in Traverse City, Michigan last month, sitting in the midst of some god-awful road construction, when out of the blue Kathy asks "What's with all these patriotic chickens I keep seeing?" Piquing my curiosity as to what a "patriotic chicken" looks like, I quickly glanced around to find this 'blow up' display in front of a business. "Uhhh, I think that's an Eagle honey", I said, trying to keep the giggle from escaping and not succeeding.  Either Kathy need's another eye check, or she was craving KFC.

Chicken, Eagle, what ever; it was one of those quirky moments on the road with my wife and our two dogs during tour of history in the Upper Midwest.  We headed out on August 17 with a general idea of where we were going, but of course that changed as we went.  Didn't make it to even part of Minnesota as we had planned, nor did we go through Ohio.  But we did have a lot of fun and took in some great history in Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and a small bit of Indiana.

We thought we would be gone for 6 weeks, but like previous adventures, Kathy packed too much into our agenda as far as travel time with the trailer, so by week 4 we were down right exhausted.  And then we started hearing about how "cold" it was expected to be back home this Winter.  Having a limited budget for big excursions, we decided it might be a good idea to save some of this years funds for a Winter trip to the south west in January.  If we play our cards right, we could be in Arizona about the time the lake freezes over in Warsaw.  Fingers crossed it pans out.

Even with our trip cut short (came back September 20) we still traveled 4,020 miles. We explored a former utopian society in Iowa, and faded into the corn at the Field of Dreams.  Had a blast in Old World Wisconsin, and were grateful for the opportunity to see historic breweries in Milwaukee before their demolition. Fluttered with the Monarch's at Stonington Peninsula, and were very pleased with the Mining Ghost Towns of Copper Island, Michigan.  Even Leelanu Peninsula was a blast.  But don't take my word for it, see it for yourself via the following Photo and Travel Blog's from our trip.

Amish in MissouriStrolling into Iowa (Photo Blog) - We head out of Missouri, catching the sites and history in photos along the way.

Amana Colonies - A Tour through Time (Photo Blog) - Images from our visit to the seven communities that make up Amana Colonies in Iowa, an interesting piece of communal history.


Amana Colonies (Travel Blog) - Read about the history of how the Amana Colonies were formed and why "The Great Change" in 1932 was brought about.


Iowa to Wisconsin Via a Field of Dreams (Photo Blog)  - We had a blast at the Field of Dreams movie site before landing in Pikes Peak State Park for some rich Mississippi history.  After browsing the photo blog, read about the history of McGregor, Prairie du Chien and more via the Travel Blog.


Prairie du Chien via a Field of Dreams (Travel Blog) - Read about the Field of Dreams Movie Site along with the history of McGregor Iowa and Prairie du Chien Wisconsin and more in this edition of our adventure in the Upper Midwest.

When in Rome... Wisconsin (Photo Blog) - We headed out of Prairie du Chien and across Wisconsin to Kettle Moraine State Park, catching some great views along the way.

Images of Old World Wisconsin (Photo Blog) - Now in our all time favorite list, Old World Wisconsin outdoor museum has something for the entire family to see and do. See our visit in images via this photo blog.


Old World Wisconsin (Travel Blog) - Read about how this outdoor museum came together and the interesting history we found inside via our Travel Blog.


East Central Wisconsin from Fond du Lac (Photo Blog) - We took a little down time but still explored the area around Fond du Lac and over to Lake Michigan.  See our visit via this photo blog.


Milwaukee Area and Beer (Photo Blog) - For our time in East Central Wisconsin, we save Milwaukee for last and traveled down from Fond du Lac on Labor Day weekend for some history in German immigration, beer and more. See our visit through images on our Photo Blog.


Fond du Lac to Milwaukee (Travel Blog) - Did you know that Milwaukee was born out of a Bridge War? Read some interesting history of Milwaukee and a little bit of the surrounding area in this post on our Travel Blog.


Lake Life around Bailys Harbor in Door County Wisconsin

A Little Door County (Photo Blog) - We moved on to the Door Peninsula and found lake life on the Bay, along with some history and great photo opportunities. It's easy to understand why this area of Wisconsin attracts so many during the tourist season.


Stonington Peninsula and Ghost Town Fayette (Photo Blog) - We made it to Michigan and parked our trailer on the Stonington Peninsula for several days of exploration, including the fantastic and well preserved ghost town of Fayette. See our visit to the Peninsula Point Lighthouse, Fayette Historic Town Site and more in this edition of our Photo Blog.


Fayette Historic Town Site, Michigan - Dave Alexander 2014On to Michigan and the Fayette Historic Town Site (Travel Blog) - Read about the history of Fayette, a small industrial 19th century town on the Garden Peninsula of Michigan that is preserved as an historic town site.  Talk about some interesting history.. read about it in this edition of our Travel Blog.


Abandoned Rail Engine at Quincy Mine Shaft No.2, Hancock, MIKeweenaw Peninsula and Copper Island (Photo Blog) - We hit our ultimate goal of ghost towns and mining camps, surrounded by beautiful blue waters in the Upper Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan.  See our journey in images, and be sure to hover over the photos for some fascinating history in this edition of our Photo Blog.


Toodlin' Down to St. Ignace (Photo Blog) - We took a more leisurely stroll from Hancock to St. Ignace for our final days in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  See our quick journey in photos in this latest Photo Blog. 


Fishtown in Leland, MI. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.Leelanau Peninsula and a Bit of Indiana (Photo Blog) - We've wrapped up our tour of history in the Upper Midwest after traveling up and down the Leelanau Peninsula and then exploring Amish country in Indiana.  See our latest Photo Blog.


Of course our journey isn't finished.  We'll be writing about many of the places we visited in more detail as we add stories over the next few months.  We want to thank everyone who followed us on our trip via Facebook and Twitter, and to the many wonderful people we met along the way.  If I had to pick a couple of favorites from the entire trip, I would say Old World Wisconsin and Copper Island are must visits for history buffs like us, but as you can tell, there is a lot to explore in the Upper Midwest.


Our travel for the year is not completely done.  We're heading to Cuba, Missouri for Cuba fest and hopefully some great fall color to share with you soon.  More about that Mother Road adventure below in this newsletter.


Dave Alexander - Patriotic Chicken seeker/ Driver/ Dog wrangler and Keeper of the Treats


In this Edition:


New Additions and Featured Stories


Spook-Tober - La Llorona


Route 66 - Cuba (Mural City)


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.




Legends' Mascots Miss Kaydee and Mr. Riley at Vagabond RV Resort, Michigan

Legends' Mascots Miss Kaydee and Mr. Riley at Vagabond RV Resort, Michigan.



Great views along a somewhat dangerous looking path along the cliffs at Cave Point County Park, Door County, Wisconsin.

Great views along a somewhat dangerous looking path along the cliffs at Cave Point County Park, Door County, Wisconsin.



Storm North of Green Bay, September 2014

Just north of Green Bay, Dave is thinking it may not be so awesome to pull a travel trailer through this one. Wound up pulling over and waiting out the 60 mph plus winds before heading on into Michigan.



Follow Legends' travels on our Blog!


New Additions and Featured Stories  

The Ioway Tribe - People of Iowa - The Ioway tribe, also known as the Iowa and Baxoje, are a Native American Siouan people. Their name was thought to have been borrowed by the French from Ayuhwa, the Dakota term applied to them, which, signifies “sleepy ones.”  The state of Iowa, where they once lived, was named after them.


Ma-Has-Kah or White Cloud, an Ioway chiefNative Peoples of Iowa - Many different Native American tribes have lived in Iowa over the generations. Each tribe, whether they were residents for centuries, or utilized the land for short periods, had their own culture, language and traditions.


Chippewa - People of the Great Lakes - Also known as the Ojibway, Ojibwe, and Anishinaabe, the Chippewa tribe are one of the largest and most powerful nations, having nearly 150 different bands throughout their original homeland in the northern United States and Canada.


Greetings From Iowa Postcard - custom design by Legends of AmericaIowa - The American Heartland - While visiting Iowa say hello and give a wave to these fine folks as you follow Iowa's National Scenic Byways along the shorelines of the mighty Mississippi River and over the hills above the Missouri River Plains. Trace the footsteps of Lewis & Clark, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Native Americans. Stop at some of the states best attractions including the Bridges of Madison County, Amana Colony, the Field of Dreams, and take a ride along the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad.


Early History of Iowa - The earliest known inhabitants of Iowa were the Mound Builders, which has been shown throughout the years by an abundance of historical evidence. These peoples were followed by American Indians and European explorers.


Amana Heritage Museum in Amana, IowaAmana Colony - The Community of True Inspiration - The Amana Colonies, a historic utopian society located in the rolling hills of Iowa's River Valley, were established shortly before the Civil War by a group of German-speaking European settlers


Presidio of San Ignacio de Tubac, painting by William AhrendtPresidio of San Ignacio de Tubac (1752-1848) - Also called Fort Tubac, this Spanish built presidio was established by the Spanish Army in 1752 at the site of present-day Tubac, Arizona. For some 50 years prior, the Catholic Church and the Spanish military had been the vanguards of Spanish frontier expansion throughout New Spain.


Mission-Presidio Life in the United States -The first Spanish missions and presidios were established in the mid 16th Centuryin the Southeast United States and quickly spread throughout New Spain Territory, particularly in the Southwest.


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

Old West Wisdom

If drinking hurts your business, quit your business.

A smart ass just doesn't fit in the saddle.

Nobody ever drowned himself in his own sweat.

The length of the conversation don't tell nothin' about the size of the intellect.

A lasso is not a dating tool.


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From the Code of the West

No matter how weary and hungry you are after a long day in the saddle, always tend to your horse's needs before your own, and get your horse some feed before you eat.


La Llorona - Weeping Woman of the Southwest

The legend of La Llorona (pronounced "LAH yoh ROH nah"), Spanish for the Weeping Woman, has been a part of Hispanic culture in the Southwest since the days of the conquistadores. The tall, thin spirit is said to be blessed with natural beauty and long flowing black hair. Wearing a white gown, she roams the rivers and creeks, wailing into the night and searching for children to drag, screaming to a watery grave.


No one really knows when the legend of La Llorona began or, from where it originated. Though the tales vary from source to source, the one common thread is that she is the spirit is of a doomed mother who drowned her children and now spends eternity searching for them in rivers and lakes.


La Llorona, christened "Maria", was born to a peasant family in a humble village. Her startling beauty captured the attention of both the rich and the poor men of the area. She was said to have spent her days in her humble peasant surroundings, but in the evenings, she would don her best white gown and thrill the men who admired her in the local fandangos. 

The young men anxiously waited for her arrival and she reveled in the attention that she received. However, La Llorona had two small sons who made it difficult for her to spend her evenings out, and often, she left them alone while she cavorted with the gentlemen during the evenings. One day the two small boys were found drowned in the river. Some say they drowned through her neglect, but others say that they may have died by her own hand.

Another legend says that La Llorona was a caring woman full of life and love, who married a wealthy man who lavished her with gifts and attention. However, after she bore him two sons, he began to change, returning to a life of womanizing and alcohol, often leaving her for months at a time. He seemingly no longer cared for the beautiful Maria, even talking about leaving her to marry a woman of his own wealthy class. When he did return home, it was only to visit his children and the devastated Maria began to feel resentment toward the boys.

Continue reading HERE

Want an October thrill?  Check out our many Ghostly Legends HERE.


Featured Product:

Personalized Replica Vintage Glass Flask

Vintage Glass Flask Replica (Personlized)

New Item in Legends' General Store!


Here's a unique gift for the upcoming holiday season. This replica Vintage Glass Flask comes complete with swing top and leak proof rubber seal, and hold's 8.5 ounces of your favorite libation.  Choose from three designs, each personalized with 1 line up to 10 characters and Established Year. Now availalbe in our Personalized and Engraved selection at Legend's General Store and on sale for $23.99.



Route 66  
We're headed out again next Thursday, just a ways down the road to Cuba, Missouri for the annual Cuba Fest. Held the third weekend in October, the Route 66 Cuba Fest was started back in 1961 at the Cuba Art Show.  Although the name has changed a few times, the event draws hundreds of Mother Road enthusiasts every year for get together's, concerts, contests and more.  It's a wonderful fall tradition, this year kicking off on Friday evening October 17 with a Cruise-in and bonfire at the historic Wagon Wheel Motel. 

What our readers are saying about Legends Of America.


Just read the article on the Bloody Benders - phew, I'm glad I'm all snug and safe in my little house in Essex, UK! ... I watched the clip of you Kathy on TV and thought you were professional and very personable.
Dave, your humor cracks me up. I don't always read through every newsletter but when I do I always end up with a smile on my face. As long as I read the creepy/ghostly stuff first!
Keep up the interesting work; it really is never dull! - Helen in the United Kingdom


Just wanted to say I love this site. I have always been a fan and interested in the old west history. Really interesting reading here that leads to more. Thanks - Robert in Georgia


Wonderful, wonderful site. Just great. I love it. - Jay in Arizona


I liked a lot of the photos and recipes! A hug to all American brothers! - Marilza in Brazil

Roadside Grape Stand near Cuba, Missouri

These roadside stands selling grapes and all manner of produce once dotted old Route 66 along this stretch of the road.


Cuba, Missouri is yet another outdoor adventurer’s paradise with twenty rustic lodges and campgrounds, three rafting rivers and numerous lakes in the area that offer great hunting, fishing, canoeing, swimming, and water skiing.


Getting its start in 1857, Cuba was founded in anticipation of the construction of the southern branch of the Union Pacific Railroad. The town was named in sympathy for the island of Cuba that was much in the news at the time, due to the Spanish tyrannical rule of its people. Before the railroad arrived, many people in the area made their livings working in the iron ore mining industry and in farming, with oxen carts providing the transportation of products to St. Louis. Mining would remain an important industry for nearly 50 years.


When the railroad arrived in 1860, transportation of goods and products was much improved and the town became a shipping center for the region. Soon apple orchards began to be planted in abundance. From 1895 through the 1920s the community was known for its apples and for its barrel making industry. During this time, Cuba became known as the “The Land of the Big Red Apple”, and by the turn of the century, Cuba was the largest producer and distributor of apples in Missouri. Apple production declined in the 1930's but, the community still makes barrels. 

Read more about Cuba, Missouri 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
Email - Dave  

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