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October 27, 2015

A Kansas Roadtrip to Old Cowtown Museum

We hadn't been on the road since last Spring, so Kathy and I were aching for a least a little roadtrip. Our last adventure of two months in the Southwest wound up doing in our 2005 Toyota Highlander, so this was a our first trip with our 2013 Ford F-150XLT, which we have dubbed "Big Red". After getting past the usual "Oh, you want to go on a trip? Gotta fix this first" routine, we loaded up the trailer and headed out for a quick four day excursion in Kansas, with our primary destination being Wichita's Old Cowtown Museum.

This accredited open-air history museum is one of the oldest in the Midwest, established in 1952. One of the workers there told us about a third of the 54 historic buildings are original, with another third rebuilt, and the rest brought in from other locations. It was a great experience, and something we didn't expect in the middle of the bustling city of Wichita. Situated along the Arkansas River (while in Kansas you must pronounce this "Ar - Kansas River"), the museum tells the story of Wichita's transformation from a frontier settlement to a cattle town, then to an Ag and Manufacturing area.

Just looking at the "modern" visitors center from the parking lot, one would have no idea that the 23 acres just off the Chisholm Trail behind it would be so educational and entertaining. After paying the admission, which was well worth the price, you enter the Old West Kansas style with one of the newer additions to the museum, the Heller Cabin, which was introduced in 2009.

Continue reading about Old Cowtown Museum via our Photo Blog HERE


More "What's New" on Legends of America

Here's some additions to "What's New" at Legends Of America"

Nara Visa - A Picturesque Ghost Town - Sitting in the midst of the Canadian River Breaks in northeastern New Mexico, sits the small town of Nara Visa, a semi-ghost town today.


Kiva at the Pecos Pueblo, New Mexico

Pecos National Historic Park - Located on the historic Santa Fe Trail, where the Pecos Indians once commanded the trade path between Pueblo farmers of the Rio Grande and hunting tribes of the buffalo plains, lie the ruins of the Pecos pueblo and Spanish missions.


Steins New Mexico Town Site, Kathy Weiser-Alexander 2008Ralston/Shakespeare - Born Again and Again - Major updates, including more primary source references, clarification of history and additional information to our story on the popular New Mexico ghost town.

Steins - A Railroad Ghost Town - Major updates and edits made to one of our earlier stories of this interesting ghost town close to the Arizona border in New Mexico.

The Story of Jim the Wonder Dog - From Marshall, Missouri comes the tale of a dog so smart he could predict the future. It's a legend so powerful they dedicated a park and statue to Jim the Wonder Dog.

Abilene in its glory daysWild & Woolly Cowtowns- This historic 1904 text comes from the National Livestock Historical Association.  During period of about fifteen years, beginning in 1868, the history of the range-cattle industry was made lurid in places by the notorious "wild and woolly cowtowns." These came into existence, one after another, each flourishing for few years, on the lines of several of the pioneer Western railroads as these iron trails advanced farther and farther into the range country; the worst being those that were made shipping points for the great trail-herds coming from the South.

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


The Passing of David Fisk

We are saddened by the loss of Legends' Photo contributor David Fisk on October 9, 2015. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his girlfriend and partner Charlie Wolfe and all the Fisk family. We were fortunate to have David agree to let us share some of his wonderful work with our readers.

A native Texan and longtime Oklahoman, David Fisk was a retired newspaper editor, writer and photographer, living in Edmond, Oklahoma since 1986.

Fisk worked for newspapers in Texas and Oklahoma since he first picked up a camera about 1970, and had a knack for finding interesting perspectives in his photography.

He and his trusty girlfriend/companion/co-driver Charlie Wolfe spent much of their time traveling the back roads and byways of America with David's camera and unique eye. His many passions included baseball, great Barbecue, spicy foods, Rock N' Roll and Blues music, and discovering new places. He lived just a few miles from historic Rt. 66 and spent many hours discovering it's nooks and crannies.

In Feb 2014 his book "Legendary Locals of Edmond" was published by Arcadia Publishing Company as a part of their series of historical books.

Rest in peace Sir. It has been an honor.

Dave & Kathy

See his galleries submitted to Legends of America - "Through the Lens of Fisk"

The holidays are coming, and we have some unique gift ideas for those on your list.  Save 15% at Legends' General Store, and Legends' Photo Print Shop.  Just use coupon code LOA15 during checkout. 

Personalize Your Gift

From Glassware to Wood Signs, T-Shirts to Accessories, Personalize with their name and more (must order by 12/11/15 for delivery in time for Christmas)


New Route 66 Poster Designs

For the Mother Road lover on your list, try our 11x17 Poster Prints

CD's and DVDS

See our large selectionof historic Maps and Books on CD, along with many Travel and Documentary DVD's



Did You Know?
  • The Village Halloween parade in New York City is the largest Halloween parade in the United States. The parade includes 50,000 participants and draws over 2 million spectators.

  • Both Salem, Massachusetts, and Anoka, Minnesota, are the self-proclaimed Halloween capitals of the world.

  • Harry Houdini (1874-1926) was one of the most famous and mysterious magicians who ever lived. Strangely enough, he died in 1926 on Halloween night as a result of appendicitis brought on by three stomach punches.

  • The first Jack O’Lanterns were actually made from turnips.

Happy Halloween!

Here's a great gift idea!

Save 30% when you purchase Four 8x10 Prints at Legends' Photo Print Shop! Just use coupon code LOA-30 during checkout.  Old WestRoute 66Ghost TownsNative American and More!  Choose your favorite 4 photos, then select print size 8x10.  Save 30% when you use coupon LOA-30 during checkout. 

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Just Stuff

Old West Wisdom

The measure of a man is when he does the right thing even when no one is watching.

Tumbleweeds are best left to themselves.

Go after life as if it's something that's got to be roped in a hurry before it gets away.

You can't keep trouble from visitin, but you don't have to offer it a chair.

Native American Wisdom

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

Each bird loves to hear himself sing. - Arapaho

What Our Readers Are Saying

Happy I stumbled onto the site. Excellent work. May you continue to be blessed with every treasure of American History known and unknown. - Paula in Nevada

This totem site gave a good basis to understand this belief and practice.  I find learning, adding new knowledge makes the spirit grow.  - Barry in Arizona (Referencing our Native American Totems page)

I am going to be doing a motorcycle trip from Kansas City to Arizona. We will be doing Route 66 for part of the route, so I was searching for the small towns along the way. That is when I came across your website. It is filled with great information not only for our trip, but in other parts of America. I am excited to read more about the history in my home state of Missouri once I am done reading about Arizona and New Mexico. - Renee in Missouri

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Legends of America
A Travel Guide for the Nostalgic & Historic Minded

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Warsaw, MO 65355

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