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


November Snow at our House on the Lake of the Ozarks, 2014

It's too early for this isn't it?  I know, I know, it is November and we've been here before, but Kathy and I weren't prepared for the cold blast that came through this week. Luckily, after a quick four inches of snow, it's already gone as temperatures start to rebound. Our thoughts and sympathies goes out to all those around the Great Lakes under "feet" of record breaking snow. Hard to believe that places we just recently visited in September are already buried. We could only imagine, while traveling that region, what it must of been like in the 1800's, completely cut off from everything. While I love pondering the "what ifs" of when I was born, I'm not one who wishes I could have been there. I enjoy reading about it though; that is enough.


We didn't let October escape our lens as we traveled over to East Central Missouri for the annual Cuba Fest and some fall color. What a great time it was too, catching up with some old friends and making new ones. We stopped by to see Legends' contributor and author Jim Hinckley at his booth. Jim has had a great year with two book releases for Route 66 enthusiasts, Travel Route 66 and The Illustrated Route 66 Historic Atlas, both available in our General Store. We met Jim for the first time at Cuba Fest in 2012 and formed a wonderful limited partnership. Since then, he has contributed several stories to Legends of America on the early years of the American Automotive Industry that you can read here. Jim also contributes photos to our Photo Print Shop via his gallery Jim Hinckley's America.


We caught up with Ron Jones, the Tattoo Man of Route 66, who has gained many more works of body art since the last time we saw him. Ron was somewhat immortalized at the festival as Joe Loesch and The Road Crew wrote a song about him and performed it at one of the festivals gatherings. If you're interested in this catchy tune, The Road Crew produced a fun video you can see here.


Ran into Frank Kocevar, former owner of the Historic Seligman Sundries in Seligman Arizona. Frank and his wife Lynn just recently sold the business and are now planning to live the dream of wandering the Mother Road (and I'm sure a few other places). Congrats Frank and Lynn! And to Ron Hart at the Route 66 Chamber of Commerce, Dean Kennedy, Mike Wallace and the many others we saw at the festival, thanks for a memorable time!


Snelson-Brinker Cabin, Crawford CO. MissouriFor Kathy and I, it wasn't all about the festival though. We knew there would be some great fall color to enjoy among some historic scenery in Missouri. We made time to head south of Cuba, making a round about way to the historic Snelson-Brinker Cabin near Steelville. Built in 1834, it served as Crawford County's first courthouse, and was witness to many Cherokee in 1838 and 1839 as they camped near by on the Trail of Tears' Northern Route. Still standing today you can go inside and explore the history of early Missouri. Be aware though, this place is allegedly haunted by the spirit of a 16 year old slave girl, who became the youngest in the state to be hanged after being found guilty of the murder of an infant child. She's buried on the property, along with the murdered infant of the Brinker family.


Maramec Sping Park, MissouriWe also stopped at Maramec Spring Park - Massey Iron Works, not far from St. James. The Massey Iron Works, also known as Maramec Iron Works, operated from 1826 through 1876 and was the first commercially successful Iron Works west of the Mississippi River. This beautiful privately owned historic park, ran by the James Foundation, includes the crystal clear water of the Maramec Spring, a National Natural Landmark known for its Trout fishing as well. The spring was used by the historic Iron Works to power its machinery, processing high-grade iron ore mined from a nearby pit, which you can also visit. There are a couple of museums to explore while at this park, and plenty more historic things to see and learn about. Well worth the price of admission. We'll be adding up more photos soon via our Southeast Missouri Photo Gallery. As a side note, you may notice that Maramec Spring Park is spelled differently than the Meramec River, or Meramec Caverns, etc. According to sources, this is in part due to the lack of education in the Ozarks back around the time the Spring was named, and the James Foundation has kept with tradition leaving the Park spelled Maramec.


Bob's Gasoline Alley, Cuba MissouriAs far as nostalgia goes, the best part of our adventure was Bob's Gasoline Alley on the outskirts of Cuba. Bob Mullen opened up his neon and fun to the public during the festival and it was a real treat. Over 300 service stations signs and other vintage advertisements, as well as wax statues and more, are spread out through several buildings and part of the Mullen home, enticing many a Route 66 traveler to remember the good ol' days. A wonderfully fun stop, and I even had the chance to croon with the Blues Brothers while there. We've added up some of the neon and more via our Missouri Route 66 Photo Gallery.


Dave Alexander croons with the Blues Brothers at Bob's Gasoline Alley, Cuba MissouriOur stop at Bob's wound up getting Kathy started on a new "Americana Series" of photo art and more, which we discuss below under "What's New". 


In the meantime, we hope this coming holiday season is bright and joyous for you and yours, and that even if you can't be with family, the warmth of the season keeps you well in mind and spirit through the cold winter ahead. 


Dave Alexander - Winterizer and keeper of Cold Feet.


Ps. Did you know that dogs make great foot warmers :)



In this Edition:


New Additions and Featured Stories


Mining and Murder in Ruby, Arizona


American Tradition of Thanksgiving


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



Kaydee and Riley say let us out to play

Legends' Mascots Miss Kaydee and Mr. Riley say "Happy Holidays Y'all!"

New Additions and Featured Stories  

Americana - Original DesignAmericana - From baseball to apple pie, Thanksgiving to cheeseburgers, Norman Rockwell paintings to a genre of American music having roots in early folk and country styles, Americana is all things American. More specifically, it is those values, traditions, cultures found within the melting pot of the United States.


Central Mine Powder House Ruins, Kathy Weiser-Alexander 2014Central Mine (Copper Ghost Preserved) - The Central Mine in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula was the most productive of all the fissure deposit mines, producing nearly 52 million pounds of copper before playing out. The town that grew around was abandoned, but today it is preserved for all.


Furnace Complex at Fayette Historic TownsiteFayette Historic Townsite - Located on Michigan's Garden Peninsula, Fayette Historic Town Site is a 19th Century, well preserved, company town, that manufactured charcoal pig iron and lime from 1867 to 1891.


Laundress exhibit at Old World Wisconsin, 2014. Old World Wisconsin - The largest outdoor museum of rural life in the United States, Old World Wisconsin covers some 600 acres and features 60 historic buildings.


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


Native American Wisdom

Those who have one foot in the canoe, and one foot in the boat, are going to fall into the river. - Tuscarora

Do not judge your neighbor until you walk two moons in his moccasins. - Cheyenne

Everyone who is successful must have dreamed of something. - Maricopa


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Mining and Murder in Ruby, Arizona  

Ruby Arizona Tailings and Montana PeakRuby, Arizona is one of the best preserved ghost towns in the state, filled with history, including lawlessness, murder, and mayhem, not to mention dozens of great photographic opportunities.


Nestled below Montana Peak, rich minerals were first discovered here by the Spaniards who came through in the 1700's. However, not rich enough for their tastes, they performed only limited placer mining before moving on. The area remained undisturbed for nearly a century until two mining engineers by the names of Charles Poston and Henry Ehrenberg revived the old Spanish placers in Montana Gulch in 1854. Discovering rich veins of gold and silver in the area, other prospectors followed, but mining remained limited primarily due to the hostile Apache inhabiting the area.


However, by the 1870’s, new prospectors made a number of additional claims and the fledgling settlement that formed at the base of the mountain was called "Montana Camp.” Other veins of lead, copper and zinc were also found in the immediate vicinity, beckoning yet more miners to the to the fledgling settlement.


The Ruby Mercantile was first opened in the late 1880’s by a man named George Cheney. In 1891, a large body of high-grade ore was discovered in the "Montana Mine” by J. W. Bogan and company, who pronounced the Montana Mine to be a veritable "bonanza.” When samples were assayed at eighty to ninety ounces of silver per ton, prospectors began to flood the region.


Ruby Mercantile TodayIn 1897, the Ruby Mercantile was purchased by Julias Andrews. More than a decade later, Andrews applied for a post office, which opened in the store in April, 1912. He named the post office, and effectively, the town -- Ruby, for his wife, Lillie B. Ruby Andrews.


During Ruby’s early days, camp life was unglamorous and most of the miners lived in tents or adobe huts. There were no businesses other than the general store, which was the only lifeline for the miners. Most men relied on hunting to provide food for their families, but others would turn to cattle rustling.


In 1914, Andrews sold the store to Philip C. Clarke, who soon built a bigger and better one just up the hill, the remains of which still stand today.


Continue Reading about Ruby HERE.



Featured Product:

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From the Discoveries America Series, to Historic Maps on CD. Documentaries on the Old West to War, Native Americans to Nostalgia. All in-stock CD's and DVD's 25% off through December 15. Simply use coupon code DVD at checkout. An exclusive offer promoted to Newsletter Readers only.

What our readers are saying about Legends Of America.

Great site, come here often to read and enjoy. - William, Colorado

I wanted to find information on a relative from way back in the 1800's. I found it after searching so many other places. This is a great site! Thank you. - Lisa, Pennsylvania

I love the old photo's of what Christmas was like so many years ago. I myself love to read about the Victorian Era, especially what work was like. You have a great and interesting website! - Willie, Rhode Island.


American Tradition of Thanksgiving  

The first Thanksgiving in 1621The way we celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States today is not without its controversies and debates, but it remains a time for Americans to give thanks for the Fall harvest, good fortune and blessings from God.


The idea of celebrating the harvest pre-dates the Pilgrims with origins that can be traced back to Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Even Native Americans annually celebrated their harvest long before Europeans or the Spanish ever arrived on the North American Continent.


In America, although we recognize the Pilgrims three day feast at Plymouth in October of 1621 as the first Thanksgiving in the new world, celebrations can be found dating back to the 1500's.   In fact, Palo Duro Canyon, just south of Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle, was host to  Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado who led 1,500 men in a Thanksgiving celebration in May of 1541.   In 1959 the Texas Society Daughters of the American Colonists commemorated the event as the real "first Thanksgiving."   Read more about Thanksgiving in America HERE.  

More reader comments...

What a wonderful site, congratulations on a job well done. Cheers. - Diane, Australia

I found your site inspiring. Love to learn more! Great Job! - Pamela, Texas


Did you know? That you can see daily stories, from the Old West to Route 66, on our Legends Facebook Page? We also have a page dedicated to Ghost Towns, and Native Americans, as well as our General Store and Photo Print Shop. it's a daily dose of Legends sure to please!



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

Warsaw, MO 65355



Kathy Weiser-Alexander


Dave Alexander
Owner/Operations Mgr.


Email - Kathy
Email - Dave  

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