What’s New

Enjoy these latest additions to our website:

Flint Hills near Manhattan KansasThe Flint Hills Of Kansas(Legends of Kansas) The Flint Hills, historically known as Bluestem Pastures or Blue Stem Hills, is a region in eastern Kansas and north-central Oklahoma. It was named for the abundant flint eroded from the bedrock near or at the surface.

Litchfield(Legends of Kansas) Litchfield, Kansas was a busy coal-mining town on Carbon Creek in Crawford County. At one point, it was shipping about 500 carloads of coal each month. It’s gone today.

Girard(Legends of Kansas) Girard was founded in the spring of 1868 to oppose Crawfordsville as the county seat. It was named Girard by Mr. Strong, after his hometown in Pennsylvania.

Arcadia Kansas Main Street Arcadia(Legends of Kansas) A man named Howell was the first to settle here near Coxe’s Creek and opened a blacksmith shop in 1844. He had married a Cherokee Indian woman, which gave him the right to live in the Indian lands. He also built a double log house.

Frontenac(Legends of Kansas) Frontenac, Kansas, got its start as a coal mining town in 1886 in the Cherokee-Crawford Coal Fields. Today it is the second-largest city in Crawford County.

Cato – Extinct in Crawford County(Legends of Kansas) Cato was full of firsts. It was here that the first white child was born in Crawford County, the first fraternal organization was formed, the first school was located, the first church was founded, the first Sunday School was organized, the first coal mining operation, and the first County Fair. It was also the home to Nels Smith, Crawford County’s first millionaire.

Croweburg(Legends of Kansas) Located halfway between Arma and Mulberry, Croweburg was made up of four separate mining camps. Each camp was about a half-mile apart from one another, and the community unified as Croweburg.

Clinton Lake (Legends of Kansas) This area of the Wakarusa Valley had a history of flooding before the construction of Clinton Lake which had devastated the former towns of Belvoir, Bloomington, and Sigil in Douglas County, and Richland in Shawnee County numerous times.

Clearfield School, Baldwin City Kansas

One Room, Country & Historic Schools of Douglas County(Legends of Kansas) The first immigrant party, made up of 29 men arrived in Lawrence in August 1854. Though their primary mission was to ensure slavery would be illegal in Kansas, it was written into their original petition that immigrants coming to Kansas Territory would be provided with public education.

Oak Ridge, Kansas(Legends of Kansas) Oak Ridge, Kansas, is an extinct town in Douglas County. It was located in Grant Township, about five miles northeast of Lawrence.

April Newsletter – Quest for Treasure on the Missouri, Aliens & Outlaws (2008 Adventure), Cynthia Ann Parker, Memories of more past adventures all in this month’s Newsletter.

Coal Mine, KansasCoal Mining In Kansas(Legends of Kansas) Coal mining has been going on in Kansas as early as 1827. Bituminous coal deposits were widely distributed in eastern Kansas.

Clinton, KS(Legends of Kansas) Clinton, Kansas, one of the early settlements of Douglas County, is an unincorporated community located on a peninsula next to Clinton Lake.

Twin Mound – Extinct in Douglas County (Legends of Kansas) Twin Mound is an extinct town in western Douglas CountyKansas, founded by Henry Hiatt, an Indiana native who arrived with his wife, five children, and widowed mother-in-law in Kansas Territory in April 1856.

Pitty Pat Hollow  – Tennessee Lore – The pitty-pat is a shadowy creature that has inhabited that area since the late 1860s and has been the subject of ridicule, however, for many people who have encountered the pitty-pat, there is a sense of total belief and fear in its existence.

Tall Grass Prairie Schoolhouse courtesy National Park Service.Tall Grass Prairie Preserve (Legends of Kansas) Located in the Flint Hills, two miles north of Strong City, Kansas, this 10,894-acre portion of the once vast tallgrass prairie is preserved for this generation’s benefit, education, and enjoyment.

Bazaar, Kansas(Legends of Kansas) Bazaar, Kansas is an unincorporated ghost town located in the picturesque Flint Hills of Chase County. One of the oldest towns in the county, the settlement got its start in March 1856 on Rock Creek on an old trail that ran south from Cottonwood Falls.

Fulton, Kansas(Legends of Kansas) Fulton, Kansas, a tiny town in northeast Bourbon County, was established in 1869. The town was first called Osaga for the Little Osage River that runs north of the town.

Rapp Schoolhouse –  (Legends of Kansas) The old Rapp Schoolhouse in Osage County, Kansas, is one of the few, if not the only one-room eight-grade schoolhouses in the state that still has its original desks and textbooks.

Chingawassa Springs, Kansas(Legends of Kansas) This group of several springs were renamed in the late 1800s after Osage Indian Chief Chingawassa, meaning Handsome Bird.

Moore’s Ranch & Cottonwood Crossing(Legends of Kansas) – Cottonwood Crossing, west of Durham, Kansas, was one of the more famous and difficult stream crossings on the Santa Fe Trail.

Lost Spring Station(Legends of Kansas) Long before it was known to travelers on the Santa Fe trail, Lost Spring was used by the Indians, early explorers, and traders.

Old Ancho, New Mexico SchoolAliens & Outlaws – Our 2008 Adventure in Southern New Mexico (Travel Blog) In February 2008, while Dave was still working in the corporate world, we took a flight out to El Paso from Missouri, rented a Jeep, and traveled through history in Southern New Mexico.

Arvonia – Lost on the Prairie(Legends of Kansas) An extinct town today, Arvonia was settled in 1869, by a company of Welsh people led by John Mather Jones. From Utica, New York, Jones was the owner of a Welsh-language newspaper.

Quest for Treasure in the Missouri River –  Author Jerry Walker Sr. brings us the true story of the unsuccessful attempt at raising the sunken boat, the Pontiac, from the Missouri River in the 1880s.

Glasco Kansas 1910Glasco(Legends of Kansas) In November 2002, Glasco’s Downtown Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It includes both sides of Main Street between Fisher Street and Railroad Avenue.

Minersville – Coal Mining in Cloud County  – (Legends of Kansas) Minersville was a small town located near the northern border of Cloud County, Kansas. The town is extinct today.

William Comstock – Ace of Scouts – William Comstock, a scout on the central plains in the days of the Old West, was celebrated by contemporaries for his skills but was killed in the line of duty.

March Newsletter – Mining on Mount Irish, Adventure in Flour Power, Native Remedies, Women’s History Month and more! in this month’s newsletter.

Ruins in Logan City, NevadaLogan City, Nevada – Mining on Mount Irish – Logan City, Nevada was settled in 1865 after the discovery of silver on the eastern slope of Mount Irish, about 2.5 miles south of Mount Irish Peak. Today it’s a ghost town.

Cleburne (Legends of Kansas) Cleburne, Kansas, one of the river towns of Riley County, was located in Swede township. It was razed when Tuttle Creek Dam was built.

Bala, Kansas(Legends of Kansas) Bala, Kansas is a ghost town in eastern Riley County that got its start with Welch immigrants around 1870.

Army City Fort RileyArmy City, A Short-Lived High Life(Legends of Kansas)  Army City was a town built in 1917 to satisfy the needs of Camp Funston on Fort Riley, Kansas military reservation.

Ashland Colony(Legends of Kansas) The Ashland Colony, sometimes called Ashland Bottoms, was initially established in Geary County, Kansas, within a few months after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill.

Bazine(Legends of Kansas) The community started as a station on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. It was named for the French general François Achille Bazaine.

De Soto(Legends of Kansas) De Soto, Kansas, in Johnson County to its start in the spring of 1857 and was named for 16th-century Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto.

Border War between Missouri and Kansas.

Johnson County Border Troubles (Legends of Kansas) Johnson County, like other eastern parts of Kansas, was caught up in border troubles with Missouri after Kansas Territory was created and into the Civil War.

Quantrill Raids Olathe(Legends of Kansas) On the evening of September 6, 1862, William Quantrill led his Confederate guerrillas, numbering from 125 to 150,  in a raid against Olathe, Kansas.

Bennie and Stella Dickson – Depression Era Bank Robbers – Bennie and Stella Dickson were a husband and wife team who turned to a life of crime shortly after their marriage. It put them in the crosshairs of the FBI.

Hoisington(Legends of Kansas) Established around 1886, Hoisington was a big railroad stop for the Missouri Pacific Railroad.

Fort Hays State University(Legends of Kansas)  In 1901 the legislature passed legislation establishing the Fort Hays Experiment Station (part of Kansas State University) and set apart about 4,000 acres for the Western Branch State Normal School.

Arkansas City Summit Street 1890Arkansas City(Legends of Kansas) The founders of Arkansas City arrived at the site on January 1, 1870, and a settlement called Walnut City was platted the same year.

Edmund Ross(Legends of Kansas) Edmund G. Ross was a journalist, free-state advocate, and United States Senator from Kansas.

Martin Parmer – Woodsman Turned Texas Hero – Martin Van Buren Parmer was a frontiersman, soldier, a founder of Missouri, a veteran of the Texas Revolution, and a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.

Carry NationCarry Nation(Legends of Kansas) Carry Nation was a temperance reformer, author, and lecturer in Kansas. She was particularly noteworthy for promoting her viewpoints through vandalism.

John Geary (Legends of Kansas) John White Geary was the third Territorial Governor of Kansas, a lawyer, a Union general in the Civil War, and the 16th governor of Pennsylvania.

Fry W. Giles, Topeka, Kansas FounderFry Giles(Legends of Kansas) Fry W. Giles was a free state supporter, promoter of the Topeka Movement, and one of the founders of TopekaKansas.

Blue Lodges Against Freedom(Legends of Kansas) Many of these lodges were established in western Missouri in 1854 to thwart Northern anti-slavery plans to make Kansas a Free-State under the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain – Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was a college professor, Civil War General for the Union, Medal of Honor recipient, and the 32nd Governor of Maine.

David Dawson Mitchell – David Dawson Mitchell was a fur trader, soldier, and superintendent of Indian Affairs.

Charles KeemleCharles Keemle – Charles Keemle was a journalist, fur trader, and Indian fighter who had a hand in many newspapers in St. Louis.

Daniel Lamont – Fur trader Daniel Lamont was one of three partners of the Upper Missouri Outfit of the American Fur Company and one of the original company men of the Columbia Fur Company.

Sunflower Ordnance Works & Village (Legends of Kansas) Sunflower Ordnance Works was a powder and propellant manufacturing facility in northwest Johnson County, Kansas. It was established in 1942 on 9,063 acres, three miles south of De Soto.

Gibson General Store, Stilwell, Kansas, 1915

Stilwell, Kansas – Johnson County Neighborhood(Legends of Kansas) Much of the small downtown was burned in a fire in about 1925, from which it never completely recovered. Today, there are only a few structures left standing.

Ocheltree(Legends of Kansas) Ocheltree, Kansas was a village in the extreme southern part of Johnson County. Located two miles north of Spring Hill, and about eight miles south of Olathe, the town is extinct today.

February Newsletter – Deep in the heart of Texas, extinct towns of Johnson County Kansas, Black History Month, and more! In this month’s Newsletter.

I Wanna Be a Cowboy…In Bandera (Travel Blog)and then San Felipe de Austin, the original Texas Capital before Texas was..well, Texas. We cowboyed up in the Cowboy Capital, then traveled to the original Texas Colony on a lone star adventure.

San Felipe de Austin, Texas – First Colony – San Felipe de Austin, Texas, was chosen by Stephen F. Austin as the unofficial capital of his colony in Mexican Texas in October 1823.

 Monticello, KS General StoreMonticello, Kansas(Legends of Kansas) Monticello, Kansas, is an extinct town in northern Johnson County. This heavily timbered area was originally home to the Shawnee Indians.

Chouteau, Kansas – Long Lost Trading Post(Legends of Kansas) Choteau, Kansas, once a hamlet of Johnson County, got its start as a trading post along the Kansas River. It is an extinct town today.

William Whitney Brazelton – William Whitney Brazelton, also known as “Brazen Bill,” was a stagecoach robber who operated in Arizona and New Mexico in the days of the Wild West.

Sheppard Busby – Marshal Hanged – Sheppard Busby was a U.S. Deputy Marshal commissioned in the Western District of Arkansas, and the only U.S. Deputy marshal to be hanged at Fort Smith.

Thomas Johnson – Kansas Missionary(Legends of Kansas) Thomas Johnson was a Methodist minister who founded the Shawnee Methodist Mission in Kansas.

Colonel Henry Inman

Colonel Henry Inman

Henry Inman – Soldier and Author(Legends of Kansas) Henry Inman was a soldier, frontiersman, and author who published several widely read books.

Lanesfield, Kansas and the Battle of Bull Creek(Legends of Kansas) Lanesfield, Kansas, in Johnson County, was a Free-State town located on the Santa Fe Trail. The town no longer exists today.

Oxford, Kansas and the Oxford Fraud(Legends of Kansas) Today there is no marker or monument to commemorate the old town of Oxford that once stood, but the important history here has been felt for generations.

Bonita, Kansas – Extinct in Johnson County(Legends of Kansas) The first settlement was made by Frank Temple and William Jobi, on October 17, 1879, and a post office was established in December 1879, with F. Gilbert as the first postmaster.

Holliday, Kansas – Lost Town to Landfill (Legends of Kansas) First called Waseca, the town was platted in 1882 and received a post office on June 26, 1882.

Aubry, Kansas – Bleeding Kansas Battleground(Legends of Kansas) Aubry, Kansas, located in southeastern Johnson County was once a bloody battleground during the border troubles of the Civil War.

Happy New Year! – Our final newsletter of 2021 looks back at our top three adventures over the last year.

Farrington Brothers – Confederate Train Robbers – In the early 1870s, brothers Levi and Hillary Farrington, from near Gilliam Station, Tennessee began to rob trains.

Last Major American Train Robbery – The last major American train robbery was attempted on November 25, 1937, on a Southern Pacific Railroad’s westbound Apache Limited out of El Paso, Texas.

Archaic Spear Point.Archaic Period in American History – Archaic cultures are defined by common characteristics rather than a particular time or location. The primary characteristics are changes in subsistence and lifestyle.

December Newsletter –  Origins of the Ghost Dance, Disaster in Ashtabula, Largest Stone Fort in America, a Pioneer Christmas, and MORE in this month’s newsletter.

Folsom Culture in America – Thought to have derived from the earlier Clovis culture, the groups differentiated by a specific and unique stone tool-making technology.

Pueblo Grande de Nevada – The Lost City – Pueblo Grande de Nevada, also known as the “Lost City,” is a complex of villages located near Overton, Nevada.

Lozen, Apache Warrior WomanLozen – Apache War Woman & Prophet – Lozen, the younger sister of famous Apache Chief Victorio, was a skilled warrior, shaman, and prophet of the Chihenne Chiricahua Apache.

Jones & Plummer Trail – This trail was established in the fall of 1874 when two former buffalo hunters turned merchants and freighters, opened a dugout store in the Texas Panhandle.

Pullman Market Hall courtesy Wikipedia.

Pullman, Illinois – A Model Company Town – Pullman, Illinois, developed in the 1880s just outside the Chicago city limits, was one of the largest and most substantial early company towns in the United States.

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Virginia – Appomattox Court House National Park in Virginia commemorates the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee to Union General Ulysses S. Grant.

Native American Smudging – Smudging is a ritualistic burning of herbs and plants to purify and cleanse negative energy, bring good luck, and protect a person or place.

Coal Miner and Horse in West Virginia Mine.

West Virginia Coal Mining – A large part of West Virginia’s heritage is its coal mining history. Coal has contributed significantly to the state’s economic, political, and social history since it was first discovered in Boone County in 1742.

Company Towns of America – In many cases, these towns were developed in remote locations to service mining, railroad construction, logging, dam sites, factories, and war-industry camps. Far from other established towns, the companies generally owned all the buildings, businesses, and homes.

Joseph “Rowdy Joe” Lowe – Saloon Gunfighter – After serving in the Union during the war, he was mustered out and he and his wife, Kate Daniels, better known as “Rowdy Kate,” moved from Illinois to Kansas, where they would roam through several cowtowns establishing several bawdy joints.

Sweet Virginia – Saving Our Nation More than Once(from our Photo Travel Blog) – Virginia can lay claim to being the beginning, and end of British Colonialism, and the savior of our nation during the Civil War.

Fort Monroe Moat by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

Fort Monroe, Virginia – Fort Monroe is a military installation overlooking the Chesapeake Bay in Hampton Roads, Virginia. The largest stone fort ever built in the United States, it is also the only moat-encircled fort remaining in active duty.

October Newsletter – From a scenic drive to a ghostly tale, a West Virginia ghost town to some really big stuff, all in our latest newsletter.

Thurmond, West Virginia – Most Thurmond property is owned by the National Park today. The entire town is a designated historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. Thurmond is the least-populous municipality in West Virginia.

Thurmoond National Bank, Thurmond, West Virginia by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

Finding Our Lumps in West Virginia (From our Photo Travel Blog)Exploring mining towns of West Virginia, we discovered just how hard a life it is to be a coal miner. We also found a really long arch bridge. 

Chillicothe, Ohio – Chillicothe, Ohio, the county seat of Ross County was the first territorial capital and the first and third state capital of Ohio.

From the National Road to Worlds Largest Stuff in the Land of Lincoln – (From our Photo Travel Blog) We found ourselves on the Cumberland Road, the first national highway, as we ventured across Illinois. We also discovered BIG things in Casey.

Fort Leavenworth-Fort Gibson Military Road – The Fort Leavenworth-Fort Gibson Military Road was created in 1837 and designated as the “permanent Indian Frontier” borderline.

Ponca Tribe – The Ponca are a Siouan tribe of Nebraska, who were closely related to the OmahaOsageKanza, and Quapaw.

Crush Explosion

Monster Crash At Crush – There once was a town in Texas that existed only for a day, and exclusively for one event. To purposely crash two locomotives head-on.

September Newsletter – Another mountain adventure, Native American Ordeals, Stuckey’s Stuckey’s Everywhere, Two heads are better than one, and more in this month’s newsletter.

San Luis Valley, Colorado – Much of the beautiful landscape remains largely unchanged, where visitors can enjoy mountain biking, scenic hikes, skiing, fishing, camping, and other activities along the Reio grande, the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains, and Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve.

Bent's Fort Colorado by Kathy Weiser-Alexander

Bent’s Fort – Trading on the Trails(From our Photo Travel Blog) – Bent’s Old Fort is a must-see stop if you are in Southeastern Colorado. The old trading post played a large role on the Santa Fe Trail.

On the Road – Cimarron and the Santa Fe Trail(From our Photo Travel Blog) While we were in the Eagle Nest and Moreno Valley area, we took a trip westward through Cimarron Canyon to the historic Santa Fe Trail at Cimarron, New Mexico.

Costilla, New Mexico Plaza building by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

Costilla, New Mexico – Along with nearby Amalia, New Mexico, and Garcia, Colorado, Costilla was founded as a farming and ranching community in the early 1800s.

Questa, New Mexico – A Mining Maven – Located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Questa, is a village in northern Taos County. The village is on the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, near the confluence of the Rio Grande and the Red River.

Eagle Nest Lake, New Mexico

On the Road – The Beauty & History of New Mexico’s Moreno Valley – In our latest Travel Blog, we revisit the beauty and history of the Moreno Valley.

Wampanoag Tribe – The Wampanoag people were original natives of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  It was the Wampanoag people who befriended the pilgrims at Plymouth Rock.

Assiniboine Tipis

Assiniboine Tribe – The Assiniboine are a tribe with similar characteristics to the Nakota Sioux. The differences in dialect between the two suggest a time of separation sometime before 1640.

July Newsletter – Magical Shrine in New Mexico, General Order No. 11, Dakota War of 1862, 200th Anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail, and much more in this month’s newsletter.

Tewa Puebloans – The Tewa people are a group of Pueblo tribes belonging to the Tanoan linguistic family. They historically made their homes on or near the Rio Grande north of Santa FeNew Mexico.

Chimayo, NM -El Santuario

Chimayó, New Mexico – Land of Healing – El Santuario de Chimayó, north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, attracts hundreds of thousands each year to its alleged healing earth.

Kansas Transportation History(From our Legends of Kansas pages) From horses to covered wagons, steamboats, and railroads, this is the history of Kansas Transportation.

James H. “Dog” Kelly(From our Legends of Kansas pages) James H. “Dog” Kelley was the Dodge CityKansas mayor when several of the Old West’s most famous lawmen worked under him, including BatJames, and Ed Masterson, as well as Wyatt and Morgan Earp.

Thomas County Courthouse, Colby KansasColby, Kansas(From our Legends of Kansas pages) Despite its location, a major drought, and the dust bowl, Colby has held its own in Northwest Kansas as the Thomas County Seat.

Clayton, Kansas(From our Legends of Kansas pages) Clayton, Kansas, is a semi-ghost town located primarily in Norton County but also in Decatur County. It is known for a horrific train crash in 1910 that killed and injured many passengers.

William Allen White(From our Legends of Kansas pages) William Allen White was a journalist, author, and one of the best-known men in Kansas during his lifetime.

Edward P. McCabe, first black state auditor for KansasEdward McCabe – Pioneer and Auditor(From our Legends of Kansas pages) Edward P. McCabe was a colonizer of NicodemusKansas, and the first African American to serve as state auditor.

David Hoyt(From our Legends of Kansas pages) Major David Starr Hoyt was a Free-State advocate who was killed by pro-slavery men during the days of Bleeding Kansas.

Junction City, Kansas(From our Legends of Kansas pages) It takes its name from its location at the confluence of the Smoky Hill and Republican Rivers, which form the Kansas River.

Vintage Paola, Kansas

Paola, Kansas(From our Legends of Kansas pages) By the 1840s, white settlers began to move to the area, and several missionaries lived in and near “Peoria Village.” In 1852, an Italian Priest named Paul D. Ponziglione arrived and renamed the village Paola after a small town on the coast of Calabria, Italy.

Black Friday Flood of 1951(From our Legends of Kansas pages) “Black Friday,” July 13, 1951, still stands as the single greatest day of flood destruction in Kansas.

Big Dam Foolishness at Tuttle Creek(From our Legends of Kansas pages) Though there were 25 floods that damaged the area and cities downstream between the years 1903 to 1959, there was much opposition to building the dam that created the lake.

Cottonwood Falls Kansas

More Kansas Emerging Ghost Towns of the Plains (From our Legends of Kansas pages) :

Cottonwood Falls – The first settlement in the Cottonwood Falls area began in 1854 when an Indian trader named Seth Hays founded a cattle ranch on the Cottonwood River close to the mouth of the Diamond Spring Creak.

Wheeler– Wheeler, Kansas was laid out by the Lincoln, Nebraska Land Company during the building of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad to St. Francis, Kansas in 1887.

Green – Governor Green offered to buy a bell for the first Methodist Church to be established in a town named Green. The bell is still there today.

June Newsletter – Happy Birthday America! Meandering around Kansas, Colonial Williamsburg, Walnut Grove Dam Disaster, and much more! in this month’s newsletter.

St. Francis, Kansas(From our Legends of Kansas pages) St. Francis is the county seat of Cheyenne County,  located on the Republican River in the central part of the county.

Randolph, Kansas(From our Legends of Kansas pages)  When the Tuttle Creek reservoir began filling up in 1962, it affected ten towns and entirely submerged four of them including Cleburne, Randolph, Garrison Cross, and Stockdale. Of these towns, Randolph was the only one to build elsewhere.

Russell Springs, Kansas – On the Smoky Hill Trail (From our Legends of Kansas pages) The town began in 1865 as the Eaton stop on the Butterfield Overland Despatch stage line. The line ran through rough Indian country along the Smoky Hill Trail that connected Fort Riley, Kansas, with the gold mines in DenverColorado.

Newton, Harvey County Courthouse around 1910

Newton, Kansas – Rowdy Cowtown(From our Legends of Kansas pages) Newton, Kansas, the county seat of Harvey County, got its start when the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad extended a main line from Emporia westward. It was a rowdy town at times, infamous for the Hyde Park Gunfight.

Daniel Wilder – Kansas Journalist and Author (From our Legends of Kansas pages) He came to Kansas in 1857 and settled at Elwood the next year where he edited the Free Press and practiced law. He was one of the founders of the Republican Party in Kansas in 1859.

Samuel Newitt Wood(From our Legends of Kansas pages) Samuel Newitt Wood was a Free-State advocate and politician in Kansas who was killed during the Stevens County War.

Walnut Grove Dam Disaster – A discussion about the research and subsequent book by Jim Liggett about the Walnut Grove Dam Disaster of 1890 that killed up to 100 people in Arizona. (Submission from Desert Roamer Press)

Nathaniel "Texas Jack" Reed

Nathaniel “Texas Jack” Reed – Nathaniel “Texas Jack” Reed was a proficient bank and train robber in the Rocky Mountains and in Oklahoma during the 1880s and 1890s.

Daniel Woodson – (From our Legends of Kansas pages) Daniel Woodson was the first secretary and several times acting governor of the Territory of Kansas.

Wilson Shannon – (From our Legends of Kansas pages) Wilson Shannon was the second Territorial Governor of Kansas.

Samuel Lecompte – (From our Legends of Kansas pages) Samuel D. Lecompte was the first Chief Justice of Kansas Territory.

Israel Donalson – (From our Legends of Kansas pages) Israel B. Donalson was the first United States Marshal of Kansas Territory, a pro-slavery supporter in the middle of the Bloody border war with Missouri.

Gem, Ks - School

Gem – Thomas County Ghost Town(From our Legends of Kansas pages) The area was first called Gem Ranch when it was established on land owned by J.W. Ellsworth. However, when it received a post office on December 14, 1885, it was shortened to Gem.

Fort Hays – Protecting more than just the railroad – (From our Photo Travel Blog) We hit the road to explore more Kansas, and along the way made a re-visit to Fort Hays.

Fort De Chartres, Illinois Gatehouse

Fort de Chartres, Illinois – Fort de Chartres was the 18th Century center of the French civil and military government of the Illinois Country. The Fort de Chartres State Historic Site near Prairie du Rocher, Illinois marks the location of the last of three successive French forts named “de Chartres.”

Fort Sheridan, Illinois – Fort Sheridan, Illinois, was a U.S. Army post established in 1887 in Lake County. First called Camp Highwood, it was soon renamed for Civil War hero General Philip H. Sheridan, who died in 1888.

May Newsletter – A tribute to lost souls, gift from France, an unlucky lawman, strange things afoot near Roswell, and much more in this month’s newsletter.

Louisiana Civil War Battles – A look at the battles and military operations during the Civil War that involved Louisiana.

Jenkins Ferry, Arkansas

Arkansas Civil War Battles – Arkansas raised 48 infantry regiments, 20 artillery batteries, and over 20 cavalry regiments for the Confederacy, mostly serving in the Western Theater.

Eudora(From our Legends of Kansas website) Eudora got its start when a German company from Illinois bought 800 acres from the Shawnee Tribe.

John Day – John Day was a fur trapper and frontiersman who worked for both the Pacific Fur Company and the North West Company.

Francis Branch – Francis Ziba Branch was a sailor, trapper, and trader who worked across the United States.

Charles Larpenteur

Charles Larpenteur – French Fur Trader – Charles Larpenteur was a French fur trader who traveled the American West working for the Rocky Mountain Fur Company and the American Fur Company.

Andrew Henry – Andrew Henry was a military officer, miner, frontiersman, trapper, and businessman.

John L. Hatcher – John L. Hatcher was a frontiersman, explorer, guide, and army scout who made his way throughout the American West in the 19th Century.

David Jackson – David Edward Jackson was a pioneer, explorer, trader, and fur trapper who was well known in the American West.

Damar(From our Legends of Kansas website) Damar was established along the Union Pacific Railroad in 1888 by a community of French Canadians. Some had emigrated from Canada as early as 1871, settling on farms along the Rooks County-Graham County line in northwest Kansas.

Old Iron Town Utah - Furnace

Old Iron Town, Utah – Iron City, Utah was once a busy mining town in the 1870s producing iron for Mormon settlers, railroads, and more near Cedar City. Today it is part of the Frontier Homestead State Park.

Kackley(From our Legends of Kansas website) Today, Kackley still maintains a couple of grain silos and its railroad tracks, but its businesses are gone.

John Gantt – John Gantt was a soldier, trapper, trader, and guide who primarily worked in the Rocky Mountains.

Joseph Goff Gale – Joseph Goff Gale was a trapper, trader, pioneer, and politician.

Pipe Spring Wagon
Pipe Spring National Monument – Pipe Spring National Monument has a long history of bringing peoples to its life-giving waters along the Arizona Strip.

Allen, Kansas(From our Legends of Kansas website) The first settler in the area and the county was Charles H. Withington, who located along the old Santa Fe Trail at 142 Mile Creek.

Toronto, Kansas(From our Legends of Kansas website) Toronto is a small town in southwest Woodson County, situated on the Verdigris River that got its start in 1869.

Manhattan, Kansas (From our Legends of Kansas website) In March 1855, a group of abolitionists of the New England Emigrant Aid Company traveled to Kansas Territory to found a Free-State town, first called Boston.

April Newsletter – Our 5,300-mile adventure, The shot heard round the world, Oklahoma Land Rush, and much more in this month’s newsletter.

Trading Post, Kansas(From our Legends of Kansas website) Trading Post, Kansas, the first permanent white settlement in Linn County and one of the first in the state, is situated on the Marais des Cygnes River. Though filled with history, the community is a ghost town today.

Bushong, Kansas – Faded Railroad Town –  (From our Legends of Kansas website) The town got its start in 1886 when the Missouri Pacific Railroad built its tracks across Northern Lyon County.

Lowell, Arizona Hat Shop by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

The Rise & Fall of Lowell, Arizona – Lowell, Arizona a small neighborhood Bisbee features a restored mid-century street that is a photographer’s dream.

May, Oklahoma Ghost Town – May, Oklahoma is a semi-ghost town in southern Harper County, that got its start after the Cherokee Outlet Opening of 1893.

Aztec Ruins National Monument – Aztec Ruins National Monument, located in San Juan County, New Mexico, contains the remains of prehistoric Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) structures.

A building at the Jemez Pueblo in New Mexico by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico– The Jemez Pueblo in north-central New Mexico is the last remaining pueblo of the Towa-speaking people.

The Charleston Tea Parties – (by Jordan Baker) Boston was not the first to oppose the importation of highly taxed tea. Charleston, South Carolina was the first colonial port to oppose Britain’s tea tax.

Helen J. Stewart: First Lady Of Las Vegas(From author Anthony Dee Varrone) Helen Stewart played a key role in the development of Las Vegas, Nevada, and is dubbed the First Lady of Vegas for her lasting contributions.

Strong Store in Ocate, New Mexico today by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

Ocate, New Mexico – Ocate, New Mexico is an unincorporated community and near ghost town in Mora County located on the Santa Fe Trail.

Clifton House, New Mexico– The Clifton House, an important overnight stage stop on the Mountain Branch of the Santa Fe Trail, was located on the Canadian River about six miles south of RatonNew Mexico.

Tiptonville, New Mexico – Extinct on the Santa Fe Trail– Tiptonville, New Mexico, located just northwest of Watrous, was once an independent town that serviced travelers and traders along the Santa Fe Trail.

Ghosts of Lake Mead – Lake Mead National Recreation Area provides numerous recreation areas, but water levels are creating “ghosts” in lost cities, places, people, & buildings.

Extraterrstrial Highway Sign near Crystal Springs by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

Extraterrestrial Highway & Area 51– Stretching between Crystal Springs and at Warm Springs, Nevada for about 98 miles, the Extraterrestrial Highway, officially known as State Route 375, closely parallels the northern edges of the Nellis Air Force Range, commonly known as Area 51.

Pioche, Nevada – Wildest Town in the Silver State – Once one of the wildest towns in the American West, Pioche, Nevada is the county seat of Lincoln County.

Caliente, Nevada – Steeped in Railroad History – Caliente, Nevada, a historic railroad town, is a quiet town mountain town, and the only incorporated community in Lincoln County.

Feb/March Newsletter – Our winter trip so far, banking and staging in the old west, westbound from Westport, and much more in this month’s special travel edition of our newsletter.

Camp Naco, Arizona – Camp Naco, Arizona, also called Fort Naco and Fort Newell began as a military camp in southeast Arizona as part of the Mexican Border Project.

John Alexander Martin(From our Legends Of Kansas website)  John Alexander Martin was a Free-State man, newspaper publisher, and the 10th governor of Kansas from 1885 to 1889.

Abram B. Burnett – Potawatomie Chief (From our Legends Of Kansas website) Abram B. Burnett was an Indian chief of the Potawatomie tribe, for whom Burnett’s Mound in southern TopekaKansas is named.

Pardee Butler – Free State Minister  – (From our Legends Of Kansas website) Pardee Butler was a pioneer minister in Kansas, who helped the territory become a Free-State.

Charles Jennison – Anti-Slavery Jayhawker(From our Legends Of Kansas website) Charles Ransford Jennison was a physician, soldier, and anti-slavery Jayhawker who fought to make Kansas a Free State during the Bleeding Kansas War and as a Redleg during the Civil War.

Westport, Missouri – Though Westport, Missouri is a neighborhood of Kansas City today, it was once an independent thriving town, from which the CaliforniaOregon, and Santa Fe Trails began and was the site of one of Missouri’s largest Civil War battles.

Inscriptions at El Morro National Monument by the National Park Service.

El Morro National Monument, New Mexico – The monument displays over 2,000 carvings at the base of a sandstone bluff that records the presence of ancient peoples and later travelers who transformed El Morro into a well-preserved historical document.

The First Hawaiians – The Hawaiian Islands were first settled as early as 400 C.E., when Polynesians from the Marquesas Islands, 2000 miles away, traveled to Hawaii’s Big Island in canoes.

Apalachee Home

Apalachee Tribe – The Apalachee are a Native American people who historically lived in the Florida Panhandle. They spoke a Muscogean language called Apalachee, which is now extinct.

Eufaula Tribe – The Eufaula tribe, a Muscogean-speaking people, were part of the Muscogee Creek Confederacy who originally lived in the southeastern United States.

Chinook woman on the beach by Edward S. Curtis, 1910.

Chinookan People – The Chinook Indian Nation continues to engage in a continuing effort to secure formal recognition, conducting research and developing documentation to demonstrate its history.

Kalapuya Family – The Kalapuya Family of Native Americans is a group of tribes that occupied the Willamette River Valley in Oregon that spoke closely related language.

Awatovi Ruins, Arizona – The Awatovi Ruins in northeastern Arizona are an archaeological site on the Hopi Indian Reservation. The site contains the ruins of a pueblo estimated to be 500 years old and those of a 17th-century Spanish mission.

Zinc Barnes – Rich in Ingenuity – (By William Daugherty, 1891) Zinc Barnes was liberal with his bookkeeping but rich in ingenuity.

Pioneer Justice in Nevada – (By William Daugherty, 1891) A Justice of the Peace dispenses justice in Nye County, Nevada.

Snow Bound, Alone, and Surrounded by Wild Varmints – (By William Daugherty, 1891) A prospector is snowbound in Nevada without a gun and is surrounded by wild animals.

Alva Gould – Discoverer of the Famous Gould and Curry Mine – (By William Daugherty, 1891) Alva Gould discovered silver on the ground of the celebrated Gould & Curry Mine on January 6, 1859.

Celebrating the Fourth in Past Boom Towns – (By William Daugherty, 1891) Among the new of the old States, Nevada seems young, yet many pioneers have celebrated for a quarter of a century or more within her borders.

Developing Panamint, California – (By William Daugherty, 1891) The government explorations in Death Valley and the Panamint Range of mountains bordering it on the west, bring to mind the exploits of one of the boldest adventurers among the early mining operators of the Great Basin.

Honest Miner To a Poker-Playing Politician – (By William Daugherty, 1891) The boys called him “Sugar Foot” and evidently had some good reasons for selecting that name to designate him when speaking in their own circle.

Reese River near Austin, Nevada, courtesy Wikipedia.

Making Footprints in the Reese River Valley, Nevada – (By William Daugherty, 1891) Few, outside of Lander’s boundaries, can recollect it, and yet, it was a mining town of some pretensions then, and a rival to Austin for the honor of becoming the capital of the Territory.

Placing a Mine in Nevada – (By William Daugherty, 1891) The prospectus of a proposed mining company that was to be “placed” on the eastern market is remarkable in its methods.

Old Tom – A Typical Mining Camp Character – (By William Daugherty, 1891) “Old Tom” was a character that lived in Eastern Nevada. He had drifted from one camp to another and located finally on the line of the Overland Railroad. It doesn’t matter where, for every camp has a character of a similar kind.

Thunder Mountain Monument, Nevada – Constructed over four decades beginning in 1967, a man named Frank Van Zant, built the folk art “sculpture” of concrete and junk as a tribute to the Native American plight.

Stokes Castle in Austin, Nevada –  A reminder of the heydays of Austin’s past history, Stokes Castle stands as a sentinel on the north end of Reese River Valley.

The Fatal Flight of United Airlines 629 – In November of 1955, Jack Gilbert Graham blew up a plane over Colorado just to collect life insurance on his mother who was on the flight.

Montana Hotel Saloon, Anaconda Montana

Old West Saloon Descriptions – Descriptions and history of several well known Old West Saloons accompanied by images from the past and present.

The Sultana Mine, Nevada – In the early 1860s, the mining excitement in Nevada drew largely upon California, and some headed to the Sultana Mine. (1891 historic text)

White Headed Bill – A Stalwart Miner – The story of Tenny and his interactions with White Headed Bill, a miner who becomes a lawyer and senator. (1891 historic text)

January Newsletter – Happy New Year!  Tough law in Indian Territory, One Foot in the Stirrup and One on the Throttle, some Illinois Route 66, and much more in this month’s newsletter.

Lees Ferry, Arizona –  A historic site located within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area,  it is named for Mormon Leader John D. Lee, who set up ferry service for Mormon settlers heading south to Arizona.

Apache Warriors

Apache Wars of the Southwest – Though not always well known, this series of battles is the longest war in U.S. history.

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Colorado – The Monument contains the highest known archaeological site density in the United States, with rich, well-preserved evidence of native cultures that have been part of this landscape for at least 10,000 years.

Saugus Iron Works, Massachusetts by the National Park Service.

Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site – The Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site in Massachusetts is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America.

Quapaw Tribe – The Quapaw people are a Siouan tribe, closely related to the KanzaOmahaOsage, and Ponca.

November Newsletter – America’s Native Heritage, The Big Easy, Dallas tames El Paso, and much more in this month’s Newsletter.

Old stone wall in Santa Clara County, California courtesy Wikipedia.

Who Built California’s East Bay Walls? – The East Bay Walls, also known as the Berkeley Mystery Walls, are crude walls and rock lines found throughout the hills surrounding the San Francisco Bay Area of California.

Constitutional Conventions of Kansas – There were five Constitutional Conventions in Kansas as the territory struggled to enter the Union as a Free State.

Delphine LaLaurie and Her Haunted Mansion in New Orleans – The LaLaurie Mansion at 1140 Royal Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana is said to be one of the most haunted places in what is called the most haunted city in the United States.

Voodoo dolls at the Voodoo Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Voodoo Still Lives in America – Voodoo in America is still actively practiced and its capital is New Orleans, Louisiana.

Haunted Pharmacy Museum in New Orleans – The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum is not only a great attraction, it was the first apothecary shop in the United States, was established by the first licensed pharmacist in the country, and it is also said to be haunted due to the atrocities that took place in this building.

New Orleans at night by Carol Highsmith.

New Orleans, Louisiana – The Big Easy – This unique city, with its colonial French and Spanish character, is known for its annual Mardi Gras festival, jazz music, and flavorful Creole cuisine, not to mention it’s incredibly rich history.

Haunted Seven Sisters Road, Nebraska – According to local legend, seven women were murdered here in the 1900s, and their spirits still linger.

Boston Harbor by W.J. Bennett, 1833

Boston, Massachusetts – The Revolution Begins – Here, visitors can explore historic neighborhoods that were home to early American patriots, wander the red-bricked “Freedom Trail”, and see Boston’s National Historic Park.

Mohawk Indians – The Mohawk Indians were once the most easterly tribe of the Five Nations of the Iroquoian Confederacy.

Otoe-Missouria Indians

Missouria Indian Tribe – The Missouria or Missouri Indians, a Siouan tribe, lived in and gave their name to the state of Missouri. Their name means “one who has dugout canoes” in the Illinois language. In their own language, the Missouri called themselves Niúachi.

Menominee Tribe – Tradition says that the Menominee were driven into Wisconsin, from the neighborhood of Michilimackinac Indians around Mackinac Island in Michigan. However, when they were first known to white men they were already in Wisconsin and remained there until 1854.

Mogollon People – The Mogollon Indians were one of four major prehistoric archaeological culture areas of the American Southwest and Northern Mexico.

New Mexico’s Big Bird in Las Cruces – This large bird, touted as the world’s largest roadrunner, has a belly created with old shoes, with other parts of its body sporting everything from office fans, to computer parts, to children’s toys.

Schoenchen, Kansas  – (From our Legends Of Kansas website)  Schoenchen, Kansas located in southcentral Ellis County, is another of several area villages established by Volga German immigrants.

Ellis, Kansas(From our Legends Of Kansas website) – Ellis, Kansas, a small town in west central Ellis County got its start as a water station along the tracks of the Kansas Pacific Railroad in 1867.

Spearville, KansasSpearville, Kansas(From our Legends Of Kansas website) The town was first called Speareville, for Alden H. Speare, a railroad director and president of the town company. However, the town name was consistently misspelled “Spearville,” and finally the “e” was eliminated altogether.

Kingsdown, Kansas(From our Legends Of Kansas website) Established as a station on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, Kingsdown, Kansas is a small unincorporated semi-ghost town in southeast Ford County.

Bloom, Kansas (From our Legends Of Kansas website) In the 1910s, it was described as a “prosperous town that was one of the biggest wheat shipping stations on the Rock Island, west of Hutchinson. Today Bloom is a ghost town.

Ellinwood, Kansas(From our Legends Of Kansas website) Ellinwood, with its first claim staked in 1871, got its start when the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad planned to come through the area.

Claflin, Kansas(From our Legends Of Kansas website) – Claflin, located in northeast Barton County, got its start when the Missouri Pacific Railroad made plans to come through the area and has held tight to its small-town roots.

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