Subject: Legends of America Newsletter - December 2021

Origins of the Ghost Dance, Disaster in Ashtabula, Largest Stone Fort in America, a Pioneer Christmas and MORE!

Legends of America Newsletter - December 2021

In this newsletter:

  • Origins of the Ghost Dance

  • Disaster in Ashtabula

  • Largest Stone Fort in America

  • a Pioneer Christmas

and more!

Latest from our world

Happy Holidays Friend!

We're wrapping up 2021, still catching up on our latest travel adventure out East. We took extra time coming home, relaxing, and actually 'vacationing', something we don't do often. We had some unanticipated challenges along the way. Did you know that many vets throughout the country are overwhelmed by the pandemic? Staff shortages, a big spike in pet ownership, and catching up from shutdowns made it almost impossible to get our furry kid Kaydee checked out when she got sick in Virginia. Couldn't find a Vet on our path that would see her until we stopped in Tennessee on the way home.

Another challenge was along the coast where apparently the sand burrs, always present, were even more of a problem this year. For whatever reason, the burrs were so bad when we camped on Cape Hatteras we couldn't step outside our trailer door without collecting a half dozen or so on our pant legs and shoes. I had to make a special path for the dogs, and even then they decided pretty quickly that staying in the camper was the best choice. I was finding stickers in bedding and cloths all the way back to Missouri.

Overall it was a great trip though, with plenty of material to write about. Some of that we are sharing here in this month's Newsletter.

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.

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.

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.

Jabber with the best of 'em - Get our Frontier Slang, Lingo & Phrases book, on sale for only $7.95!

What's New on LOA

Here are some of the recent additions since our last newsletter

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

West Virginia Coal Mine Disasters – Coal mining in West Virginia has always been a risky profession, especially before 1920, when laws had not been created to improve and monitor mine safety. During those years, working as a coal miner was an extremely unhealthy and dangerous occupation.

West Virginia Mine Wars – The West Virginia mine wars, also known as the “coal wars,” were conflicts that arose out of disputes between coal companies and miners.

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.

Did You Know?

The expedition led by Lewis and Clark opened the great West to the knowledge of the more adventurous whites and soon, numerous settlers pressed into the northern section of the country west of the Mississippi River and into the southern portion of the arid plateau and tableland. From Fort Leavenworth, Kansas to Santa Fe, New Mexico, a wagon route was made, known as the Santa Fe Trail. The Indians hung along the borders of this rutted way and had many a fierce battle with the whites as they journeyed to and fro in wagons and by pack train.

The great hero of this highway to the southwest was Kit Carson, the Nestor of the Rocky Mountains. [Born Christmas Eve, 1809] Decidedly under the average stature; quick, wiry, with nerves of steel and an indomitable will; such was the great hunter, scout and man of the plains.

Ashtabula Train Wreck – Historic Accounts

December 29, 1876, the Ashtabula, Ohio Railroad Disaster, often referred to simply as the Ashtabula Disaster or the Ashtabula Horror, was one of the worst railroad disasters in American history.

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The Ghost Dance – A Promise of Fulfillment

The Ghost Dance (Natdia) is a spiritual movement that came about in the late 1880s when conditions were bad on Indian reservations and Native Americans needed something to give them hope. This movement found its origin in a Paiute Indian named Wovoka, who announced that he was the messiah come to earth to prepare the Indians for their salvation. Once spread to the Lakota, the dance would lead to the Wounded Knee Massacre.

A Pioneer Christmas

By the mid-1800s the American Christmas tradition included much of the same customs and festivities as is does today, including tree decorating, gift-giving, Santa Claus, greeting cards, stockings by the fire, church activities, and family-oriented days of feasting and fun.

But, for those in the Old West, far away from the more civilized life of the east, pioneers, cowboys, explorers, and mountain men, usually celebrated Christmas with homemade gifts and humble fare.

Popular Stories on Facebook

In case you missed it, here are some of the articles that have been popular on our Facebook Fan Pages recently.

Situated along the Alpine Loop Back Country Byway in Hinsdale County, Colorado, the mining camp of Sherman sat at an elevation of 9,560 feet. The town was platted with wide streets and alleyways in 1877.

Read more about the ghost town of Sherman, Colorado

The Cherokee, like many other tribes, traced their family relations matrilineally (through the mother.) As a result, there were many women who held leadership roles. Women of great influence became known as “Ghigau,” meaning Beloved Woman, the highest role to which a Cherokee woman could aspire.

See more Native American Facts & Trivia

Born December 2, 1873, Henry Starr robbed more banks than both the James-Younger Gang and the Doolin-Dalton Gang combined. He started robbing banks on horseback in 1893 and ended up robbing his last in a car in 1921.

Read about Henry Starr - The Cherokee Bad Boy -

Thank's Y'all!

Kathy and I are so lucky to have you along as a reader. Since our beginnings almost 20 years ago, we have been blessed with people like you from all over the world who enjoy learning more about American History and off-the-beaten-path Travel Destinations. Our commitment is to continue bringing you entertaining and educational content into 2022.

Wishing you and yours all the best the season has to offer, and the Happiest New Year! - Dave

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