Thank you for asking me to guest blog. I’ve always loved western romances, especially western historical romances. I grew up in Kansas in the middle of what was once a cattle town. My great-grandmother loved to spin stories of the Old West, which included outlaws, gunslingers and of course brave lawmen. Kansas actually has quite a western history.
I want to share a few places that you may not be aware of. Coffeyville, Kansas is home to the Dalton’s Defender’s museum. The Dalton boys started out as Deputy Marshals, but soon found the wrong side of the law more profitable. Their crime spree included bank and train robberies and horse stealing among other things. On Oct 5, 1892, five members of their gang, Bob, Grat, Emmett, Bill Power and Dick Broadwell, rode into Coffeyville, Kansas, set on robbing the Condon National Bank and the First National Bank at the same time. Their plot was foiled when they were recognized and the alarm was sounded. The townsmen gathered weapons and waited for them to come out of the bank. Four of the Dalton gang lost their lives. Only Emmett survived to stand trial. He was sentenced to life in prison, but was later pardoned by the governor and fled to California. The remaining members of the gang who weren’t in on that robbery continued their crime spree.
To find out more about the Dalton gang visit http://www.gunslinger.com/dalton.html To learn more about them and the museum check out http://www.coffeyville.com/Historical%20Society.htm
Abilene was a famous end-of-the-line cattle town, where famous marshals Tom Smith and Wild Bill Hickok kept the peace.
Check out http://www.coffeyville.com/Historical%20Society.htm to learn about old Abilene town.
If you’re in Abilene, be sure to have dinner at the Brookville Hotel, where they’re serving the same family-style meal they did during the cattle days. (Although, the hotel has been moved from its original site in Brookville, they did a great job of recreating it.) Also, if you’re a WWII buff, President Eisenhower has his Presidential library there. http://www.abilenekansas.org/page.aspx?page_id=20
Just outside Larned, Kansas is Fort Larned. It is one of the few remaining forts from the old west that still stands with all it’s original buildings. It’s a must see for any military history buff. To learn more about it, check out http://www.nps.gov/fols/
My family would tell you to see the Biggest Ball of Twine in Cawker City, Kansas. My mother’s cousin, Linda Clover, is keeper of it right now. In 1953, farmer Frank Stoeber began rolling the spare bits of sisal twine in his barn. By 1957, his twine ball weighed 1 and 1/2 tons and stood 8 feet tall. By 1961, when he turned it over to the town, it had over 1,600,000 feet of twine rolled into a sphere 11 feet in diameter, and it has never stopped growing. Today it weighs almost 9 tons. For all the jokes that are made about it, my cousin Linda gets calls from interested people all over the world.
To find out more. check out http://skyways.lib.ks.us/towns/Cawker/twine.html
These are only a few of the interesting places to see in Kansas. I hope I enticed all of you to not just drive through Kansas on your way across the country, but to stop and visit some of our rich historical sites. To learn more about Kansas check out http://www.kansasmemory.org/
Here are a couple of books that may help you with your tour of Kansas: Kansas Off The Beaten Path: A Guide to Unique Places by Patti DeLano & Cathy Johnson. The Old Wild West: A Traveler’s Guide by Michael McCoy. This one had a great chapter on Kansas.
Fleeing the prospect of a brutal marriage, Serenity Springfield, needs a safe haven. Widower Collin MacClarron needs a mother for his four rambunctious daughters. Fate and a meddling grandmother bring them together, but will Serenity’s secrets tear them apart?
“SWEET SERENITY is a befitting title for this beautiful romance that will capture your heart from the very first page.” Reviewer Billie Jo – Romance Junkies
You can see all my other releases on my website at www.catherinestang.com and www.myspace.com Happy Holidays!