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Wednesday, December 25, 2019

A Christmas Tradition

    Through the years, my family has had many Christmas traditions. At my maternal grandparents' home, we danced around the Christmas Tree in the Danish tradition.  My grandmother (whose parents inspired THE LEGACY) served cookies from this recipe, along with many other kinds of cookies, every year. As you can guess from the name, the recipe is very old. Every time I make this recipe, I think of her.

Ice Box Pecan Cookies


1 cup butter
½ cup sugar
1 cup chopped pecans (can use pecan pieces)
2 cups flour, scant
Extra granulated sugar


1. Beat butter and sugar well.
2. Add flour and nuts. If necessary, knead dough to use all 2 cups of flour.
3. Form into logs, 1 to 1½ inches in diameter.
4. Place in ice box (refrigerator) for 1-2 hours.
5. Cut into approximately 1/3 inch slices.
6. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 375 degrees until slightly brown around the edges.
7. Cool for several minutes on cookie sheet.
8. As you remove each still-warm cookie from the sheet, roll in granulated sugar, covering all sides.
9. This recipe does not double well.

What are some of the Christmas traditions in your family? 

Merry Christmas and Happy 2020.

Ann Markim

    Buy Links:      Paperback at Amazon    Amazon Kindle 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Medieval peasants tuck in: feasting at Christmas and Easter

Feasting for a noble or a king in the medieval period could be a splendid, lengthy, expensive affair, where dishes were produced and shown to display wealth and power. What about feasts for the bulk of the population who lived on the land?

In an age without freezers and only limited storage methods – smoking, salting, drying, preserving, keeping – all foodstuffs had to be produced in time to the rhythms of the farming year. In the Middle Ages, that meant the Christian calendar. Feasts were allied to the high points of harvests, saints’ days, Christ’s life, the change of the seasons and the winter and summer solstices.

Christmas especially, covering the darkest time of the year and preceded by the fast of Advent, was celebrated for almost two weeks by all classes. No work was done in that ‘quiet’ season of the farming year and people celebrated by dancing, singing, story-telling, drinking and eating.

In the countryside, some lucky peasants might be fed within their lords’ manor houses over Christmas as part of the Christian tradition of charity and share in rich dishes and strong beers. Other peasants would feast at home. Meat, as a luxury, would certainly be enjoyed, usually in the form of bacon, salted beef or mutton. Such cuts would be made into stews or slow roasted. Pepper was used as a spice by all classes and at Christmas carefully hoarded spices such as ginger, some dried herbs from the kitchen garden and perhaps even exotic fruits such as dried raisins might be added to the stews to add different flavours. We know that peasants had access to exotic spices and dried fruits because the Sumptuary Laws forbade indulgence in both rich clothes and expensive foods by the ‘lower’ classes.

Fine wheat bread, if peasants could produce it (by grinding the flour in secret away from their lords’ mill) would be a treat. River fish or eels would make a change from the usual salted dried cod of winter-time. Waterfowl, chickens, and – once they had escaped and bred from their specially constructed warrens – rabbits, could be caught, roasted or turned into stews and pies.

Hard cheese, which would keep through the winter, might have been part of a peasant’s Christmas feasting and certainly there would have been pottages, vegetable one pot stews made from the cut and come again greens and root vegetables (not potatoes yet) from the kitchen garden.

As well as food treats, peasant households would decorate their homes for their Christmas feasts. Holly, ivy and mistletoe were cut and brought indoors to make the Christmas Bush that hung from the rafters. And after Christmas there was the festival of wassailing in cider apple districts. People would gather in the orchards and light fires under the trees, dance round them and drink to them.

The lengthening days of early spring were often times of sparse commons for everyone as winter stores were eaten and the new crops and growth were still not ready. The hard fasting of Lent, and before that the feast of Shrovetide when all the dairy food ‘luxuries’ not allowed during the fasting time were used up, gave way at last to Easter.

Richer peasants might feast on lamb or suckling pig, served with the first spring greens. Eggs featured heavily since they symbolised the stone rolled away from the tomb of Christ. Pace or paschal eggs, coloured with onion skins and wine, were part of the Easter feast, which, like Christmas, could last over several days.

What did people drink during these festive times?

Willam the Conqueror feasts in England ahead of the Battle of Hastings (from the Bayeux Tapestry)A drink common to ancient Roman and northern European lands was mead, made of honey and water. Mead was the drink of choice at Anglo-Saxon feasts. Because drinking water was so often impure in the ancient world, ale was the 'everyday' drink, but mead was for feasting. There were mead halls and, in the halls, mead benches, where men sat drinking side by side. Drinking horns and glasses were richly ornamented and highly prized. Anglo-Saxon wine, some grown from grapes that could flourish in the south of England, was light, quickly consumed and not very strong. Ale, drunk by all ages, was a sweetish, thick drink, again not very alcoholic. Mead was the intoxicating draft, subject of riddles and poetry and drunk prodigiously in seasonal feasts. A later recipe from the fourteenth century describes ‘fine mead’, with the honey pressed from the combs and added to water left after boiling the empty combs (as for ordinary mead), then flavoured with pepper, cloves and apples and left to stand.

Happy Holidays!

(All pictures from Wikimedia Commons).

Lindsay Townsend

I mention Christmas feasts in "Sir Conrad and the Christmas Treasure" and "The Snow Bride", plus the lack of festing in "Sir Baldwin and the Christmas Ghosts". You can find these romances on Amazon and at the Prairie Rose Website here

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Book review: A Husband For Christmas by Sarah J McNeal



Jane Pierpont and her son, Robin, survived the Titanic, but her husband went down with the ship and the emotional scars of that night have kept her and her son locked into that frightening event. Robin is terrified of deep water and Jane has nightmares and survivor’s guilt. She yearns for a family, a loving husband and maybe another child, but she feels disloyal to Michael’s memory whenever Teekonka Red Sky comes near her.

Teekonka Red Sky loves Jane and her son, but all his efforts to help them past their painful memories of the night Michael Pierpont died have been unsuccessful. Unwilling to give up, can his Lakota beliefs help him bring peace to Robin and free Jane to love again?

My review:

Teekonka and Jane's (and Rob!) happily-ever-after delivers a preciously sweet and heartwarming Christmas story, perfect for a quick read amidst the busy of the season.

Teekonka embodied patience and gentleness pursuing Jane, and built a special relationship with her son.  He knew what he wanted and he was willing to do what was necessary to get the family he needed, and provide them with their dreams as well.  Jane showed beauty and devotion while she sorted out her head and embraced the gift of a future she craved.

It was fun getting to reconnect with previous characters from the Wilding series and see what they're up to.

Purchase links:

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Three Revolutionary Women

Since my work recently has led me to delve into America’s Revolutionary War, I'm uncovering names and people with whom I had no prior knowledge, but who were ordinary people who lived during extraordinary times. Many of the names I’m working with are well known: George Washington, Samuel Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Paul Revere, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin. These brave men are the ones who crafted the Constitution and designed our current form of government. We’ve heard stories about these men over the years, but there were women living here too, who were every bit as brave and outspoken against British tyranny. We’ve all heard stories about women who spent the war posing as men and fighting alongside them in battle. But there were others, every bit as brave and loyal. Allow me to introduce three of them to you. 

Sybil Ludington, The Female Paul Revere

Sybil was born in 1761, the eldest of twelve children born to Henry and Abigail Ludington. She grew up in Dutchess County, NY, where her father toiled as a farmer and miller. Henry received his military training during the French and Indian War and served as an aide to George Washington at the outbreak of the Revolution. When that war began in earnest, Henry became a militia colonel who commanded the seventh regiment of the Dutchess County militia, a volunteer group whose area of involvement included a route favored by the British, running between upper New York, Connecticut and Long Island Sound. 

In April 1777, Colonel Ludington’s troops had disbanded in order to take care of the spring planting. A horseman galloped up to the Ludington home with news that Danbury, 25 miles away, was under attack by the British. At the time, the town of Danbury was being used as a storehouse for Continental Army supplies. In addition to destroying Army supplies, any home deemed not loyal to the British was to be set on fire. 

The messenger had ridden hard and both he and his horse were spent. The Colonel needed to muster his troops, which numbered 400, without leaving his home, where they would all assemble. It fell to Sybil to spread the word. 

Whether she volunteered or was forced into service, one thing is clear about Sybil. She was a sixteen-year-old female, riding a work horse, using a man’s saddle and a halter made from hemp. She set off on her journey of about forty miles to rouse the men. The part of New York state she was in still to this day contains dangerous and rugged roads, so you can imagine what it was like to cover such ground in the dark, in the rain, and on horseback. She also had to avoid any British soldiers in the area, British loyalists and outlaw bands roaming in the region. Paul Revere’s ride was only about twenty miles, by comparison.

Sybil succeeded in her mission, and by morning the men had all mustered at her father's home, from where they marched to Danbury. They arrived too late to stop the carnage, but they fought the British as they were leaving Danbury and made them pay dearly for the invasion. Sybil was later personally thanks for her service by George Washington himself. Today, a statue of Sybil Ludington is on display in Carmel, NY.

Statue of Sybil Ludington on Gleneida Avenue in Carmel, New York by Anna Hyatt Huntington | Public domain image, from Wikimedia Commons

Emily Geiger, Patriotic South Carolinian

The British invaded the Carolinas in 1781. Generals Nathanael Greene, Thomas Sumter, Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee and Francis Marion, who later became known as The Swamp Fox were charged with the responsibility of ridding South Carolina of the British. With a unit of British reinforcements coming, General Greene felt if his forces could combine with General Sumter’s, they could overtake the reinforcements and do major damage. However, seventy miles of rough terrain separated the two generals, much of it marshland, and there were British sympathizers at every turn. 

General Greene put out a plea for a civilian to deliver a message to General Sumter. It would be dangerous work, and his men were ill and weak from lack of food. Eighteen-year-old Emily Geiger overheard her invalid father discussing the general’s dilemma and his call for help. She walked to General Greene’s camp, a few miles from where she lived with her father, and bravely offered to act as a courier for him. She was familiar with the route and wished to help the colonists any way she could. A desperate general agreed with her and wrote the letter to be delivered to General Sumter. 

She created a story for herself that she was going to see her uncle, just in case anyone should ask. But Tories were everywhere in South Carolina, and one had witnessed her arrival and subsequent departure from the general’s camp. She was tailed by the British from the moment she left camp. 

Not suspecting she had been seen leaving the colonist’s camp, Emily rode hard about halfway to her goal. Fatigue and darkness forced her to beg for a room for the night from a total stranger. Unfortunately for Emily, the stranger was secretly a Tory. The man tracking her followed her to this house and decided he too needed some sleep before apprehending Emily. She woke upon the man’s arrival and decided to escape after everyone fell back asleep. She snuck out the window, saddled her horse and took off, knowing the man she’d left sleeping would be after her as soon as he woke. 

She got about 2/3 of the way to her goal when she was stopped by three British soldiers. They became suspicious of her story that she was to visit an uncle, and the fact her horse had been ridden hard made them more suspect. They captured Emily and took her to the camp of the British general, Lord Rawdon. He questioned her and found her answers evasive, so he ordered her locked into an upstairs room and went in search of a woman who could frisk her. 

She quickly realized her dilemma and feared for her life should the missive to General Sumter be found. She opened the letter from General Greene, memorized its contents, and tore the letter into bite-sized pieces, which she began to eat. By the time the woman arrived and searched her and her clothing, nothing was left of the letter. General Rawdon let her go, but had his men accompany her to what they assumed was her uncle’s house, a few miles away. This home belonged to a colonist, who offered her a fresh mount and a guide to show her a shorter way to get where she was going. The guide helped her navigate her way through the night but left her the next morning. 

She continued her perilous ride until the afternoon of the third day, when she came upon soldiers in the Patriot uniforms. They delivered her to General Sumter. Even though she was hungry, bone-tired and near to passing out, she delivered the message she’d been sent with. General Sumter marshaled his forces and they left within an hour of Emily’s arrival, on their way to General Greene. 

Three chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution in South Carolina were named for this patriotic female of the Revolution and she is now part of the South Carolina state seal. The woman holding the laurel branch is the image of Emily Geiger.   

Lydia Darragh, Quaker Pacifist

Alas, no pictures exist of Lydia Darragh, nor are there any bronze statues in her honor. She was a Quaker woman, living in the Philadelphia area during the war. Born in 1729 in Dublin, Ireland, she emigrated to America around 1756 with her husband, William. He worked as a tutor and she was a midwife. In October 1777, the British troops occupied Philadelphia, and General Howe took over a large parlor room of the Darragh home for his staff meetings. In December 1777, Lydia was told of a major meeting that would take place that evening, and that she should retire early. 

Instead of going to sleep, Lydia listened through the door and learned that the British troops were being ordered to leave the city in a few days to make a surprise attack on the Continental Army camped at White Marsh, under the guidance of George Washington. She scurried back to bed when the British disassembled, and had to be roused to follow them out, lock the door and extinguish the candles. 

The following day, Lydia was given permission to cross British lines in order to buy some flour. She dropped off her empty bag at the mill and headed to Washington’s camp. She delivered the message about the impending attack on their encampment and returned to the mill for her flour. When the British attempted their attack, the Americans were ready for them, and they were repelled, resulting in a Patriot victory.

In 2013, the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution created the Lydia Darragh Medal, which may be awarded at any time to any lady who works behind the scenes to support the causes of the Sons of the American Revolution. 

Monday, December 16, 2019

'Twas the Night

“’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”

Clement Clarke Moore was born in 1779, in New York City.  His grandfather had bought a farm in a far-distant suburb of the bustling city.  Variously referred to as a farm or an estate, Chelsea (named after Chelsea in London, of course), was developed by Moore as a suburb of the rapidly growing city in the early decades of the 1800s.  He donated land for both the General Theological Seminary, where he served as Professor of Oriental and Greek Literature as well as Biblical Learning, and for St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.  Both still flourish today.  Chelsea has long been a part of urban Manhattan, rural or suburban no longer.

Moore's Chelsea mansion, drawn by his daughter, Mary C. Ogden

In 1823, “A Visit From St. Nicholas” was published anonymously in the Troy, N.Y. Sentinel.  It was not until 1837 that the poem was attributed to Moore – apparently he had written it to amuse his daughters, and had not originally wanted to lay claim to it, lest it detract from his reputation as a serious scholar.  However, its immediate and enduring popularity eventually convinced him to admit to his authorship.  (Although, to complicate matters, some critics now believe the poem was actually written by a New York author named Henry Livingston.)  Moore died in 1863.

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself

The importance of the poem lies in its establishment of a uniquely American Santa Claus myth.  Drawing on the British Father Christmas, the Dutch Sinterklaas, and the historical St. Nicholas of Myra, Santa Claus already existed.  But it was “A Visit From St. Nicholas” which defined him as chubby, jolly, and benevolent, and it was the poem which named the eight reindeer who drew his sleigh.

Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!

Whatever the truth of its origins, it’s very likely that most of the characters in the Prairie Rose Western novels would have heard of – in fact, grown up with – this poem.   And every year, Chelsea Community Church, a non-denominational church which meets at Moore’s own St. Peter’s, throws a wonderful party:  a festival of lessons and carols that fills every seat of the grand old 1838 edifice.  A choir sings, the audience carols, and best of all, a local actor or performer reads “A Visit From St. Nicholas” – performers like Rosanne Cash, Ethan Hawke, and Blair Brown, as well as stage actors.  This year it was Michael James Leslie, who originated the voice of the monstrous Plant in the musical Little Shop of Horrors – who ended with a laugh so ringing and delightful that it echoes in my ears the next day.

So to all of you, “Merry Christmas to all!  And to all a good night!”   (As well as a wonderful Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Solstice, and New Year’s!)

 . . . . and if you're looking for a holiday gift and would like to support a new writer, why not give Courting Anna a try?

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Rodeo Songs by Kaye Spencer Part 4 of 4 - Countdown of Kaye's 7 Favorite Rodeo Songs #rodeo #rodeosongs #prairierosepubs

This is Part 4 of my four-part series about my favorite rodeo songs, which came about because July 4, 2019 was the 150th anniversary of the Deer Trail Rodeo in Deer Trail, Colorado. It was a rodeo from my younger days that I didn't miss.

In Part 1, I promised pictures of me as the Brush Rodeo Queen c. 1970. I couldn’t locate the one rodeo queen picture I wanted, but I did locate a newspaper article and picture. I also found a picture of me as 1st Attendant for the Standard Quarter Horse Association c. 1971.
Kaye on the right - 1st Attendant - Standard Quarter Horse Association

Kaye doing the 'queen wave' at the judges
Brush Rodeo Queen - Kaye in the center

My horse’s name was Stonewall Jackson. He and I won many performance events in 4-H and other quarter horse riding and showing competitions such as obstacle trail, English pleasure, and western pleasure. We were a force to be reckoned with in the show ring for many years. Later, my brother (12 years younger) rode Jackson to local fame, too. Just for kicks and giggles, here are pictures of me and Jackson – c. 1970-1972.

I also mentioned in a comment that I had a picture of me in the very fashionable fringed leather jacket of the 1950 and early 1960s. I’m the little one at about 10 years old. The other two are my sibling cousins.

I digressed…back to my Top 7 Favorite Rodeo-Themed Songs.

To remind you where I’ve been with this four-part series, you can read Part 1 HERE - Part 2 HERE -  Part 3 HERE

So far, my seven favorite rodeo-related songs are:

7 – Bad Braham Bull by Chris LeDoux
6 – Strawberry Roan by Marty Robbins
5 – Bandy the Rodeo Clown by Moe Bandy
4 – All Around Cowboy by Marty Robbins
3 – Amarillo by Morning by George Strait
2 – Rodeo Cowboy by Lynn Anderson

Here are my Honorable Mention Rodeo Songs (not in any particular order):

Cowboy in a Continental Suit by Marty Robbins

  • Rodeo Romeo by Moe Bandy
  • Cowboy in a Continental Suit by Marty Robbins
  • Rodeo by Garth Brooks
  • 8 Second Ride by Chris LeDoux
  • 10 Seconds in the Saddle by Chris LeDoux
  • Old Cheyenne by Ian Tyson
  • I can Still Make Cheyenne by George Strait

All of these songs are available on YouTube.

Now, for my Number 1 favorite rodeo-themed song...

The song that I first heard when I was 14 years old—

The song that sparked the embers then lit the fire of romantic angst in my teenager’s writing heart—

The song that spawned the first novel I ever wrote [high school] (which has thankfully been lost to the ages)—

The song that references my home state of Colorado… (I love this song so much.)

Someday Soon – performed by Judy Collins

Someday Soon was written by Canadian singer-songwriter Ian Tyson. He and his wife Sylvia recorded the song in 1964, but they didn’t release it as a single then. Someday Soon has been covered by Judy Collins, Moe Bandy, and Suzy Bogguss with chart-hitting success. The Kingston Trio, Chris LeDoux, Crystal Gayle, Glen Campbell, Lynn Anderson, and a host of other singers also have versions.

Someday Soon is listed in the Top 100 Western Songs of all time by members of Western Writers of America.* 

Here is an interesting note— Judy’s version is categorized as ‘folk’, not western.

Here are two Someday Soon videos for your listening pleasure. The first is Judy Collins’ rendition. The second is Judy singing with Ian and Sylvia Tyson. About mid-video, the music cuts to Judy offering an anecdote about recording the song.

Until next time,

Kaye Spencer

Writing through history one romance upon a time

Stay in contact with Kaye via these venues:

* Someday Soon -

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Christmas On The American Frontier

By Kristy McCaffrey

A Christmas filled with cowboys inevitably evokes images of the Old West. Back then, the holidays were celebrated much as they are today, with holiday decorations, Santa Claus, presents, and a Christmas feast. I thought I would share some historical recollections directly from the pioneers themselves.

In 1884, Mrs. George C. Wolffarth of Estacado, Texas, reflected, “Christmas day was warm and beautiful and we had a watermelon feast on the church house lawn. Isiah Cox … had stored the melons in his cellar and they were in fine condition for the Christmas feast.”

“Now, you really must hear about my Christmas dinner!” began Evelyn Hertslet of Lake County, California, in 1885. Her holiday meal was filled with items from her native England. “The plum-pudding and mince-pies were all that could be desired, and we had also tipsy cake, Victoria sandwiches, meringues, and dessert ….”

Plum pudding

In 1849, Catherine Haun wrote, “Although very tired of tent life many of us spent Thanksgiving and Christmas in our canvas houses. I do not remember ever having had happier holiday times. For Christmas we had grizzly bear steak for which we paid $2.50, one cabbage for $1.00 and oh horrors, some more dried apples! And for a Christmas present the Sacramento River rose very high and flooded the whole town!”

Elizabeth Le Breton Gunn, who was living in Sonora, California, in 1851, wrote this letter:
“Yesterday was Christmas Day …. We filled the stockings on Christmas Eve …. The children filled theirs. They put in wafers, pens, toothbrushes, potatoes, and gingerbread, and a little medicine …. They received cake and candies, nuts and raisins, a few pieces of gold and a little money, and, instead of books, some letters. Their father and I each wrote them letters, and better than all and quite unexpected, they found yours, and were delighted. In my stocking were a toothbrush and a nailbrush (the latter I wanted very much) and some cakes and a letter from Lewis …. We had a nice roast of pork, and I made a plum pudding. Mr. Christman gave the children some very nice presents; each of the boys a pearl handled knife with three blades, Sarah a very pretty box, and Lizzie a pair of scissors, and each a paper of macaroons.”

Englishman William Redmond Kelly visited California in 1849-50. He celebrated Christmas at a mining camp near Middle Creek. “Our dinner-table was quite a spectacle in its way in the diggings … its bear meat, venison, and bacon, its apple-pies pleasingly distributed, its Gothic columns of plain and fancy breads … the plum-pudding alone being reserved for [a] second course …”

Vinegar pie

Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote of the preparations for Christmas on the Kansas Prairie: “Ma was busy all day long, cooking good things for Christmas. She baked salt-rising bread and r’n’Injun bread, and Swedish crackers, and huge pan of baked beans, with salt pork and molasses. She baked vinegar pies and dried-apple pies, and filled a big jar with cookies, and she let Laura and Mary lick the cake spoon.” That Christmas, Laura received a shiny new tin cup, a peppermint candy, a heart-shaped cake, and a brand new penny in her stocking.

Wishing you and your family a blessed holiday season.

Connect with Kristy

Monday, December 9, 2019


I must admit, my very favorite ride at any fair or carnival is the Ferris wheel.  I love being “up” – someday I’ll tell the story of my 2-year-old self climbing to the top of the refrigerator.  I actually took up snow skiing just so I could ride the gondolas and see the view from the top of the mountains.

I adored the giddy feeling of swooping away from the ground, rocking a little with each stop as the cars were loaded, then going around and around…  Just seeing a Ferris wheel now brings back fond memories of our hometown fair and being “stuck” at the top and able to see forever.

The Ferris wheel, named for George Washington Gale Ferris Jr., seems to have its origins in a 17th century “pleasure wheel,” on which passengers rode in chairs suspended from large wooden rings turned by several strong men.  These wheels or swings were in operation as long ago as 1615 in Constantinople. Pietro Della Valle, a Roman traveller who attended a Ramadan festival in Constantinople, described a Great Wheel which swept him upwards and downwards with some enjoyable speed.
A Frenchman, Antonio Manguino, brought the wooden pleasure wheel to America in 1848 to attract visitors to his fair in Walton Spring, Georgia.

In 1892, William Somers installed three fifty-foot wooden wheels at Asbury Park and Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Coney Island, New York. The following year he was granted the first U.S. patent for a "Roundabout." Ferris rode on Somers' wheel in Atlantic City prior to designing his wheel for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. [It should be noted that Ferris’ design was so similar that Somers filed a lawsuit for patent infringement. Ferris and his lawyers successfully argued that the Ferris Wheel and its technology differed greatly from Somers' wheel, and the case was dismissed.]
The original “Chicago Ferris Wheel” stood 264 feet high. The wheel on this behemoth rotated on a 71-ton, 45.5-foot axle, with two 16-foot-diameter cast-iron spiders weighing another 26 tons. There were 36 cars, each fitted with 40 revolving chairs and able to accommodate up to 60 people, giving a total capacity of 2,160 at a time (that’s another 2+ tons). The wheel took twenty minutes to complete two revolutions and carried 38,000 passengers daily at 50 cents each.

After the Exposition, the wheel was rebuilt on Chicago's North Side, near Lincoln Park, next to an exclusive neighborhood. It operated there from October, 1895, until 1903, when it was again dismantled and transported by rail to St. Louis for the 1904 World's Fair. The Chicago Ferris Wheel was finally demolished on May 11, 1906.

However, a new wheel has been built at Union Station in St. Louis, changing the skyline and offering a glimpse into the past. It’s 200 feet tall and offers a 20-mile view of the area. Next time you visit, check it out.

So, tell me. What’s your favorite ride at The Fair?