The Wet/Dry Route Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail will hold its fall meeting in conjunction with Fort Larned Day on Sunday, October 13. We will begin at noon with a pot luck dinner at the Fort Larned picnic grounds. Please bring a meat dish and a side dish, your own table service and lawn chairs. Drinks will be furnished. A business meeting will be held after the meal. Special programs and exhibits are planned by the staff at the Fort to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Fort Larned being established as a National Historic Site. There will be no admission charge to the Fort.
We will also set aside some time for a "Show and Share". Please bring any items that you have that are related to the Santa Fe Trail or to this time period, or any artifacts that you may have found along the Trail.
Progress is being made on the marking of the Wet/Dry Routes of the Santa Fe Trail. Nine markers have been set and six more will be set as soon as the stone posts are ready. Five of these markers will be set on the Dry Route. Sites included are: the Post-1859 terminus of the Wet/Dry Route, Coon Creek Crossing one mile west of Garfield, and the junction of the Fort Larned Military cut-off and the Trail. One will be set on the Wet route at the ruts located on the Schaller property southwest of Kinsley, Kansas. These markers have all been paid for through donations and we sincerely want to thank the contributors for making it possible to mark our part of this historic trail. Supplies have been purchased for 20 smaller markers which are to be set in the areas that are less accessible and will receive less visibility, but are still important as they relate to the location of the Santa Fe Trail. We will prepare our own brass plaques for these. A big thank you goes to Bob Rein who has so kindly built us a "jig" to use in making the stone for the brass insets. If anyone would like to volunteer to help in putting these markers together or to help set some markers, please call David Clapsaddle at 285-3295. All help is appreciated. All money set aside for the markers has been used, so we now face the task of raising more money to finish this project. We have applied for a grant and are anxiously waiting to hear if we will be eligible to receive any funds. This would be a "Matching" grant, which means that for every dollar raised for this project, they will give us a matching amount. If we get this grant, the money would be used for more markers and also for the printing of a brochure that will give the location of the markers, directions to the markers, and significant events that happened at the sites. David Clapsaddle is still willing to make speaking engagements about the Trail and then donate any money given him to the maker fund, so if anyone knows of a group that would be interested in a guest speaker, please contact David Clapsaddle. Also, bring any ideas for ways to raise money to our next meeting.
Our winter meeting has been scheduled for Sunday, January 19 at 2:00p.m. and will be held in Kinsley, Kansas. Our guest speaker will be Mr. Bill Chalfant from Hutchinson, Kansas. He will speak on "The Battle of Coon Creek". Mr. Chalfant is an author and noted authority on military history and the Trail. This should be a great opportunity to learn about an important event that took place in our area. Mark your calendars now and plan to attend. We will also hold elections of officers at this meeting.
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Larry & Carolyn
St. John, Ks.