The Summer Meeting of the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter is scheduled for June 12, Santa Fe Trail Center at Larned, Kansas. The business meeting will convent at 2:00. The program, will feature a tour of the sites to be marked in the Henry Booth Project.
Newsletter Name Chosen
During the Spring Chapter meeting, members voted for a newsletter name. The winner from a field of four entries was Traces submitted by Rosetta Graff of Kinsley, Kansas. Rosetta will receive a one year free membership in the Chapter. Traces is an appropriate name as frontier roads were sometimes called traces, especially in the South. Nineteenth century sources occasionally refer to the Santa Fe Trail as the Santa Fe Trace. Trace refers to marks left on the terrain by the passage of animals and vehicles. Hopefully, the newsletter will live up to its name and trace the events of the Chapter in an accurate and informative way.
Directory Project Nears Completion
A directory of the markers placed by the Chapter in Pawnee, Edwards and Ford counties, Kansas is nearing completion and should be finalized by the June 12 meeting. Included in the directory will be the name of each marker, the identification and address of the property owner on whose land the marker is placed, and the legal description. This project is being conducted by Matt Waldren of the Lewis, Kansas Troop 278 Scout Troop to meet requirements for the Eagle Service Award. Assisting Waldren in the Project was Larry Mix and David Clapsaddle.
Henry Booth Project
The Henry Booth project as approved in the Spring meeting has three facets; the construction of a mobile display with 19th century photographs depicting the life and times of Booth, The principal organizer of both Pawnee County and the City of Larned, The marking of nine locations in the Larned area associated with Booth, The publication of a self-guided auto tour of the sites marked. The Larned Convention and Tourism Committee has allocated funds for the bronze plaques to be used as markers. The committee is also assuming the reproduction cost of the photographs. Clay Ward Portraits of Great Bend, Kansas is doing the reproduction work at cost.
Funds are being solicited from sources in the Larned area to defray printing and other costs. At this writing, contributions have been received from the Larned Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs. The mobile display is being constructed by Mildon Yeager, the husband of our secretary and trail widow Ida Mildon is also supervising the installation of the markers. He will be ably assisted by Jim Vratil of the Shuss and Vratil Builders of Larned, Kansas.
A. H. Boyd Project
As approved in the Spring meeting, the Chapter is proceeding with the A. H. Boyd Project. Boyd, who operated the trading ranch on Pawnee Fork east of Fort Larned, later opened the famous Dodge House in Dodge City in conjunction with George B. Cox, Larned's first postmaster. The Project will feature a mobile display of commentary and 19th century photographs depiction the life of this Pawnee/Ford County pioneer. Thanks to the Fort Larned National Historic Site and the Santa Fe Trail Center for the photographs.
Thanks also to Clay Ward Portraits of Great Bend, Kansas for the reproductions of the photographs. Another round of applaud, please, for Mildon Yeager, Chief Architect of the display.
A Self Guided Auto Tour of the Fort Hays/Fort Dodge Road
Work is progressing nicely on a Self Guided Auto Tour of the Fort Hays/Fort Dodge Road. Similar to the Self Guided Auto of the Wet/Dry Routes previously published by the Chapter. This booklet will provide a map of the road plus historical background of and explicit directory to the eighteen separate sites as marked. Thanks to Louis Van Meter for checking the mileage figures, and Mildon Yeager for his map making skills. Hopefully, the booklet will be available for distribution at the Summer meeting.
The following groups are expected to share in the printing expenses of the booklet: Society of Friends of Historic Fort Hays, The Fort Dodge/Dodge City Chapter and the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter.
The learning box which was described n the last issue of the newsletter was field tested with a group of elementary students at Sullivan School, Ulysses, Kansas by Shirley Stein, Chapter Member. At this writing, the learning box is being utilized by Janice Klein, teacher at Youthville of Dodge City Kansas.
Third Annual Tour
Reservations are still being taken for the October 8, tour of the Fort Hays/Fort Dodge Road. Costs which include travel, meal, and literature is $15. Please send a check at your earliest convenience to Ida Yeager, Sec'y/Treas., 416 Wichita Ave, Larned, Kansas 67550
"Book Reviews Trail Talk"
Wagons over the Mountains
Edith McCall, Illustrated by Carol Rodgers
Published by Children's Press Chicago, Ill.
While this book may be little hard to locate, it is worth the extra effort to find one with so much information designed for children.
This book deals with several trails, including a road from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, the Boone's Lick Road, The Santa Fe Trail, The Oregon and California Trail. Each trail is discussed with the difference between these trails being the main point. The reader will discover little tidbits of information throughout the interesting dialogue such as what it means to arrive with "your bells on," why oxen and mules were used, dealing with the Indians, as well as being introduced to some famous Americans whose names have become known by all. These include Daniel Boone's sons, Kit Carson, and Bill Cody to mention a few.
Each chapter is another story that occurred on one of these trails. The illustrations are not only beautiful to look at: they also illustrate in detail what is being discussed in the text. For example, when a reference is made to the driver riding one of the wheel horses, it is easily understood by looking at the illustration.
This book can easily be read by a 3-4 grader, but will also be enjoyed by a younger listener.
You can special order this book from your local bookstore for around $15.00. (Note: This book is part of a series designed for young readers called "Frontiers of America." Other titles that re worth finding are; "Pioneer Traders" and Pioneering on the Plains." All are by Edith McCall and published by Children's Press, Chicago and copyrighted in the early 1960's)
The Santa Fe Trail
William E. Brown, Patrice Press, (1988)
The National Park Service, like other agencies, often has various reports and studies prepared that do not go beyond use by the agency. "The Santa Fe Trail" by Brown started as such a report with only 100 mimeographed copies being compiled. Fortunately, Gregory Franzwa (Director of Patrice Press) was able to take this early 1960's study and resurrect it as a publication available for all of us. A team of Government historians contributed to the work, while William Brown was the historian who put it all together and wrote the historical narrative.
The first seventy one pages create an excellent, well researched, easy reading, balanced view of the trail's history. Part two, is a survey of the major historic sites and buildings on the trail. This section is organized by states and contains numerous maps showing sites and modern road locations. Mr. Brown is able to link the modern sites with historic references about those sites using various letters, diaries, and journals. These historic references being the geographic areas to life..
From the beginning student to the well read Santa Fe Trail scholar, this book will have something for everyone. We certainly need to thank Mr. Franzwa for making this excellent trail book available for our libraries.
Reviewed by George Elmore
Did You Know
Coon Creek originating in Ford County flows north through Edwards and Pawnee County and empties into the Arkansas River near Garfield where it was crossed by the Wet Route of the Santa Fe Trail. The Dry Route of the Santa Fe Trail crossed a tributary of Coon Creek three and a half mile west of present day Kinsley, Kansas, called in the historic period Big Coon Creek. Modern maps label the main channel of the Cook Creek, Big Coon Creek and this tributary Little Coon Creek. To confound the matter further, the Dry Route also crossed Coon Creek south of present day Spearville at a site called Little Coon Creek which was actually a part of the main channel.
Dues are always Due to the
Fastest Hand in the West
Chapter dues in the amount of $10.00 per family, are due at the Winter meeting or may be mailed to Alice Clapsaddle, 215 Mann, Larned, Kansas, 67550. Checks should be made out to the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter. Dues and email addresses are welcome.
"Printable Dues Form"
Santa Fe Trail Research Site
"E-Mail & Home Page"
Larry & Carolyn
St. John, Ks.