The Wet/Dry Routes Chapter conducted its Spring Meeting on April 23, 1995 at the Dodge City Public Library, Dodge City, Kansas. During the business session reports were heard related to: ruts recently identified on the Fort Hays/Fort Dodge Road and the Wet Route of the Santa Fe Trail; plans for the chuck wagon meal to be served at the Santa Fe Trail Symposium; the Booth grave marker fund; the Wet/Dry Chapter banner; the lime kiln project; and the second edition of the Self Guided Auto Tour of the Fort Hays/Fort Dodge Road.
Reports were also given related to Annual Wet/Dry Routes Trip scheduled for October 21, 1995; the display planned regarding the Eagle Projects conducted by Edwards County Boy Scouts; the display to be produced in conjunction with Clay Ward Portraits featuring crossings in the Fort Hays/Fort Dodge Road; the work day slated for May 13, 1995; and the 175th Anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail programs to conducted by the Chapter as part of the state wide promotion being planned by the Kansas State Historical Society.
The Chapter approved: the installation of a marker to be placed in Ford County at the rut location recently identified; and the invitation to residents of Ellis Hodgeman, Rush and Ness Counties to participate in Chapter activities, especially with regard to the Fort Hays/Fort Dodge Road. To this end the Chapter will conduct it's fall meeting in Jetmore, Kansas.
The Summer meeting of the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter will be held at the Clapsaddle residence in Larned, Kansas. A barbecue is planned for this event. Following, members will adjourn to 502 West 2nd St. in Larned, the Campsite of the Santa Fe Trail Survey Party on August 31, 1825. There, a program on the Survey will be presented.
The property at 502 West 2nd in Larned has been purchased by Chapter members Robert Rein, Mildon Yeager, and David Clapsaddle. This location, used as a stone quarry in the early days of Larned, was the campsite of the 1825 Santa Fe Trail Survey team on August 31.
The partners are in the process of restoring the property to its original appearance, as much as possible, to be preserved as a historic site.
Chapter members met in Larned on May 13 to participate in a work day at the 4-H Barn. Four plaques were mounted on stone posts to be set at Fort Mann, Point of Rocks, the Caches, and the Fort Hays/Fort Dodge Road ruts recently discovered in Rush County. Present were Bob Rein, Mildon Yeager, Lon Palmer, Richard German, and Carl Froetschner.
Boy Scout Display
At this writing, work is progressing on the Boy Scout Display which features the photographs of Boy Scouts from Edwards County who have completed service projects related to the preservation and interpretation of the Santa Fe Trail. Also included in the display are commentaries which describe each of the seven projects. The display will be exhibited in several Edwards County Locations before being showed at the Santa Fe Trail Symposium in September. Photography for the display was provided courtesy of Clay Ward Portraits, Great Bend, Kansas.
Robert Utley has very effectively condensed decades of information about the settlement of the West, into an easy-to-read, informational and interesting book. This book can easily be read in 1-2 sittings, and the reader will have a good understanding of events that took place a century ago and how these events molded attitudes, both then and now. This book should be used as a starting point, for students and adults who want to understand about this part of our history. The book is filled with wonderful drawings and photographs in each section. An added bonus is the traveler's guide that appears at the end of the book, which describes some of the important sites that represent the Indian-White encounters in the American West. A map is also included to help locate these sites.
A marker was installed on the Fort Hays/Fort Dodge road in Rush County on June 13. Located on the Wilbur Brack property west of Nekoma, Kansas, it identifies the only known ruts between Big Timbers and Walnut Creeks. On hand for the installation was Dr. Bill Brenner of Larned, Kansas cousin of Mrs. Wilbur Brack. The cousins' grandfather was stationed at Fort Hays prior to his discharge and homesteaded near the marker site.
175th Anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail
The Wet/Dry Routes Chapter will participate in the 175th Anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail being coordinated by the Kansas State Historical Society. Plans call for various local organizations to present programs related to their respective areas during the summer of 1996. The Wet/Dry Routes Chapter will be responsible for programs related to the 1825 survey of the Santa Fe Trail, the Battle of Coon Creek, the Big Rut on the Jerome Herrmann property and Gabriel's Barbecue. Former president, Lon Palmer is coordinating the Chapter's efforts.
Santa Fe Trails Days
The Chapter was represented in the Santa Fe Trail Days at Larned by tours conducted by David Clapsaddle to the nine sites marked last year commentary Henry Booth, frontier figure who was the principal founder of Larned, Kansas and Pawnee County. Providing the truck for the tours was Roth Implement Company. Carr Auction and Realty provided the trailer. The Chapter thanks both firms for their assistance.
Did You Know?
Fort Atkinson, originally called Camp Mackay, was first organized at the middle crossing in 1850. Later it was moved down the Arkansas to a point one half mile west of the Fort Mann site. Later known as New Post and Fort Summer, it was finally designated as Fort Atkinson in 1851. Soldiers, not particularly fond of the place, referred to the post as Fort Sod and Fort Sodom. It was abandoned in October 1854.
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.