The Wet/Dry Route Chapter met January 5, 1997 to conduct its Winter Meeting at the Municipal building in Kinsley, Kansas. Reelected for 1997 were the following officers: President, Janice Klein; Vice-President, Rusti Gardner; Secretary/Treasurer, Ida K. Yeager. Reports were given concerning the Lime Kiln Project and the Murder on the Santa Fe Trail Seminar. Discussed was the noon meal to be served at the seminar and a work day to prepare markers was scheduled for February 16th. A lifetime membership was presented to David and Rob Cross for their donation of beef for Chuck wagon dinners. Past president plaques were given to Lon Palmer, and Louis Van Meter. Rusti Gardner was recognized as the recipient of the Faye Anderson Award. Following the business session, Alice Clapsaddle presented the program on 19th century dress and manners, My Great Grandmother's Trunk.
The Spring meeting is scheduled for April 13th, St. Joseph Hall, Offerle, Ks. The business meeting is scheduled for 2:00 p.m., program by David Clapsaddle at 2:45. He will present a first person interpretation of Richard Blinn. Blinn's wife Clara and their son Willie were captured by Cheyennes in 1868. Clapsaddle will tell Blinn's search for his family.
Earl and Connie Castell, Alamosa Co -- Linda Kay Colle, McPherson, Ks -- Cleat and Virginia Walters, Great Bend, Ks -- Keith & Joyce Chadd, Dodge City, Ks.
Self-Guide Auto Tours to be Re-Printed
The Self Guided Auto Tour of the Santa Fe Trail in Pawnee, Edward, and Ford Counties, Kansas originally published in 1993 is undergoing revision for a second publication later in the year. Included in the 2nd edition will be information related to Santa Fe Trail Survey Team Campsites and other historical locations which were marked subsequent to the 1993 publication. A new section of the Guide will be "Beyond the Wet and Dry Routes." This section will contain information relative to sites marked west of Fort Dodge. Four of these markers were placed in cooperation with the Fort Dodge/Dodge City Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail.
Costs of the printing are being assumed by the Larned Tourism and Convention committee. A vote of gratitude is extended to the committee. Other cities in Pawnee, Edwards and Ford counties will be solicited to assist in the costs so additional copies can be printed. At this writing, all 1500 of the original editions are depleted.
Duncan's Crossing Sign Being Repaired
The Duncan's Crossing sign which was vandalized last Fall is now in the process of restoration. Chapter members, Jack and Rusti Gardner have undertaken the project. At least, I would think, Rusti volunteered for both Jack and herself.
Santa Fe Trail Traveling Seminar
A traveling seminar devoted to all five routes of the Santa Fe Trail between present day Larned and Fort Dodge is scheduled for May 3-4. The bus will accommodate fourteen. Reservations will be taken on a first come first served basis. No overnight accommodations are included in the trip. Participants will either choose their own lodging at a Larned motel or drive to their homes. Such is intended to keep the costs at a minimum. Leading the seminar will be David Clapsaddle. Call or write for further details; 215 Mann, Larned, KS 67550, 316/285-3295.
The Larned City Council has approved the designation of a section of Main Street as Henry Booth Blvd. Readers of Traces will remember that the Chapter was instrumental in marking locations in the Larned area associated with Booth, frontier figure who was prominent on the Santa Fe Trail and later became the principal founder of Larned and Pawnee County
This Newsletter "Traces" is the official publication of the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter. Annual subscriptions are obtained through membership in the Chapter. Dues are $10.00 annually, single or family. Checks should be made to; Wet/Dry Routes Chapter
Eight Chapter members participated in a work day February 16 at Ralph Baird Motor in Larned. Mr. Baird, also a chapter member, kindly donated the use of his shop facilities for the mounting of bronze plaques on limestone posts. Seven markers were competed and will be installed soon. These markers all identify various camp sites used by the 1825 Santa Fe Trail Survey team. A departure from the 5" x 11" markers used at other sites, all SFT survey team campsites plaques mea-sure 5" x 8". Such intended to help people following the trail to readily identify the survey team campsites. One such marker is already in place at Sibley's Camp in Larned, and one will be added to the Coon Creek crossing marker previously placed one mile west of Garfield. A third 5" x 8" marker will be added to the Sibley 's Ridge marker one mile east of Garfield.
Those helping in the work day were Richard German, Arlington; Richard and Mary Ford, Jetmore; Carl Froetschner, Kinsley; Bob Rein, Mildon Yeager, David Clapsaddle, and Chester Smith, all of Larned.
On March 3, three of the markers were placed: the first northeast of Larned on Ash Creek, the second just east of Kinsley, and the third near the Wetzel ruts south of Offerle. Helping in the work were Steve Wetzel, Richard Ford, Chester Smith, Mildon Yeager and David Clapsaddle.
Improvements at Sibley's Camp
In spite of cold weather, Mildon Yeager and his trusty front end loader have made significant progress in the removal of a retaining wall on the east side of Sibley's Camp. Originally terraced to pro-vide space for a flower garden, the retaining wall is composed of about one yard of dirt over one yard of rubble. It is anticipated that beneath the rubble is a solid strata of sandstone. A special thanks goes to Alan Peck who assisted with manpower and equipment in the project. Thanks also to Dale Otte, Chapter member, for the use of his dump truck.
Also in progress is an interpretive marker to be placed at Sibley's Camp. Measuring 4' x 8', the glass enclosed case will be mounted under a gable roof. On display will be commentary, maps, historic photographs, and artifacts. This project is been underwritten by the Larned Tourism and Convention Committee. A big thank you to the committee is in order.
One last report on Sibley's Camp. A marker directing the public to Sibley's Camp has been placed at the intersection of SW Trail Street (US 56) and W. 2nd St. in Larned. The marker is a routed design on redwood planks supported by limestone fence posts, an attractive sign.
Would you believe one more? A traveling exhibit of commentary and photographs of Sibley's Camp has been completed for showing at the Santa Fe Trail Symposium this fall. Groups wishing to have the exhibit on display in their communities should contact any of the Sibleyities: Yeager, Rein, or Clapsaddle.
Murder on the Santa Fe Trail Seminar
The Murder on the Santa Fe Trail Seminar scheduled for June 14, 1997 in Larned will feature a book sale. The sale will be conducted by Noah's Ark, a Larned book store. Titles by presenter, Bill Chalfant will be stocked as well as booklets from the Kansas Fort Series by presenter Leo Oliva. This series is in the process of revision with the additions of new titles including Forts Dodge and Wallace. Hopefully, the Fort Wallace book will be available by June 14. Additionally, articles by presenter Ray Schulz concerning various events at Walnut Creek are being reproduced for sale at a nominal cost. Presenter Thomas Goodrich will manage the sale of his own books related to Civil War activities in eastern Kansas. Other publications including Marc Simmons' Murder on the Santa Fe Trail will also be available.
Chavez Artifact to be on Display
Murder on the Santa Fe Trail Seminar
A special treat is in store for those attending the Murder on the Santa Fe Trail Seminar, June l4, Larned, Kansas. On exhibit will be the strong box from Don Antonio Chavez' wagon which remains in remarkable condition following the 154 years since the 1843 murder of the New Mexico merchant on Owl Creek southeast of present Lyons, Kansas. In the wake of Chavez' death, family members traveled to Missouri to recover part of the treasure which was stolen and other property including the wagon. In recent years, the box was obtained from the Chavez' family and has been a prize possession in the personal collection of New Mexican historian, Alan Minge. Through Mr. Minge's generosity, the box will be on display at the seminar. A photograph of the box appears in Marc Simmons' Murder on the Santa Fe Trail.
Those not yet preregistered for the seminar may mail their registration fees ($10 for Wet/Dry Members; $20 for non-members to Ida Yeager, 416 Wichita, Larned, Kansas 67550.
Nostalgia Isn't What it used to be?
In the February 1997 issue of Wagon Tracks, the diary of Lucinda Kayser tells the fate of a journey on the Santa Fe Trail in 1877, almost at the end of the trail fifty-nine year tenure. Her July 12 entry describes Larned.
Larned City seems to be a very busy little town but is quite a town too. There are several buildings going up, one is splendid large brick intended for a business house.
The brick building under construction was the Bright and Booth building at the corner of 4th Street and Broadway. Builders Henry Booth and D.A. Bright leased the upper story to Pawnee County for use as a courthouse. The lower floor was occupied by a dry goods dealer. Later, a portion of the lower floor housed the U.S. Post Office. The building remains in good repair, the home of Tablers Furniture Company.
On July 13, the Kayser party passed through Garfield, crossed Coon Creek, and continued south-west. The diarist observed, "there is not a particle of timber along the river here."
Compare Kayser's description with that of George Sibley who traversed the same area on September, 1825.
The Arkansas still keeps its width of from 400-500 yards, and in other respects is very much as we first saw it - with the exception of its being better furnished with timber. Its course can now be traced distinctly for a great distance, by the few scattering cotton trees (there are no other) that are scattered along its banks and upon its little islands, and this is the case all the way about 20 miles below the Walnut Creek.
With the timber in constant demand to fuel the fires of Santa Fe Trail travelers and the depletion of trees during the first wave of immigration to the area in 1873, the long line of timber witnessed by Sibley in 1825 had vanished by the time of Kayser's journey fifty-two years later.
The Learning Box Travels
The Learning Box a self-contained teaching unit completed with curriculum, overheads, artifacts, and a fine line was used by several teachers in the Bennington and Brookville Schools. Responses from both teachers and students were enthusiastic.
Based on the book Tree In the Trail, the unit tells the story of the Santa Fe Trail through the eyes of a little cottonwood sapling that grows to maturity on Cow Creek west of present Lyons, Kansas.
The unit can be adapted to various grade levels. The reading level is about 4th grade. Teacher's interested in the Learning Box may contact David Clapsaddle, 215 Mann, Larned, KS 67550.
DAR Marker Stands Firm
On February 27, an automobile out of control crashed into the DAR Santa Fe Trail Marker located at 2nd St. and US 56 in Larned. The granite marker remains undamaged, but impact tilted the monument's base. The automobile was not so fortunate. Both front tires were blown out.
You Gotta Be Kidding!!
Buffalo meat fed the travelers as they cut across the prairie past Pawnee Rock, the only thing resembling a rocky bluff for hundreds of miles in any direction. Travelers paused there to scratch their names, messages, or mottoes into the granite, obliterating remnants of old marks that had withstood the wind-driven sand and sleet since before the white men came.
Thelma S. Guild and Harvey L. Carter in Kit Carson: a Pattern for Heroes, p. 24.
Did You Know?
Black Pool, a small spring-fed body of water north east of Ford, Kansas, has long been a subject of interest to Ford County residents in particular and Santa Fe Trail enthusiasts in general. Many 20th century references to Black Pool are available; but until recently, no documentation from the historic period was forthcoming. Two recently discovered diaries document this site as a stopping place.
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.