In 1821, the Santa Fe Trail was opened as a commercial route between Missouri and New Mexico by William Becknell and his party of five traders. The famous “Commerce of the Prairies” developed and grew until the railroad reached Santa Fe in 1880. The Trail was a route of conquest during the war with Mexico, 1846-1848, was the scene of significant Civil War actions, 1861-1865, and was in the middle of the Indian Wars of the 1860s and 1870s. It provided a path for the settlement and change of the territory of the Louisiana Purchase. Considered the most important commercial route across the Great Plains during the 19th Century, the Trail brought together a diverse mix of cultural groups. The Santa Fe Trail 200th is a commemoration of a living part of the American experience connecting people in commerce, conflict and culture. Today, the Santa Fe Trail remains crucial to American history in its many forms and provides an opportunity for education, engagement, awareness, exploration and discovery.
“I’m deeply honored to be chosen as the Honorary Chair of the Santa Fe Trail’s bicentennial commemoration,” said Murphey. “The story of the Santa Fe Trail is as essential to the American story as that of the Revolution. From the beginning, our fathers were looking West…. I am thrilled to be a spokesman for that story.”
2021 will mark the 200th year since William Becknell and his trading companions traveled from Franklin, Missouri, to Santa Fe, New Mexico, resulting in the opening of a route of commerce that would continue for the next sixty years. Join us as we commemorate this significant event of American history.
The date for the Bent's Fort Symposium is approaching fast and we’re making preparations. Don’t miss out!
The Santa Fe Trail Bicentennial is a commemoration of a living part of the American experience. The Trail remains crucial in its many forms: connecting people in commerce, conflict, and culture. The Bicentennial creates opportunities for education, awareness, and exploration.
Missouri is rich in history and culture. The site of Franklin is north of the Missouri River and about 0.5 mile west of the Boonville bridge on Missouri Highway 87.
At Dodge City the Trail split into two other major routes. The Mountain Route continued west from Dodge City to La Junta, Colorado. Near Bent's Fort it turned south-southwest to Trinidad, over Raton Pass and on into New Mexico and the end of the trail, the Plaza in Santa Fe.
The smallest portion of the Santa Fe Trail was in Oklahoma. Of the two major trail branches, only the Cimarron Route crossed into the state through the western portion of the Oklahoma panhandle, in modern Cimarron County.
Today, you can travel the Santa Fe Trail Scenic byway, which follows the original trail very closely. On a clear day, you can still see wagon wheel ruts cutting across the prairie. It covers 188 miles from the Kansas border, through Colorado, to the New Mexico border.
The New Mexico Santa Fe Trail National Scenic Byway invites you to visit sites important to the history of the Trail and of communities in Northeast New Mexico.
The Santa Fe Trail: A Guide by Hal Jackson and Marc Simmons
Santa Fe Trail Adventures by Dave Webb
A Taste of History is a cooking series that explores America's culinary beginnings from the Birthplace of American Cuisine. This innovative series brings America's history to life and makes it vibrant as we step back in time and get to know the founders of our country through the food they ate and the recipes they prepared. Chef Walter Staib, an Emmy Award-winning, internationally known chef with over four decades of experience, is a master of open hearth cookery. He demonstrates true mastery in the preparation of sophisticated 18th century cuisine, sure to inspire home-cooks.
Episode 5 "The Santa Fe Trail" was filmed at the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site in Olathe and at the Trail Days Cafe, Hays House Restaurant, and the Kaw Mission and Last Chance Store State Historic Site in Council Grove. It is available on Amazon Prime and is airing on PBS stations throughout the country.
The Santa Fe Trail Association sponsored the segment to highlight the 200th anniversary of the opening of the trail in 2021.
Chef Walter Staib hosts the Philadelphia based show. Featured in this segment are Katie Lange, Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop; Shirley McClintock, Trail Days Cafe; and Kelley Judd, Hays House Restaurant. Mark Eric Brooks, Administrator of the Kaw Indian Mission and Last Chance Store State Historic Museums, offered historical information on the Santa Fe Trail and perspective on Council Grove's role in trail history. Brooks stated, "This was a great opportunity to help shine the national spotlight on the Santa Fe Trail and introduce the trail to a new audience. Chef Staib and his production team were great to work with and I hope that they return to film farther down the trail."
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SFTA MISSION STATEMENT for Santa Fe Trail 200:
America is commemorating the bicentennial of the opening of the Santa Fe Trail to inspire passion for the preservation, protection, promotion, and importance of this great National Trail.
· Promote awareness & participation to all cultures and ages
· Utilize current and future media
· Develop and strengthen partnerships along the Santa Fe Trail
· Provide opportunities to experience the Santa Fe Trail and make history real
Santa Fe Trail Association
1349 K-156 Hwy
Larned, KS 67550
The Santa Fe Trail Association is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; EIN # 48-1058674