2019 Santa Fe National Historic Trail Highlights

Santa Fe Trail Association (SFTA)


Events — SFTA held a workshop in New Mexico with NPS staff participation on cooperative topics. SFTA held a symposium in St. Louis, MO, “Gateway to Santa Fe,” with educational speakers and tours to sites related to the history of the trail.

Programs — SFTA updated and maintained the Santa Fe NHT GeoTour of 73 caches along the 950-mile trail, garnering over 22,000 logged entries. SFTA provided a joint presentation with the NPS National Trails office to the Chisholm Trail Association regarding feasibility work on the CTA and successes and challenges SFTA that face, which could be encountered by CTA. SFTA provided educational tours and events at historic sites along the trail. SFTA provided information about the trail at the Oklahoma and Kansas Historical Society meetings, the Kansas State Fair, and the Oregon-California Trails Association convention in Santa Fe, NM. SFTA supported the Santa Fe Trail Youth Trip (60 fourth graders on a 10-day bus trip). Dr. Michael Olsen completed the study, “‘Hell On Wheels’ – Towns Along The Santa Fe Trail,” providing an informative and entertaining series of write-ups of the three railroads and 12 railhead, or “end-of-the-track” towns.


Land — SFTA dedicated seven interpretive wayside exhibits and a public access pedestrian trail to the prairie located in the Santa Fe NHT corridor at Rock Creek Crossing Trail on land owned by Della Orton in Morris County, KS, funded through a National Park Foundation grant. SFTA and NPS continued to work on the Three Trails Corridor project in the Kansas City Metro area.

Signage — SFTA completed trail signage in four counties and developed signage plans in four counties and three chapter areas. SFTA completed interpretation at the Little Arkansas River Crossing complex. SFTA installed 11 interpretive wayside exhibits and one storyboard.

Historic Places — NPS received and accepted Middle Tennessee State Center for Historic Preservation’s historic structures report for the Owens-McCoy House, a certified site on the trail in Independence, MO.


Documentation — SFTA developed and implemented a publicity plan. SFTA continued to develop and implement an advisory committee and a plan of action for the 200th Commemoration of the Santa Fe Trail. NPS initiated the development of the Santa Fe National Historic Trail Foundation Document. 

Membership — SFTA developed strategies for increasing social media presence and membership. SFTA inducted historic and modern persons into the Santa Fe Trail Hall of Fame. SFTA provided funding for chapter education projects and speakers for volunteer training. SFTA presented awards to acknowledge volunteers for their efforts related to the trail.