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A concise history of the Santa Fe Trail

August 21, 2021 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm CDT

Beginning in 1821, the Santa Fe Trail was actively in use for almost 60 years. How could a relatively short-lived highway of commerce have a legacy lasting two hundred years? A Prairie Talk will explore this subject.

At 1:30 p.m. Saturday, August 21, Steve Schmidt, of Hesston, will present “Santa Fe Trail 101” in the loft of the historic barn at Pioneer Bluffs.

This concise history will explore how the Santa Fe Trail played a key role in international events, influenced the global economy, how it differed greatly from the Oregon and California Trails, and what caused it to die out.

This program has been succinctly described as “a broad-brush overview of the Santa Fe Trail: when, where, what, why, how, now (but no brown cow).”

Schmidt, an amateur historian, knows Santa Fe Trail history. He and his wife, Glenda, are preserving a piece of the Trail on land they own in Marion County, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and has received Historic Site Certification from the National Park Service. As a member of the Santa Fe Trail Association, Cottonwood Crossing Chapter, he has earned numerous awards for promotion and preservation of the Trail over the past 20 years. Schmidt has written a booklet, “Lost Spring, Marion County, Kansas, A Historical Perspective” which is available free at SantaFeTrail.org.

To ensure ample chairs are out for this presentation, reservations are requested but not required. RSVP on the Facebook event page or to Executive Director, Lynn Smith, at lynn@pioneerbluffs.org or 620-753-3484.

Donations are appreciated and will support future program events.

Visitors are invited to come early and explore the grounds, bring a picnic, or hike the new nature trail. Wading shoes may be recommended to access the nature trail, depending on recent rains.


August 21, 2021
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm CDT
Event Category:


Pioneer Bluffs Ranch Main Barn
695 Kansas Highway 177
Matfield Green, KS 66862 United States
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