Tuesday, October 27, 2009

2009 Santa Fe Symposium: Day 1 (Sept. 24)

In 2006 I attended an Elderhostel program in Council Grove, Kansas. One of the themes of this Elderhostel was the Santa Fe Trail since Council Grove was one of the last outposts of civilization before heading toward Santa Fe, New Mexico (then a Spanish colony). After reading about the history of the SFT I decided to take an extra few days while traveling to Council Grove. I visited and photographed important SFT sites throughout Missouri and eastern Kansas. As a result of this endeavor, I wrote an article about "Traveling the Santa Fe Trail" in Missouri. That article was published in the Sept.-Oct, 2009 issue of AAA Midwest Traveler Magazine (this was my10th article to be published.

In Sept., 2009 the Santa Fe Trail Association held its 12th Symposium in Arrow Rock, Missouri. The symposium was entitled "In the Beginning....Boonslick and Beyond" because the first trips to Santa Fe originated in Franklin, Missouri (in the middle of Boonslick country). On Thursday, September 24,
I drove from my home to Boonsville, Missouri and then to Arrow Rock, Missouri.

Arrow Rock is a wonderful historic community with wonderful sites which date to the early to late 1800s. I spent the afternoon exploring the town. They have a wonderful Visitor Center with one of the finest small museums describing the early history of the area that I have visited. Arrow Rock is in the center of Boonslick region. Members of the Daniel Boone family discovered a nearby salt spring and built an operation for removing the salt and shipping it east toward St. Louis and St. Charles the largest Missouri
communities of the time.

I walked aroud the town and visited some of shops and such historic sites as the Huston Tavern where many SFT travelers found rest and food, the Big Spring where SFT travelers watered their animals and themselves, and the site of the Missouri River landing where steamboats stopped for rest, wood, and passenger services.

This is an overview of the downtown Arrow Rock community.

Here is the historic Big Spring (also called Santa Fe Spring).

In the afternoon, I joined a one-mile hike dow the "Arrow Rock Historic
River Landing Trail". The trail took us by the original landing site
and finally to the Missouri River itself (left). Gradual movement of the river now puts it a mile away from Arrow Rock.

In the evening there was a "get-acquainted" social at Prairie Park, an antebellum
mansion built and owned by William Sappington who was involved in the SFT trade.
During the evening we samples hard hors d'oerves, toured the mansion, and enjoyed period music by local quintet.

I drove back to Boonville for the night.

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