Tuesday, October 27, 2009

2009 Santa Fe Trail Symposium: Day 3 (Sept. 26)

On the third day there were three morning speakers for the symposium

1. Kathryn Red corn is the Director of the Osage Tribal Museum in Pawhuska, Oklahoma
She talked with us about the history and present status of the Osage tribe which was one
the major tribes in Boonslick Country during the SFT days. Her talk was entitled "The Osage Tribe: the
Boonslick's First Nation".
2. Dr. Maryellen McVicker, a local Boonslick resident and history professor discussed "Don't Forget the
Boonslick in the Rush to Santa Fe". She discussed research she had done on the life and family of
a local Santa Fe Trail trader about whom little was known. She gave us insight about the challenges and
successes she had while seeking information about the family.
3. Dr. Timothy Baumann an anthropologist and former resident of Arrow Rock talked about the historic
restoration of the John Sites Gunshop in Arrow Rock. His talk "Guns Along the Santa Fe Trail: The John
Sites Gunsmith Shop in Arrow Rock, Missouri".

Again following lunch we took another tour. This morning my group toured sites West of Arrow Rock along the Santa Fe Trail (from Arrow Rock to Grand Pass, Missouri). Due to recent rainy weather we were unable to take our new bus to a couple of the more less accessible site along the route.

We began by walking to the Todd's Ferry site a few hundred yards behind the Lyceum Theater. Research suggests that this site is where an early ferry boat was used to cross the Missouri River during the early years (it is likely where Becknell crossed during his trip west (though the ferry was NOT in operation at the time). Local resident and SFTA board member has purchased the land and is the process of restoring the site.

He has brought in replica wagons and placed them along the site (including the chuck wagon on the left).

Following our visit to the Ferry Site, we boarded the bus and traveled to various sites with DAR SFT markers along the SFT Trail. We saw markers at Chestnut Hill, in Marshall, Kiser Spring, Malta Bend, and at Grand Pass.

At a cemetery across the road from the Grand Pass marker we were able to see wagon swales traversing the lawn.

We also visited Van Meter State Park which hosts Missouri's American Indian Culture Center. This is a small museum with displays discussing fourteen or fifteen of the tribes which were inhabitants of Missouri before the coming of the European settlers. It was a fine museum.

We then returned to Arrow Rock. We had dinner at the historic J. Huston Tavern before adjourning to a tent on the Huston Tavern lawn for an evening of awards and goodbyes. Another local artist entertained us with period fiddle music.

All in all it was a very interesting and informative meeting. I hope to attend the biennial Rendezvous next fall in Fort Larned, Kansas as well as the next symposium to be held in 2011 in Dodge City, Kansas.

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