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Penn Valley Park, Santa Fe Trail Marker
Penn Valley Park, Santa Fe Trail Marker
TitlePenn Valley Park, Santa Fe Trail Marker
DescriptionPostcard of the Santa Fe Trail Marker at Penn Valley Park
Historical ArticleThe Santa Fe Trail, where oxen caravans headed west from Independence to Santa Fe, N.M., is pictured on a post card mailed in Kansas City in 1909. The location is present-day Penn Valley Park. A Santa Fe Trail marker is nearby.

The early markers were designed by Mrs. Maud M. Miles, and art teacher at Manual Training High School. The park board had offered a prize of $25 for a design and the entry of Mrs. Miles won.

The design, on bronze, is titled: This marks the route of the Santa Fe Trail, Kansas City to Santa Fe, 1822-1880. It shows a team of four oxen pulling a covered wagon and a single horse and rider at their side.

According to 1906 newspaper stories, a committee of old wagon masters and freighters spent several days riding about the area and conferring on the old route before the markers were erected. With new buildings and streets constructed and old landmarks gone, identification of the route was a tedious task. According to a Dec. 23, 1906, Kansas City Star story:

The first Santa Fe Trail marker was finished yesterday. Several weeks ago a rough boulder, cut out of a natural ledge in Penn Valley Park, was set at 30th and Broadway. This marks the place where the old Santa Fe Trail wound up out of a canyon that has since become part of Penn Valley Park...There are 18 more markers along the trail from the Missouri river to the southern city limits.

In 1922 more markers were erected in Kansas City, the donation of the Kansas City Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. These large markers were designed by John Van Brunt and were of rose granite.

A booklet, Kansas City's Public Outdoor Art, published by the Municipal Art Commission, lists locations of Santa Fe Trail markers here today: 27th and Topping, Linwood and Euclid, 38th and Gillham and south of the Liberty Memorial Mall.

Kansas City Times
September 25, 1981

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectPenn Valley Park
Santa Fe Trail
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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