Near Model in Las Animas County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
The Santa Fe Trail
The heavily laden freight wagons traveled in parallel columns to minimize dust and for convenience when circling the wagons at night or when danger threatened. A circle of wagons provided a fine defensive position. But the circle (actually more of a square) was mostly for convenience and sociability, and to provide a corral for the animals.
Santa Fe National Historic Trail
From 1821 to 1846, the Santa Fe Trail was an international road for American and Mexican traders. In 1848, the Mexican-American War ended, and the New Mexico Territory was added to the United States. The trail became a national road for commercial and military freighting, stagecoach travel,emigration, and mail service. It was replaced over time by the westward-expanding railroad, which reached Santa Fe in 1880. Because of its significant role in American history, Congress designated the route a national historic trail in 1987.
Lure of the Trail
Although the Santa Fe Trail was a commercial trade route some women and children did accompany the wagon trains. An example is Marion Sloan Russell, who,
In 1852, Eliza St. Clair Sloan Mahoney set out from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas with seven-year-old Marion and nine-year-old Will, to make her way to the gold fields of California.
In exchange for passage as far as Santa Fe, Eliza, agreed to be the cook for the Army officers and a West Point-trained doctor in a wagon train captained by experienced wagonmaster Francis Xavier Aubry. She and her children stayed in Santa Fe four years.
Eliza made numerous trips back and forth over the Santa Fe Trail between Missouri and Santa Fe, eventually going all the way to California. Marion joined her mother and brother on five of these trips.
In February 1865, Marion wed Lieutenant Richard D. Russell at Fort Union, New Mexico - on the Santa Fe Trail. In 1936, she died in Trinidad at the age of 92.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Roads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the Santa Fe Trail series list. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1865.
Location. 37° 23.193′ N, 104° 14.303′ W. Marker is near Model, Colorado, in Las Animas County. Marker is on U.S. 350 at milepost 15, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Model CO 81059, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least In Memory of the Crewmen (here, next to this marker); Whoopee Ti-Yi-Yo... (here, next to this marker).
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 11, 2014, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 672 times since then and 49 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 11, 2014, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.