Kansas City in Jackson County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
New Santa Fe / Trail Remnants
New Santa Fe, also known as Little Santa Fe, was not much more than an Indian settlement when the first wagon trains passed through on the Santa Fe Trail in the early 1820's. A popular stopping place because of its grass, water and room for camping, it became a wagon train outfitting station on the Santa Fe, Oregon, and California Trails. Originally called Blue Camp 20 because it was near the Little Blue River and approximately 20 miles from Independence, Missouri, the town became an important link between Independence and Santa Fe, New Mexico. New Santa Fe, Missouri was incorporated in 1852 and, according to the 1860 census, grew to a population of 670.
Early inhabitants on the border between Kansas and Missouri struggled for survival, contending with sporadic border skirmishes, and the after-effects of the Civil War.
The cemetery remains as does a small portion of the foundation of the Santa Fe Christian Church. Wagon Swales continue to be visible in and around the cemetery.
(left National Park Service flat panel)
Sometimes muddy, often dusty, shared tack of three major roads - the Santa Fe, Oregon, and California Trails, once passed this way. It was created by teamsters urging heavy freight wagons to and from New Mexico.
Here, travellers found an ideal camp, with water and good grazing. By the 1850s, a stage stop called "New Santa Fe" offered several amenities: a post office, two general stores, an inn, and a shoe shop, drugstore, blacksmith, and saloon.
The wheels of heavy wagons, thousands of hooves, and the feet of generations of people wore deep ruts into the land. The rolling, grass filled swales in front of you are the last hints of these famous western roads.
"At six o'clock we reached ... (Little Santa Fe), which marks the separation between civilized and uncivilized life. Beyond were the vast plains ... little known to the white man - the home of the Indian - land of the buffalo."
-William G. Johnson
Overland to California, 1849
"...we drove 20 miles to New Santa Fe, on the western borders of Missouri, where we encamped upon the prairie. The mail companion had an agent ... with whom the passengers found accommodations ... there was an abundance of good cheer."
Illustration of pioneers coming into and out of New Santa Fe by Charles Goslin 1987
(right National Park Service panel)
Oregon and California National Historical Trails
The Oregon and California Trails were pathways to the Pacific for fur traders, gold seekers, missionaries, and emigrants. For 20 years, beginning in 1841, an estimated 300,00 emigrants followed this route from the midwest to fertile Oregon farmlands or California gold fields - trips that took five months to complete.
Santa Fe National Historic Trail
From 182 to 1848, the Santa Fe Trail was an international road for American and Mexican traders. In 1848, the Mexican-American War ended, and New Mexico 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.
background is the map of the Santa Fe, Oregon, and California Trail with major points of interest highlighted.
upper right inset is an illustration of a camp scene.
lower left inset is an illustration is a scene along the trail.
Erected 1994 by Historical Society of New Santa Fe.
Marker series. This marker is included in the California Trail, the Oregon Trail, and the Santa Fe Trail marker series.
Location. 38° 54.422′ N, 94° 36.349′ W. Marker is in Kansas City, Missouri, in Jackson Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Kansas City MO 64145, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. New Santa Fe (within shouting distance of this marker); Santa Fe Trail (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); "The Boy Scout" (approx. 2.7 miles away); Thomas Farmhouse (approx. 3.3 miles away); Korean War Veterans Memorial (approx. 3.9 miles away in Kansas); New Santa Fe Road (approx. 4.2 miles away); Frank S. Land Memorial (approx. 4.6 miles away); Russell's Ford (approx. 4.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kansas City.
More about this marker. This is the Black marker to the right of the cemetery gate along with the pair of flat panels to the left of the gate.
Also see . . .
1. National Park Service - Santa Fe Trail. Take a journey between western Missouri and Santa Fe on the Santa Fe National Historic Trail (Submitted on July 7, 2009, by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas.)
2. Legends of America. History, Information, Maps, etc., of the Santa Fe Trail. (Submitted on July 7, 2009, by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas.)
3. Map of Oregon Trail. (Submitted on July 7, 2009, by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas.)
4. Mileposts Along the Oregon Trail. (Submitted on July 7, 2009, by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas.)
5. Oregon National Historic Trail. This is the Official link from the National Park Service. (Submitted on July 7, 2009, by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas.)
6. California National Historic Trail. This is the offical National Park Service Link to the California Trail. (Submitted on July 7, 2009, by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas.)
7. New Santa Fe Historical Society. This is the link to the group responsible for preserving the cemetery and historical environs. (Submitted on July 7, 2009, by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas.)
8. “With Each Turn of the Wheel”. KMNE – Channel 5 production. This video is almost an hour, so allow time. (Submitted on July 11, 2009.)
Additional keywords. Santa Fe Trail Oregon Trail California Trail
Categories. • Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Notable Places • Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 7, 2009, by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas. This page has been viewed 2,646 times since then and 71 times this year. Last updated on July 11, 2009, by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 7, 2009, by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.