Greetings from the Great Bend Public Library! Did you know this year marks 200 years of the Santa Fe Trail? In 1821 the Santa Fe Trail became the first great international commercial highway running from Franklin, Mo. to Santa Fe, N.M., and for nearly 60 years was one of the nation’s most proprietary routes for western expansion and trade. As part of the Bicentennial celebration, the Great Bend Public Library recently received a very generous donation from the Quivira Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail Association. They donated over 20 books about the Santa Fe Trail. They have also donated passports and brochures about local notable places such as the Great/Big Bend of the Arkansas River, Fort Zarah and Walnut Creek Crossing. You can pick up a passport here at the library and take it to different locations along the Santa Fe Trail. The passport will lead you to all kinds of sights from the Kaw Treaty Site to Fort Zarah and many more. Each page has a QR code that when scanned will tell you exactly how to find the site and give you more information about each one. Collect all the stamps for each site, throughout the year, then drop them off at any of the museums featured in the passport to be entered in a drawing for a grand prize. The best part is you have a whole year to explore these historical sites and it’s all free!
While you’re here picking up a tour guide brochure and your passport, check out our Santa Fe Trail display. We have a model of Fort Zarah along with a map and information about the Fort. We even have a model covered wagon. Also on display are some of the books donated to us by the Quivira Chapter. Thanks to their generosity people all over our area will have access to a vast breadth of knowledge on many different aspects of the trail and the people who lived, traded and traveled along with it 200 years ago. I encourage anyone with even a slight curiosity for local history or even history, in general, to come to see what we have to offer. We have everything you need to plan a weekend adventure along the historical Santa Fe Trail.
On your visit to these beautiful historical sites why not take some pictures and enter the photo contest the Quivira Chapter is hosting through the end of this month. You can find more information on how to enter your photos at 2021santefetrailkansas.com. There you will also find information about the trail sites and events going on this year for the bicentennial. Events like re-enactments, live music and concerts, parades, documentaries, film festivals and a plethora of other ways the Quivira Chapter is celebrating the 200th year anniversary of the Sante Fe Trail.
For more information about the Santa Fe Trail anniversary activities, go towww.2021santafetrailkansas.com or @200thSantafetrailKansas on Facebook. Keep an eye on our Facebook page and our website, greatbendpl.info, for upcoming programs and updates. You can also message us on Facebook or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can also be reached at (620)-792-2409.
Hannah Grippin is outreach manager at the Great Bend Public Library. Keep an eye on GBPL’s Facebook and its website,greatbendpl.info, for upcoming programs and updates. You can also message the staff on Facebook or email email@example.com call 620-792-2409.