Visited: July 2020
Duration: 2 days
Location: Started in Booneville and ended in Sibley, Missouri
Accommodations: Hotel Frederick, Booneville, Missouri. (Hightly Recommend)
I stumbled across this Junior Wagon Master Book(to be done following the Santa Fe Trail) while looking for an address to send in our normal Santa Fe Trail Junior Ranger. I fell in LOVE with this after looking at. Printed it and we began working on it. We thought it was the perfect thing to work on during Covid 19.
This post will follow the Eastern Terminus of the Santa Fe Trail, you can see the pages we completed and our route along the way at this link.
First stop on the Trail was New Franklin, here we needed to read the plaque and fill in the blanks on our booklet, we also had to answer a few questions from the wayside markers. This site marks the birthplace of the Santa Fe Trail and where William Becknell became the “Father of the Santa Fe Trail”.
Second stop (the next morning) was just north of Booneville at a small trail-head park that was known as Old Franklin, here we needed to read signs and answer just a few questions.
We headed West on I-70 to Arrow Rock where we discovered a quaint little town with lots of charm and really cool history. We went through the Visitor Center and headed up the hill to Main Street. At the Visitor Center the kids needed to draw a picture of something from the visitor center and then write a few sentences about the display and connection to the Santa Fe Trail.
This town was fabulous. They even had a display of tents and wagons to resemble how it looked when people stopped here along the trail with live people to answer questions.
We walked along the board walk and unfortunately the Historic Tavern was under restoration during our visit but we would like to return when it opens. We sat in old rocking chairs and enjoyed the peace and beauty of this town before we moved on to our next stop.
Next stop, Missouri’s American Indian Cultural Center. Here you learn about all of the Native tribes that occupied the area that the Santa Fe Trail crossed through.
The booklet asks you to check out the flip-grids located by the Wikiup House, we looked all over to find out that they have been taken down. Not to worry the wonderful girl working gave us a demonstration on all of the tools there and we were able to answer the questions in the book. Thank you so much staff here, you were awesome!!
Bonus: We also noticed that you can get the books here instead of printing them if that works better for you, but I would call first in case they are out when you get there.
From here we headed to Lexington to visit the Battle of Lexington State Historic Site.
Large companies soon began supplying the goods that travelers along the Trail would need, here in Lexington the Aull Brothers formed one of the first companies and this was the location of its warehouse.
Here we learned about how the Civil War, the Battle of Lexington and the Santa Fe Trail all combined to effect each other. We answered some questions about this and learned how hemp bales were used to protect the troops here.
Off to the next stop which is Historic Fort Osage in Sibley, Missouri. Open and the workers were really good about masks and social distancing. We went through the museum to help us answer the map question we needed and then headed up to the fort to explore. It was gorgeous.
While in Booneville we walked under the bridge where the Steamboat landing would have been and found the kiosk. We took a picture and attached it in our book. Here you can still see the remains of the cobblestone street for the river landing.
This concludes our time on the Eastern Terminus of the Santa Fe Trail, we have completed enough of the activities to earn this badge. The other sites were not visited because they were closed due to Covid at the time we were working on the books. We headed home from here.
Here are the patches we earned doing the whole trail. They are really cool and boys loved them!
While doing the Eastern Terminus we stayed in Booneville, Missouri at a beautiful Historic hotel named Hotel Frederick, it was perfect!
Check back for the following blogs to follow us along the trail coming soon: