South Howard County Historical Society to celebrate the bicentennial of the Santa Fe Trail in 2021
The South Howard County Historical Society (SHCHS) is celebrating the bicentennial of the Santa Fe Trail in a big way in 2021.
New light pole banners were purchased for New Franklin depicting William Becknell, who opened up the Trail in 1821. The construction of a small building at the crossroads of the MKT Trail and Route 5 to house their authentic Conestoga wagon is almost completed and a dedication is being planned. Local artist Taylor Ellebracht also created a display for the store window next to the SHCHS museum in downtown New Franklin honoring the Trail.
The SHCHS museum is focusing its special displays on the Santa Fe Trail – “Santa Fe Traders”, “Women on the Trail”, “Blacksmith Shop” as well as a “Santa Fe Trail Research Area”. The museum is open to the public Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 pm-4:00 pm beginning April through October, or by appointment.
SHCHS is planning many community celebrations this historic year. The first one coming up will be Sunday, June 6, 2021, 1:30 pm, when the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) will be conducting a wreath laying ceremony at the large rock monument in downtown New Franklin. In March 1909, the DAR commemorated the end of the Boon’s Lick Trail and the beginning of the Santa Fe Trail at this monument. After the ceremony Tim Williams, the fifth great grandson of early Howard County settler Ezekiel Williams, will give a presentation about the Santa Fe Trail.
Other community activities will be publicized as the year progresses. Anyone interested in joining the organization of the SHCHS should stop in at the museum.