18th SFTA Rendezvous Recognized Pioneer Women on the Santa Fe Trail


Taking down the Flag at Fort Larned, Kansas

The 18th biennial Rendezvous history seminar of the Santa Fe Trail was held in Larned, Kansas September 22-24, 2016.  The Rendezvous was sponsored by the Santa Fe Trail Association (SFTA), the Santa Fe Trail Center, Fort Larned National Historic Site and the Kansas Humanities Council.  This year’s theme was Shadows on the Land: Women of the Santa Fe Trail. Through presentations by scholars, authorities on Santa Fe Trail history, re-enactors, and descendants of trail travelers, attendees explored the history of the women who traveled, lived, and died along the historic trade route between Franklin, Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico from 1821 – 1872.  Throughout history, the women of the Trail were and still are often overshadowed by their male counterparts. This seminar brought some of the women of the Trail and their experiences into the light.

As part of the weekend activities, the Santa Fe Trail Association held their annual Awards and Hall of Fame Inductions.  The Santa Fe Trail Association Awards are presented annually to persons or entities who have furthered the goals and purposes of the Association.  Local individuals received the following awards:

Award of Merit (recognizes those who have made a significant contribution to the purposes of the SFTA)

  • Dotti Russell, Lamar, CO

Recognized for her work in preparing and sending the Bent’s Fort Chapter e-blast (weekly email) and newsletters.

Paul F. Bentrup Ambassador Award (Given to a member of the SFTA who has demonstrated exceptional promotion of the SFTA, development and dissemination of knowledge of Trail history, preservation of Trail sites or artifacts, or who has otherwise promoted an understanding of the Trail)

  • Pat Palmer, Lamar, CO

Recognized for providing leadership and promotion of the Santa Fe Trail Association for many years.

  • John Carson, Las Animas, CO

Recognized for promoting the Santa Fe Trail and preserving the stories and traditions of the Trail through his work at Bent’s Fort and his interpretation of the life of Kit Carson, his great, great grandfather.

The Santa Fe Trail Association will host the next event, “The Santa Fe Trail: America’s First Highway of International Commerce in Olathe, Kansas September 27 -30, 2017.  The Santa Fe Trail Association is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to protect and preserve the Santa Fe Trail and to promote awareness of the historical legacy associated with it. For more information, go to santafetrail.org.

By LaDonna Hutton, Santa Fe Trail Association

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