Goessel teacher, history buff hot on the trail of local trails



Marion County is criss-crossed by the pioneer and Indian trails of the 1800s and earlier.

Brian Stucky?s research, based much of the time out of his home at Goessel, pinpoints not only the better-known trails through the county, such as the Santa Fe Trail and the Chisholm Trail, but also more obscure Indian trails and graves.

For instance, Stucky can show the route where the Kaw Indians traveled from Council Grove to near Lyons. Stucky focuses much of his work here.

His efforts have uncovered many interesting facts. For example, Stucky?s research found that Zebulon Pike?s 1806 trail to discovery of Pikes Peak during his exploration of the new Louisiana Purchase passed within what appears to be only a half mile east from his home near 260th and Nighthawk.

According to discoveries he and others have made, Stucky said Army Captain Pike?s expedition traveled from south of Emporia and passed through the Florence area before leaving the county northwest of Durham.

Stucky, who has connections and memberships with organizations such as the Frederick Remington Area Historical Society to affiliations with groups involved in Santa Fe Trail and National Historic Treasures research, uses different methods in his research.

Some it comes from historical books or from a dowsing rod, a tool that gives him an edge on finding pathways obscured by time.

Stucky dowses with an L-shaped copper rod held upright ?just barely tight enough to not let natural gravity pull it down.?

When he walks over disturbed earth ?the rod rotates, and pulls downward.?

Stucky said even geophysicists acknowledge that disturbed earth has a different magnetic pull than undisturbed earth.

Dowsing for objects, Stucky said, ?is a natural phenomenon comparable to magnetism, gravity, or why birds fly south in the winter.?

He believes that what he and other users of dowsing actually find, such as those ?witching? for water, are disruptions in the pull of the earth.

Stucky has found wheel tracks of wagons within inches of where they passed in fields prior to 130 years of tillage disturbance.

Stucky said in his own notations that he has ?pinpointed spots on the Chisholm Trail (famous in western lore for the Texas cattle drives to railheads), Santa Fe Trail, Oregon Trail, Cherokee Trail?..the Kaw Indian Trail and Osage Trail.?

He said he also has located exact sites for such trail locations across the country as the Stone Corral, Fuller?s Ranch, Fred Frank?s Trading Post and Lost Springs Station.

He has found Indian sites for storage cache pits, post locations and earthlodge patterns, he said.

Stucky said he worked with the Kansas State Historical Society to dowse and map the Pawnee Indian village at Republic in 2008.

He also has worked with cemetery boards and relatives of the deceased to locate burial places in more than 20 cemeteries, he said.

Stucky said he is enthralled with his search of history, everything from the Mennonite Trail from Peabody to Grace Hill, to where Black Beaver went.

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