Brian Stucky, Goessel High School art and photography teacher, will be a speaker at the national convention for the Oregon-California Trails Association in Lawrence Aug. 10.
Stucky’s topic will be, “The Cherokee Trail in South-Central Kansas.” The Cherokee Trail began in Arkansas, came up near El Dorado, through Potwin, near Elbing, and within one mile south of Goessel before joining the Santa Fe Trail two miles south of Galva at the Turkey Creek Crossing.
The trail runs through Colorado and southern Wyoming before joining the California and Oregon trails in the southwest corner of Wyoming, and then on to California.
It was an 1849 gold rush trail, first traveled by a group of Cherokee Indians and white explorers teaming together. It was used by thousands of travelers until shut down in 1861 at the outbreak of the Civil War. The trail was documented by the land surveyors.
The Cherokee Trail is under study and consideration for inclusion in the National Historic Trails System. Other major trails, such as the Santa Fe, Oregon and California, are already part of the NHTS.
Stucky’s presentation will include slides and narration of river crossings, wagon ruts, springs, aerial photos, maps, metal artifacts, stones and other subtle but significant trail evidences.
Since 2000, Stucky has been studying a variety of pioneer trails in the area of Harvey, Marion and McPherson counties, and is considering publishing a book in the next few years.