Marion students spend a day along the Santa Fe Trail


Marion fourth-graders learn during one of their five stops along the trail during Santa Fe Trail Day on Nov. 7.


The students enjoy a pioneer snack during their day on the trail.

Fourth-grade students from Marion Elementary School got the chance Nov. 7 to experience a slice of national history right here in Marion County.

The students gathered at the rural home of Kent and Ginger Becker near Durham for a day of fun and learning about the historic Santa Fe Trail. The former pioneer expressway runs near the Becker home, located not far from the historic Cottonwood (River) Crossing.

Ginger Becker, one of the fourth-grade teachers at MES, said it is the hope of planners to involve students from the other schools in Marion County in future ?Santa Fe Trail Days.?

In this inaugural event, students were divided into two groups. One began a short journey down the Santa Fe Trail while the other walked a timeline of events.

The journey down the trail included five stops, with narration abut the trail provided at each one by an adult leader. The five stops were Franklin, Mo., to Independence, Mo.; Council Grove; the Cottonwood Crossing; Bent?s Fort; and Santa Fe, N.M.

Students also visited the nearby information kiosk established by the Cottonwood Crossing Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail Association several years ago.

The objective of Santa Fe Trail Day was to introduce students to the trail by using a script, clothing and items from the Santa Fe Educational Trunk, which was provided by the Cottonwood Crossing Chapter.

The script covers the years 1821 to 1846. After 1846, Santa Fe was part of the United States. Students learned that the Santa Fe Trail was used in Marion County from 1821 to 1866.

The event was adapted from the Santa Fe Trail Day Camp held at the McPherson Museum.

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