"This is an exciting moment. Every window sash is raised, and anxious faces appear watching
with interest the departure...Accidents are very apt to occur on the occasion of a setting out."
-Matt Field, on leaving Independence in 1839
Missouri was the trailhead state for the U.S. end of the Santa Fe Trail through most of the Trail’s history, and arguably benefited the most of any state from its existence. Missouri traders from the town of Franklin, like William Becknell, helped pioneer the Santa Fe Trail, dramatically expanding on the earlier efforts of small-time French and Spanish traders from the area.
What is a Chapter? A Santa Fe Trail Association (SFTA) chapter is a regional representative of the Santa Fe Trail Association, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving, promoting, and educating the public about the historic Santa Fe Trail. The Santa Fe Trail was a significant trade route that connected Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico, during the 19th century, playing a crucial role in the westward expansion of the United States. These chapters are geographically dispersed, often covering specific regions along the Santa Fe Trail or areas with a strong historical connection to the trail.
Why join a Chapter? One of the primary goals of the Santa Fe Trail Association is to preserve the historical sites, landmarks, and traditions associated with the Santa Fe Trail. Local chapters play a crucial role in this effort by focusing on the preservation and education of their specific areas. They may undertake projects to restore and maintain trail-related sites, host educational programs, and engage with their communities to raise awareness about the trail's significance. Joining a local chapter is important to the Santa Fe Trail Association because it allows for a more focused and localized approach to preserving and promoting the historical significance of the Santa Fe Trail. These chapters are instrumental in carrying out the association's mission on a grassroots level and connecting with communities along the trail, ultimately contributing to the broader efforts to preserve this vital part of American history.
Which Chapter do I Join? The Santa Fe Trail Association has many state chapters including Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Click below to learn more and join one or more chapters!
The MRO Chapter is working with the National Park Service to place signage throughout their chapter area, including this sign in Raytown, MO
Anyone interested in the Santa Fe Trail is welcome to join the Missouri River Outfitters Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail Association. MRO members meet several times each year to conduct chapter business and plan meetings, field trips, projects, and other activities.
• Dues are $10 per year for either a family or individual membership.
• Members receive the MRO Newsletter published quarterly and additional notices of chapter activities.
• Consistent with the recently adopted changes in SFTA bylaw
s, all MRO chapter members are strongly encouraged to join the national Santa Fe Trail Association (SFTA). To download an SFTA application, click here. To download the MRO membership form, click here.