Emigrant Trails Group Gathers in Santa Fe

Celebrating the historic emigrant trails of the U.S., the Oregon-California Trails Association will hold its 37th annual convention in Santa Fe on Sept. 3-8, 2019. The convention will include speakers on the people and places of New Mexico’s historic trails and trips to Taos, Fort Union, Chimayo, Pecos, Albuquerque and Rancho de Las Golondrinas.

“This is an organization that loves history and cultural tourism, just like we do!” says Rick Smith, owner of the Oldest House Indian Shop in Santa Fe. “Santa Fe is the perfect hub for all they will discover in New Mexico during their convention.”

Historic Maps Point the Way

Always in tune with the interests of history enthusiasts, Smith features a collection of historic maps at the Oldest House Indian Shop, including maps of the Santa Fe Trail and the Oregon Trail. Others include a map of the Santa Fe area made in 1776 for the king of Spain, colonial maps and a 1556 Mexico City map.

“These are treasures reflecting a place and time we have built upon,” Smith says. “It’s amazing to think that these maps showed the way to masses of people trekking across the U.S. in search of something we now call the American Dream.”

Historic Trails Group Dedicated to Preservation

The OCTA notes that beginning in 1812, more than 500,000 emigrants seeking a brighter future traveled the trails of the U.S., including our state’s most famous Santa Fe Trail and others in New Mexico. The association is dedicated to the preservation and protection of overland emigrant trails and the emigrant experience.

According to its website, OCTA works to protect the trails, place and maintain trail markers, and prevent the destruction of trail remnants, graves and other trail-related sites. It also encourages the study of the trails through its own historical research, publications and classroom materials. The OTCA is based at the National Frontier Trails Museum in Independence, Mo.

For more on historic maps, stop by the Oldest House Indian Shop at 215 E. De Vargas St. in Santa Fe. Visit us online at www.oldesthouseindianshop.com. Reach us by phone at 505-988- 2488.

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