DAR Markers on the Santa Fe Trail

The marking of the old Santa Fe Trail was first suggested to the Daughters at the State conference in Ottawa in 1902 by Fannie Geiger Thompson (Mrs. A. H.), Kansas State Regent. By the time they had the next conference, the hand of death took Mrs. Thompson to a Heavenly home. Daughters of Kansas regarded the marking of the trail as a sacred legacy left by Mrs. Thompson, and voted to go to work at once to under take completion of her dream. It proved to be quite an undertaking as the marking of the trail involved the placement of ninety-six granite stones across the 500 mile route in Kansas. The Old Santa Fe Trail became a definite way across the states of Missouri, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico. The Kansas Daughters were the first to mark the old Trail and the Daughters of Missouri, Colorado, and New Mexico followed their example. The story of marking the trail is told in a book called "The story of the Marking of the Santa Fe Trail" published in 1913 and written by Mrs. T.A. Cordry, State Historian of Kansas Daughters of the American Revolution. Parts of the story are taken from letters of the old settlers to Mrs. Stanley, State Regent, and Miss Meeker, and every bit of it is true and authentic.

In placing this in book form, we hope to keep the memory of the old Trail alive, so that our children need never inquire, "Where is it?"- Mrs. T. A. Cordry, State Historian, Kansas Daughters of the American Revolution.

Our Colorado Santa Fe Trail DAR markers began conception in 1906 and were completed in 1912 with the last one unveiled at Bent's Old Fort. The marker was given by Mr. A.E. Reynolds of Denver, owner of the land where Bent's Old Fort is located. A committee consisting of one member from each chapter in the state was called upon to ask the legislature for $2,000 to aid in the project. State Legislature appropriated the $2,000 as requested and upon completion, the Colorado Daughters returned $600 to them after paying all the bills. Twenty seven stones were set with funds furnished by the state of Colorado, the Santa Fe Railroad, the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad; the city council of Trinidad gave $500, and many citizens along the route contributed. Daughters from all of the Colorado cities came to the ceremonies in their most modern conveyances, the automobile, but fourteen old timers of Las Animas came in one of the old stage coaches which actually traveled the Santa Fe Trail in 1858. There are now thirty six of these historic granite stone markers on the actual route that the wagons traveled on the Santa Fe Trail in Colorado.

To learn more about the marking of the Santa Fe Trail Markers in Colorado there is a "little blue book" by Mary E. Gamble, Colorado State DAR Librarian (1985-1987) and Leo Gamble called "Santa Fe Trail Markers in Colorado." This book was published in 1987 and can be purchased from Colorado DAR chapters. It is a must have for sleuthing the DAR markers on the Santa Fe Trail Mountain Branch and the photos are a real treat. We thank the creators of this book and it's contributions to keeping the legacy of the Santa Fe Trail Mountain Branch alive. We recognize Mary and Leo Gamble for the directions to our Mountain Branch DAR markers and Mrs. Frank S. Crane, Jr., Colorado State DAR regent (1983-1985) for the their pioneer spirit and perseverance in the quest of locating these markers. Mrs. Crane and Mrs. Gamble spent more than two years searching for all of the Santa Fe Trail DAR markers on our Scenic Byway. These precious stone jewels placed across the Santa Fe Trail by the Colorado DAR will be followed and preserved for ever.

These current photos were sent to us by Joy Blanton and her grand daughter Darcy. Santa Fe Trail Travelers of the most valued kind. Thank you Joy and Darcy!

We still need photographs of DAR Markers in Bent, Otero, Las Animas and Baca County if you have any of those DAR markers- we would love to be able to show our readers what those markers look like today. To contact our Byway Director you can send an email from the home page of this web site, or call 1-719-846-5645 to leave a voice mail.

Marker 1- Prowers County

The Santa Fe Trail followed the north side of the Arkansas River from Great Bend through western Kansas, entering Colorado along U.S. 50 Highway. DAR Marker 1 is located at the Colorado state line one and one-quarter miles north of Lamar. It is on the north side of the Arkansas River at Rd. 39. It is inscribed on the east side as "Kansas" and the west side as "Colorado." The granite stone was placed in August 1907 and present at the dedication were Mrs. John Campbell, regent Lt., Gov. Harper and A.E. Reynolds, who later gave a marker at Bent's Old Fort. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1908"

 

 

 

 

Marker 2-Prowers County

 

Marker 2 is in the town of Holly. Go south on Main Street past the Santa Fe Railway depot, cross the railroad tracks, go past a red brick house and turn right. The marker is located south of the tracks between a large limestone barn and private home. This Marker was first placed at Holly Warm Springs, which was used by the Indians. It was later moved to the Holly depot, and moved again after 1943. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1908"

 

Marker 3-Prowers County

Amity Marker is in a ditch east of the entrance to Amity Mill and Farm office at Rd. 30.5. From Holly, go west on 50, turn north on Rd 30.5. On the south side of U.S. 50 it is outside of the highway fence. The marker is on the east side of the N/S road. It is difficult to spot being sometimes smothered by weeds. Dates of 1822-1880 are not the same as the dates on the other markers in eastern Colorado. Two Markers on Raton Pass use the date of 1880, the year extensive travel on the Santa Fe Trail ceased with the arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad. Claims to be almost on the top of SFT. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1880 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution Zebulon Pike Chapter 1908"

 

 

Marker 4-Prowers County

Marker 4 is located north of Granada at the junction of U.S. 50 and U.S. 385 in Granada, go north two and six tenths miles, crossing the Arkansas River bridge. The marker is on the east side of U.S. 385 in front of the highway fence just North of the Arkansas River bridge. U.S. 50 crosses to the south side of the river east of Granada. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution Zebulon Pike Chapter 1908"

 

 

 

Marker 5-Prowers County

Marker 5 is north of Carlton. Return to U.S. 50 at Granada. Go west to Rd 19 which is just east of of Carlton Feed Mill. Go north on Rd. 19 for one and nine-tenths mile, crossing the Arkansas River bridge. The marker is on the east side of the road against a fence. It is three tenths of a mile south of Colorado 196. Darcy is pointing to the river. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1906"

 

 

 

 

 

Marker 6-Prowers County

To find marker 6, turn south on Highway 196, go west six miles to Rd. 13, north of Morse. The marker is on the north side of the highway, and on the west side of Rd. 13. It is in a cleared area, plainly visible and on a concrete base. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1906"

 

 

 

 

 

Marker 7-Prowers County

Marker 7 is on the north edge of Lamar just north of the Arkansas River bridge. Go one and one fourth miles north of Lamar crossing the Arkansas River bridge. The marker is on U.S. 50 and U.S. 287, on the east side of the highway. It is the only one to be marked with a "Point of Interest" sign, and a pull-out area for cars. It was the first to be dedicated by the DAR in August 1907. This marker is reached from the east on Colorado 196 about six miles west of marker number 6. Turn south at Big Timbers Museum to U.S. 50. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1906"

 

Marker 8-Bent County

Marker 8 is northeast of the town of Prowers. From Lamar go west on U.S. 50 to Rd. 35. Go south one mile, then turn east to Rd. JJ for one tenth of a mile. Turn south on Rd. 35.25. A tall stone marker placed by Lamar Junior Chamber of Commerce is visible on a hill about one-fourth mile west of a curve in the road. The DAR marker is below the crest of the hill northeast of the tall marker. Both designate the site of Bent's New Fort built in 1853. A few stones from the foundation are nearby. This is on ranch land behind a barbed wire fence. The inscription on the marker reads "Fort Bent Later Fort Wise Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution Zebulon Pike Chapter 1908"

Marker 9-Bent County

Marker 9 is south of McClave. Return to U.S. 50 and go west to Rd. 30, go south on Rd. 30 to crossroads at Rd. JJ. The marker is to the east side in unfenced pasture. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1906"

 

Marker 10-Bent County

Marker 10 is south of Hasty. Return to U.S. 50 and head west to Hasty, turning south on Rd. 24. Go south two and three-tenth miles on paved road to John Martin Reservoir State Park Visitor Center. A valid Colorado State Parks pass is required to enter the Park and view the marker. Additional directions to the marker can be obtained from the State Park Visitor Center. The marker sits on a concrete slab within a chained enclosure overlooking John Martin Reservoir. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1908" Our thanks to Sandy Bemiss, Tourist Assistant at John Martin Reservoir State Park for the photo contribution.

 

 

 

Marker 11-Bent County

Marker 11 is north of Fort Lyon. Return to U.S. 50 and go west to junction of Colorado 183 and turn south for one half mile on Fort Lyon Road (183). The Marker is about 50 feet southwest off 183, on the west side of the road, across a deep ditch. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1908"

Marker 12-Bent County

Marker 12 is west of Fort Lyon. Return to U.S. 50, and go west three miles to Rd. 13. The marker is on the north side of the highway and east side of Rd. 13. This marker was moved from its original site in the Caddoa Creek area when the dam for John Martin Reservoir was being constructed. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1908"

Marker 13-Bent County

Marker 13 is northeast of Las Animas. The marker is two miles west of No. 12, a short distance east of Alpine Inn, north of U.S. 50. The legend is on a stone shield mounted on a rectangular piece of granite which differs from other Markers except the one in La Junta. This Marker was moved from its original site near the Arkansas River Bridge north of the town of Las Animas after a car involved in a fatal accident hit the marker. There are deep scratches on the stone. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Pueblo Chapter Daughters Of The American Revolution 1909"

Marker 14-Bent County

Marker 14 is located on George Baublits Farm. Leave U.S. 50 at junction of Colorado 194, and go west to Rd. 6.25. The marker is in a pasture south of the highway. An old dilapidated building is visible from the highway. Go down a lane toward the building. The marker was knocked off its base by cattle and on October 18,1984, Mr. Baublits used his tractor-loader to set it upright. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1908"

Marker 15-Otero County

Marker 15 is at Bent's Old Fort Gateway. Go west on Colorado 194 to cobblestone arch gateway at the Fort. The marker is to the east of the old entrance and sits on a cobblestone pedestal capped by concrete. Both the gateway, this pedestal and another to the west side of the gate were erected by La Junta DAR Chapter and dedicated on June 14, 1930. This marker was moved from its original location on a farm adjoining the Fort on the west, by the National Park Service in 1963, soon after NPS acquired the Fort site. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1908"

 

Marker 16-Otero County

Marker 16 was originally placed on the ground of Bent's Old Fort as is shown in this photograph. It was "Erected at the Request of the Daughters of the American Revolution 1910 by A.E. Reynolds." Reynolds, owner of the land donated the site of the old fort to the La Junta DAR Chapter in 1920. The dedication of the marker took place September 5, 1912. See photo. The marker has been moved twice by the NPS, first to a contact station, then in October 1984, to a site under the old gateway entrance which was closed to traffic. The inscription reads "Erected At The Bequest Of Daughters Of The American Revolution 1910 By A. E. Reynolds 1822 The Santa Fe Trail 1875 This Stone Marks The Point On The Trail Where The Brothers Charles And Col. William Bent Erected Bent's Fort In 1829 The Most Famous Stopping Place On The Trail"

Marker 17-Otero County

Marker 17 is on the southeast corner of La Junta's Court House Square facing south. It is similar to one at Las Animas. On Colorado 194 go west to La Junta. Turn south and cross the Arkansas River bridge. The Santa Fe Trail crossed to the south side of the river about six miles west of Bent's Old Fort, near present La Junta. The inscription reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1875 Marked By The Arkansas Valley Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution 1908 Of Pueblo Colorado"

 

 

Marker 18-Otero County

Marker 18 is southwest of La Junta. From La Junta's Potter Park on U.S. 350 (west side of town) go three miles southwest. The marker is on the west side of the highway in a ditch against a fence. It was moved from its original site in a grove of trees which is visible to the west of the highway. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1908"

Marker 19-Otero County

Marker 19 is reached by leaving U.S. 350 at junction with Colorado 71. Turn right across the Santa Fe Railway tracks, and go one-half mile north. The marker is on the west (left) side of Colorado 71 across a ditch and behind a barbed wire fence. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1908"

Marker 20-Otero County

Marker 20 is located at Timpas. Return to U.S. 350 and go southwest about two and one-half miles to Timpas. Cross the railroad tracks north of Timpas and turn right toward the green buildings. The marker can be sighted at a distance with field glasses. Climb a tightly strung barbed wire sheep fence (no separating wires to crawl through) and hike one-fourth mile west through a pasture said to be infested with rattlesnakes. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1908"

Marker 21-Otero County

Marker 21 is located near Ayer. Go southwest five miles from Timpas on U.S. 350 near Ayer. Highway milepost 51 is on the left side and the marker is in a ditch on the right (west) against a fence. It is defaced with word "RICH" being scratched on it. It was moved from the original site. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1908"

Marker 22-Otero County

Marker 22 is located at Mindeman-Iron Springs. Continue southwest six miles on U.S. 350. Turn left (south) on Rd. 9 crossing a cattle guard into the John Graves Ranch. For one-half miles on Rd. 9. The marker, sighted with field glasses, is in a pasture about one-fourth mile to the right from the road. Santa Fe Trail ruts are visible near the marker and on a hill above the Iron Springs Stage Stop which is about seven-tenths of a mile from the marker. A few posts remain from the old corral which covered 40 acres when this part of the Santa Fe Trail was in use. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1908"

Marker 23-Las Animas County

Marker 23 known as the Delhi marker is at the edge of a ditch on the east side of U.S. 350 opposite Rd. 88.0 (on the west side of the highway). It is about seven miles southwest of Rd. 9 the turn-off to Iron Springs. The ground had washed away from the marker and it fell face down in the ditch. It was set back on its base on level ground near a farm driveway in the fall of 1986. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1908"

Marker 24-Las Animas County

Marker 24 is near Thatcher. Turn right off U.S. 350 at Rd. 76.5 and go through Thatcher. At the end of Rd. 76.5 turn right and proceed to a farm house. Opposite the house is a gate on the right. Go through the gate and walk toward the northeast about a block. The marker is near cedar trees on a base in a rocky area. After locating the marker return toward Thatcher, look up a rocky canyon on the left to catch a glimpse of the Trail landmark, "Hole-in-the-Rock," a watering stop on the Trail. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1908"

Marker 25-Las Animas County

Marker 25 is in Simpson. Go four miles southwest of Thatcher on U.S. 350. Rd 70.0 is a railroad crossing which is two-tenths mile northeast of the marker. It is on the right side of the highway across a shallow ditch. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1908"

Marker 26-Las Animas County

Marker 26 is located in Tyrone. The marker is 15 poles northeast of Rd. 64.0 on U.S. 350, or 12 telegraph poles northeast of milepost 609 (R.R.) It is outside of the railroad right-of-way fence on the right side of U.S. 350 where the highway curves away from the railroad (about one-tenth of a mile between railroad and highway). This one is difficult to find. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1908"

Marker 27-Las Animas County

Marker 27 is west of Model. Go one-half mile southwest of the town of Model on U.S. 350 to Rd. 52.0, turn right and continue two and one-half miles on a dirt road. The marker faces west on the right side of the road. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1908"

Marker 28-Las Animas County

Marker 28 is northeast of Hoehne. The town of Hoehne can be reached either from U.S. 350, or U.S. 160 east of Trinidad or Hoehne exit off of I-25. From Hoehne go north on Rd. 83.8 to junction with Rd. 42.0. Turn right (east) and go four-tenths mile. The marker is on the north side of the road against a fence. This was on the Trail from Timpas Creek. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1908"

Marker 29-Las Animas County

Marker 29 is in El Moro. From U.S. 160 five miles east of Trinidad turn left (north ) on Rd. 75.1 to El Moro, or take the I-25 exit to El Moro. In town turn left on Rd. 32.0. The marker is a short distance from the road on the left side in a farm field near a house. It faces west against a fence. It is larger than most of the other markers except the one in Kit Carson Park at Trinidad. This Marker once rested on a large concrete base which is now near the marker. Both were moved from a farm field. This marker was dedicated March 2, 1910 by the DAR. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Placed By Colorado Chapter Denver Daughters Of The American Revolution November 1908"

Marker 30-Las Animas County

Marker 30 is located at Kit Carson Park in Trinidad. It is the largest DAR marker on the Santa Fe Trail. This marker is inscribed on all four sides with historical facts on the west and east sides. The DAR insignia and the Colorado state seal are on the other two sides. Note the date of "1879" which indicates that the Trail was not used extensively after the coming of the Santa Fe Railway to southern Colorado in 1878. The Marker dedication was March 2, 1910, the same date as the one at El Moro. Inscription reads,"This Monument Marks The Route Of The Santa Fe Trail 1822-1879 Placed By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado It Also Commemorates The Faithful Work Of Harriet Parker Campbell In Marking This Historic Highway While State Regent 1904-1908"

 

 

Marker 31-Las Animas County

Marker 31 is located on Raton Pass. Southbound take exit 6 off I-25 at Gallinas south of Trinidad. The date of "1880" is used for the last year of the Santa Fe Trail use. This marker was moved from its original site during highway construction. The base is of lava rock, not the usual concrete. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1880 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1908"

Marker 32-Las Animas County

Marker 32 is located southbound on I-25 on Raton Pass. Take Exit 2 at Wootton Ranch. The toll road over Raton Pass and into New Mexico was called "my 27 miles of turnpike" by the builder, Dick Wootton. It was no easy task to cut down the hillside, blast and remove rocks and build bridges over the mountain streams in the 1860s. The toll road was used until the coming of the railroad. This marker erected at this historical site was not a part of the original placing of DAR markers in 1906-1909, but the work of the Santa Fe Trail DAR Trinidad Chapter. The inscription on the marker reads "On This Site The Dick Wootton Toll-Gate Swung From 1866 To 1880 Erected By The Santa Fe Trail Chapter D. A. R. 1928"

Marker 33-Las Animas County

Marker 33 is located on the Wootton Ranch. It is on the east side of the north portal of the Santa Fe Railway tunnel through Raton Pass; it is the last DAR marker in Colorado on the Mountain Branch of the Santa Fe Trail. The marker faces west. When moved from its original site, its location was reversed, making "Colorado" Inscribed on the south side of the stone, and "New Mexico" on the north- a geographical error. The inscription can be read by Amtrak passengers riding on the left side of a coach when headed south if watching closely for it. The Santa Fe Trail went up over the Pass which is pierced by the tunnel. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1880 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1908"

Marker 34-Las Animas County

Marker 34 is located on the abandoned Springer Ranch. From Springfield on U.S. 287 go 16 miles south of junction U.S. 160 to Rd. M, turning left (east) on Rd. M, a graveled road and continue east to the Colorado-Kansas state line. The marker is near the center of E1/2, Sec, 14, T 34S, R 41W. It is approached over unimproved cattle trails going south (no county road markers) through fenced pastures. Inquire of a local rancher to reach the marker. It is near a deep depression in the prairie grass which shows the direction the wagons took the Santa Fe Trail toward the southwest. The marker was knocked from its base by cattle, but was replaced in the fall of 1984. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1909"

Marker 35-Baca County

Marker 35 is on the Miles Ranch or Nine-Mile Camp. Go back west on Rd. M to Rd. 45. Turn left (south) to Rd. G, then turn left (east) on Rd. G. The marker is near the middle of Sec. 22, T. 34S, R 43W. Inquire at a ranch house for permission to cross the pasture. There are three gates to open and close, and a dry or wet arroyo to cross. An artesian windmill is near the site of the Marker. This Marker is about seven miles southwest over the Trail from Marker number 34. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1909"

Marker 36-Baca County

Marker 36 is on Streeter Ranch. Return to Rd. 45 and go left (south) to Rd. C to the abandoned Streeter Ranch buildings. Turn left (east) on a cattle trail about one quarter mile south of Rd. C. The marker is on SE 1/4. Sec. 11, T. 35, R 43W north of the Oklahoma line on boggy ground near the Cimarron River. There are three gates to open and close on the way to the marker. Cattle have rubbed the granite marker so that the sides have an oily appearance. The Santa Fe Trail continued on southwest into the Oklahoma Panhandle in Cimarron County where it crossed the Cimarron River at Willow Bar Crossing north of Keyes. The inscription on the marker reads "Santa Fe Trail 1822-1872 Marked By The Daughters Of The American Revolution And The State of Colorado 1909"

 

Site Map 

La Junta Sites 

Lamar Sites 

Trinidad Sites 

Byway Museums

Byway Links