History: Trails & Swales

There's a red bridge over the Big Blue River, and we crossed it on the April 17th Historic Kansas City Bus Tour sponsored by The Shawnee Ks Parks & Recreation Dept. The red bridge is, appropriately enough, on Red Bridge Road. It is east of Holmes Road in Kansas City, Missouri. The bridge is just northeast of some great Santa Fe Trail swales, or wagon ruts. Ruts caused by the thousands of wagons that travelled the trail for decades. The swales are in Minor Park.

There is construction just beginning on Red Ridge Road near the bridge, the park and the swales. None of the swales will be affected by the road construction. Protective snow fence has been placed to mark the construction limits. Over one-hundred years ago, other markers were placed 'on' the trail to protect the swales, all along the Santa Fe Trail. It was then, that the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) set out to mark the remnants of the Santa Fe Trail. The DAR saw that the historic trail, which ran from Missouri all the way to Santa Fe New Mexico, was being obliterated by development and farming. So they marked it, in order to preserve it. You will see one of their markers (it is red, upright and about 3'X5'X3') in the middle of a swale in Minor Park.

Great swales, from a long ago trail, in a public park being protected today, just as the DAR protected them years ago. Thank you, Daughters of the American Revolution.