Hosted By

Santa Fe Trail Association

Bent’s Old Fort NHS

Otero Junior College

City of La Junta

Koshare Indian Museum

The 2021 Santa Fe Trail Bicentennial Symposium

Bent’s Fort Chapter Event

La Junta, Colorado

September 23-26, 2021

The Santa Fe Trail Lives On:

200 Years of Commerce & Cultural Connections

Area Historical Attractions   Other Events Along the Trail Sponsors  Schedule  Speakers
Bents Fort Chapter Home


Sponsors & Hosts


Bent’s Fort Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail Association:  Colorado’s only Santa Fe Trail Chapter, the Bent’s Fort Chapter includes the Santa Fe Trail from the Kansas/Colorado border to the Colorado/New Mexico border. The chapter focuses on the history of the Santa Fe Trail and the branches in Baca, Bent, Las Animas, Otero and Prowers counties of southeastern Colorado. The Mountain Route, the Purgatoire Stage Route, the Granada-Fort Union Military Freight Route, the Aubrey Cutoff and a portion of the Cimarron Branch traverse the region. Chapter activities include trail treks, lectures, and museum tours that enable trail enthusiasts to share information and learn more about the international, national, state and local significance of the trail.

Santa Fe Trail Association is composed of people of all ages and walks of life who are bound together by an interest in the fascinating saga of the Trail, and an interest in preserving its many physical traces and landmarks that still exist upon the face of the American West.

Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site. The Castle of the Plains. Park features a reconstructed 1840s adobe fur trading post on the mountain branch of the Santa Fe Trail where traders, trappers, travelers, and the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes came together under peaceful terms for trade. Today, living historians recreate the sights, sounds and smells of the past with guided tours, demonstrations and special events.  

National Park Service, National Trails Office:  The NPS National Trails Office administers nine national historic trails (including the Santa Fe National Historic Trail) and one historic highway that, combined, stretch for 25,000 miles across 24 states. We work with a diversity of partners to protect, develop, and promote these special places. Our staff of interdisciplinary experts assist community groups, private landowners, nonprofit organizations, tribes, and federal, state, county, and local agencies with site planning and design, on-the-ground trail mapping, educational opportunities, and identifying the resources.

Otero College-A mission to provide quality higher education that is accessible, transforms lives, expands employment opportunities, enriches our communities, promotes individual and global cultural diversity, and fosters economic development.

Koshare Indian Museum: A World-Class Museum Shaped Through the Efforts of Kids Whose Lives Were Shaped in Scouting. From the beginning, the museum was built on a shoestring with a little hope and a little faith. The museum’s artwork and artifacts were purchased with coins from a soda machine and the dollar bills left in the donation basket. It was acquired through debt, sweat equity, innovative thinking, and the kind gifts from friends. The Koshare Museum has never truly been a museum of great wealth – just a program of great dreams.

Commanche National Grasslands:  The Comanche National Grassland includes over 440, 000 acres in southeastern Colorado. On the Comanche National Grassland, you can explore southeastern Colorado's rich history. The Grassland has many stories to tell, from dinosaurs roaming the shoreline of a vast lake 150 million years ago, to Mexican and American traders traveling the Santa Fe Trail 150 years ago.

Boggsville Historic Site:  Boggsville is a former settlement in Bent County, Colorado, USA near the Purgatoire River about 3 miles (4.8 km) above the Purgatoire's confluence with the Arkansas River.It was established in 1866. The surviving structures are among the earliest examples of Territorial architecture in Colorado.Boggsville was the last home of frontiersman Kit Carson before his death in 1868 at Fort Lyon.

Bent’s New Fort Historic Site:  Bent’s New Fort was the successor to William Bent's original fort that dated to 1833 and which is remembered today at Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site. The new fort was constructed by Bent in the early 1850s as a trading post and freighting center for U.S. military supplies. In 1860, the site was taken over by the U.S. military for use as a commissary for the new Fort Wise, which was being built one-half-mile west of Bent’s New Fort.


Booshway ($10,000 and above)

Bent’s Old Fort Historical Association: Bent's Old Fort Historical Association is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that has supported Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site for many years.

FACTOR ($5,000-$9,999)

Ed and Clara Lee Stafford

Colorado State Historical Fund/History Colorado: Throughout our state, History Colorado offers ten beautiful, inspiring museums and historic sites that ignite imaginations of all ages. Join us to discover your past and build a better future for all people in Colorado. We’re also home to a free public research center, Colorado’s Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, and the History Colorado State Historical Fund (SHF), the nation’s largest preservation program of its kind.

La Junta Historic Preservation Advisory Board (CLG): The City of La Junta Historic Preservation Board-CLG was formed by the City of La Junta in 2019. The board assists city residents with nominations to the city, state, and national registers, providing preservation advice, supporting educational efforts pertaining to history and preservation, assisting with preservation projects, sharing information on tax credits, and advising the City on preservation approaches.

La Junta Tourism Board: Junta, Colorado – the Smile-Hi City – is located along the Arkansas River at what once was the junction of the Mountain Branch of the Santa Fe Trail and the Trappers Trail into the mountains and gold camps of Colorado. La Junta offers a wide variety of history and tourism opportunities. Hiking, biking trails, museums, bird watching, hunting or discovering our wealth of heritage – La Junta and the entire Southeast Colorado region is a great place to visit.

Southeast Business Retention, Expansion and Attraction: (SEBREA) program connects businesses, large and small, with the tools and resources needed to thrive in today’s changing business environment. Working with regional organizations and government agencies, this collaborative partnership helps attract, sustain and grow business in the six-county area.

Trader ($2,000-$4,999)

Charlie and LaDonna Hutton

Barbara Oringderff  Memorial Fund

Canyons & Plains is a heritage tourism development organization. Formed in 2003, C&P serves seven counties—Baca, Bent, Crowley, Kiowa, Otero, Prowers, and Las Animas. This non-profit group promotes visitation to, and stewardship of, the unique historical, natural and cultural assets of southeast Colorado.

Wagoner ($750-$1,999)

Form +Works Design: Our firm thrives on the challenge of designing, adapting, and preserving the unique built environment of the communities we serve. The projects we take on span a wide breadth of size, style and status because in our view, the humble vernacular buildings that sometimes go unnoticed actually serve to stitch communities together.

Summit Sealants and Restoration Services: was founded in March 2002 by Stephen Berwanger. Based in beautiful Montrose, CO, we have multiple offices to service our wide variety of clients. We specialize in waterproofing, concrete repair, historical restoration, and access solutions. Summit Sealants Inc. has grown into one of the biggest and most respected sealant and restoration companies in the United States.

Otero County Historic Preservation Advisory Board (Youth Symposium Support): The Otero County Historic Preservation Advisory Board (OCHPAB) was established by the Board of County Commissioners in 2004 and was designated as a Certified Local Government in 2010. The OCHPAB assists with preservation efforts and activities in all un-incorporated areas of Otero County and in the communities of Cheraw, Fowler, Manzanola, Rocky Ford, and Swink, including identifying, documenting and nominating historic resources to county, state and national registers of historic places. The Board provides information concerning preservation, restoration, rehabilitation and reuse of historic resources; and assists with preservation projects, including technical assistance and suggestions of possible funding sources.

Alpine Archaeology: Alpine Archaeological Consultants, Inc. is a respected, full-service archaeological consulting firm established in December 1987 to help clients implement their projects through compliance with historic preservation laws.

Metcalf Archaeology: Metcalf is dedicated to helping you achieve success on your projects while being a good steward of the land’s cultural heritage. We specialize in providing cultural resource management services that adhere to local, state, and federal regulations, managing your project efficiently to avoid costly delays, and elevate your brand by helping you engage with the communities you serve.

Pinyon Environmental Group: Since 1993, Pinyon has been dedicated to providing environmental services to those who have a responsibility to be good environmental citizens.  Our technical professionals, now numbering over 70, are some of the finest environmental scientists and engineers in the industry. Each is genuine in his or her desire to help clients achieve environmental compliance.

Packer (up to $750)

The VanCoevern Family

The Ron Darcey Memorial Fund

Tesoro Foundation: The Tesoro Cultural Center (Tesoro means “Treasure” in Spanish) is committed to protecting and making available to the community the artistic treasures of our American past. All Tesoro events are inspired by Colorado’s rich history and shared experiences with Southwest, Spanish, Mexican, Native American, African American and Early European cultures.  

The Fort Restaurant: The Fort is a full scale adobe replica of a famous 19th century fur trading fort. Our menu is inspired by the Trappers, traders and American Indian recipes of that era, and we’re known as “New Foods of the Old West”. The Fort sells more buffalo entrees than any other independent restaurant, and is known for our game meats, seafood, vegetarian options,  and home made desserts. The Fort has an extensive wine selection and has earned the Wine Spectator Award each year for over ten years.

*Numerous Hosts are also significant financial sponsors