Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pioneer Crossing Park

This life size sculpted mural can be found at the little Pioneer Crossing Park in Shawnee, Kansas.  It was sculpted by Charles Goslin, the same artist who painted the murals at the Shawnee City Hall.  It was built by the city "in honor of their rich history and community spirit."   Both the Santa Fe Trail and the Oregon Trail crossed this part of Kansas.   

In 1821, William Becknell from Franklin, Missouri, led a small group of men to Santa Fe on a trading expedition.  For the next 60 years, covered wagons rolled over the trail he and his men forged.  In the 1830's, thousands of people emigrated over the Rockies to the West Coast along the Oregon Trail.  The California Gold Rush kept them coming and they haven't stopped since.  I'm a Kansan who moved to California in 1977, and I run into fellow Kansans and Missourians all the time!

"What do you think, Mimi?  Would you like to wear a dress like this and cross the country in a covered wagon?  There are lots of tours we can take.  They range from three hours to two weeks."

"No, thanks.  Just stick me in the back of your air-conditioned van.  And although the prairie dress is kind of cute, I like my outfit better."

Note:  Photographs of the wagon and prairie dress were taken at the Shawnee Indian Mission Museum.

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