Leading from Independence to Raytown to the southwest on the Independence route of the trails(today's Blue Ridge Boulevard), modern-day travelers reach Raytown, Missouri. Raytown was born in 1849 from blacksmith William Ray’s hammer and anvil. The story of early day trail travel is told in this modern-day bedroom community’s museum, a current Santa Fe Trails Association Geocache location, situated directly on the historic Santa Fe Trail.
Next to mills and general mercantile stores that offered westward travelers their last chance at provisions, the blacksmith was a vital link for 19th century travelers. Ray’s blacksmith shop fashioned the accessories they needed to walk 800 iles southwest to Santa Fe or 2,000 miles west to Oregon or California: horseshoes; wagon wheels and other hammered and forged parts; even cookware and yokes for oxen.
The Raytown Historical Society Museum interprets both of these vital supply outlets with a re-created general store and blacksmith shop complete with original artifacts that help tell this aspect of overland travel. From here, the meandering trail (Blue Ridge Boulevard), will take you to the next stop that 19th century travelers would have passed—and possibly stopped for a respite—the Archibald and Sallie Rice Home.