441. Chisholm Trail Crossing

For nearly 60 years, merchandise was carried back and forth between Missouri and Mexico along the Santa Fe Trail. For most of these years, oxen were used to pull the heavily loaded wagons. As time passed, railroads were built west. One of these, the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad (AT&SF) followed the route of the Santa Fe Trail. In places, the rails of the railroad were laid directly on top of the wagon ruts. As the railroad progressed towards Santa Fe, the jumping-off point of the Trail moved along with the laying of the track. Merchants traveling the Santa Fe Trail would ship their goods by train to the last town on the line (railheads), then freighters loaded their wagons and continued the trip to Santa Fe. This meant the distance actually traveled by wagons became shorter and shorter. It was faster and cheaper to haul freight by rail than wagon because one locomotive could pull freight cars holding the cargo of many large wagons. This meant the distance actually traveled by wagons became shorter and shorter. It was faster and cheaper to haul freight by rail than wagon because one locomotive could pull freight cars holding the cargo of many large wagons. The railroads not only shortened the distance the freighters traveled but also brought settlers to the area. Railroads were also responsible for bringing thousands of head of longhorn cattle into Kansas. After the Civil War, there was a great demand for meat in the eastern parts of the United States. Texas cattlemen found a way to sell their cattle at great profits by driving them to the railheads in Kansas where the cattle were loaded onto trains. The longhorn cattle were taken to markets in the East to be sold. One of the trails used to drive the cattle to the railhead in Kansas was the Chisholm Trail. This marker shows where the Chisholm Trail crossed the Santa Fe Trail on its way to the railhead of Abilene. Both were important economic trails. See also Stop 69.
Cavy Hint 1
Cavy Hint 2
Freighter and Bullwhacker Hint