Annual Meetings

Our Annual Meetings are held in the spring of each year.  The meetings consist of our anuual business updates, exciting speakers, awards to individuals or groups for their outstanding volunteer work in our communities and a time to meet and greet new and old members.

Photo's from the past 2 years meetings can be found in our "Photo Gallery" under the "Our Brown Sign's" tab above.




Our Annual Membership and Awards Meeting was held on the evening of April 24, 2017 at Trailside Center, 99th & Holmes - Kansas City, MO.


President Gary Hicks presented the first part of the evenings program with a PowerPoint entitled Johnson County Auto Tour Route Signage.   The Tour Route signs would show drivers how to drive, in either direction, the Independence Route of the Santa Fe, Oregon and California National Historic Trails from the east or west boundary of the county.

Gary’s maps showed dots at all these sites and he explained the locations and sites along the way.  The National Park Service produced the maps, and the signs were paid for by the Santa Fe Trail Association and the Oregon-California Trails Association. Most of the signs are now in place; placed by the cities of Leawood, Overland Park, Olathe and Gardner Public Works Departments. So the project involved federal, local and private side partners. 

With the Jackson County signs already in place, this completes the Local Tour Route signage project from Upper Independence (Wayne City) Landing in Sugar Creek, MO to Gardner, which is nearly 40 miles.


Dan Sturdevant first displayed his video We Didn’t Start the Fire that derives its material from his very creative and highly entertaining song that he wrote and has performed for several years. The tune was written by Billy Joel some years before that.

The subject of the song and video is the history of Kansas City. The song and video illustrate over 60 people, places and events that have been our history since the days of Lewis and Clark two centuries ago.



The David Lavenburg Award for Volunteerism was given to KCAHTA member Craig Voorhees: In recognition of his many years of outstanding volunteer service in researching and doing on-the-ground identification of the exact locations of the trail and the visible swales of the Santa Fe Trail and Military Road routes in Douglas County

The Award of Merit was given to Jocelyn Ball-Edson, newly retired from KC Parks & Rec: In recognition of being, as the project manager for the Kansas City Parks and Recreation, a supportive partner of the National Park Service and KCAHTA and assisting in the design and installation of the two original SFT plaques and the new wayside exhibit on the Santa Fe-Oregon-California Trails in Penn Valley Park

The Award of Merit was also presented to Avila University; received by President Ron Klepitza: In recognition of being a supportive partner of KCAHTA and other local historic trails groups  in the preservation and interpretation of the Santa Fe–Oregon–California National Historic Trails that traverse the University, and especially the dedication of the new Avila Trail.





 At the Alcove Spring “Orchestra on the Oregon Trail” concert on September 6, 2015, I visited with Travis Boley about the National Park Service interest in providing $10,000 for signage of the Oregon and California Trails in Lawrence, Kansas. I visited with Mayor Mike Amyx about this possible project and sent an email, to the then Interim City Manager, Diane Stoddard. Both were very encouraging.  Diane asked that I coordinate with Mark Hecker, Assistant Director of Lawrence Parks and Recreation. On October 21, 2015, I met with Travis Boley and Mark Hecker.

After many emails back and forth with Travis, at the Pappan’s Ferry Charette in Topeka, Kansas, August 22-26, 2016, I finally got to meet with Kristin Van Fleet, Landscape Architect with the National Park Service who is in charge of this project. Since that time, she and I have exchanged many emails including maps pertaining to the exact location of the Oregon and California Trails through Lawrence and Douglas County plus photographs of the many local existing monuments and interpretive signs along the way. My sincere desire is that tour signs and maps be as accurate as possible. This has involved visiting and photographing many sites, reading many Lawrence and Douglas County history books, interviewing local historians, reviewing city and county historical maps, meeting with county officials, and verifying many local tales. The end of verification is in sight.


April 28, 2015 Annual Meeting

The 21st Annual Membership meeting of the Kansas City Area Historic Trails Association was held Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at the Antioch Library, at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Antioch St., Merriam, Kansas.  The meeting was called to order by President Gary Hicks at 4:30 pm.  26 members and guests were present.


Gary welcomed everyone and gave a brief review of when KCAHTA began in 1995. Four of the original people who started this organization were present.

 Dorothy and Lee Kroh, Joe Kyner and Ross Marshall. 


Awards presentation:

Gary presented the Award of Merit plaque to Marilyn Bell, the administrator of the Johnson County Heritage Trust Fund. Unfortunately this grant program is coming to an end at the end of this year. 

The award read:

In recognition of her leadership as the administrator of the Johnson County Heritage Trust Fund that has helped support preservation, promotion, public awareness, and education relating to historic trails in the Kansas City area.


Ross Marshall presented the Distinguished Achievement Award posthumously to Pete Cuppage, who recently passed away.

 The award was received by his widow Ginny Cuppage and read:

In recognition of his many years of personal leadership chairing KCAHTA’s Preservation Committee and his outstanding achievements in the support of all four of the Kansas City Area National Historic Trails; the Santa Fe, Oregon, California and Lewis and Clark.

 Pete had been a member of KCAHTA almost since our founding and was a tireless supporter of all that we have done over the years.

The Awards Committee consisted of Gary Hicks, Bob Courtney and Ross Marshall as chair.  



Bob Courtney presented two of the videos that have already been made by the Olathe Historical Society with JCHTF funding.  They were “I’ve Filled My Bill” about the Quantrill Raid on Olathe in September, 1862; and “The Bricklayer” about the amazing record-setting bricklaying feats of Indian Jim on the Kansas City to Olathe Road.