Bent’s Forts


Often called the “Castle of the Plains” Bent’s Fort was an 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 to trade. Built by William and Charles Bent, along with Ceran St. Vrain, the fort was the only major permanent white settlement on the Santa Fe Trail between Missouri and the Mexican settlement. It provided a place to get needed supplies, wagon repairs, livestock, good food, water and company, rest and protection in this vast

“Castle of the Plaings”.NPS.


Conference Speakers

The confirmed Speakers and days they will speak for The Santa Fe Trail Travelers and Their Descendants Conference is as follows:

Wednesday June 15, 2016

  • Henrietta Martinez Christmas

Thursday/Friday June 16-17, 2016


  • James Abreu                                      Abreu, Wildenstein, Beaubien
  • Tony Jaurez                                       Antonio Chavez
  • George Bayless                                 Mary Donoho
  • Karl Laumbach                                 Eberle Laumbach
  • Mary Penner                                      Henry O’Neil
  • Sandra Hess                                       Ezekiel Williams
  • Gloria Martinez                                May Hays
  • Michael Taylor                                  Romero
  • Mary Qutten                                      Lopez
  • Janell McQuirtty                               Dick Wooten
  • Charles Becknell                              William Becknell
  • John Grassham                                 Beaubien
  • Christine St. Vrain                           St. Vrain
  • Larry Marken                                   Alexander Grzelachowski

Saturday June 18, 2016 at Fort Union 

  • Francois-Marie Patorni                   French Fur Trappers
  • Timothy Kimball                              1846 German Soldiers
  • Blain Bachman                                  Mormon Battalion

Conference Schedule

Santa Fe Trail Travelers and Their Descendants

June 15-18, 2016

Schedule Outline


Wednesday, June 15 Ilfeld Auditorium

1 – 6 PM                                  Registration

4:30 PM The Santa Fe Trail: An Enduring Legacy (Speaker, Henrietta Christmas?)

6:30 PM                     Opening Reception – Mixer (Heavy Snacks, no program)

7:30 PM                                   Santa Fe Trail Movie


Thursday, June 16 Ilfeld Auditorium

8:00 – 12:00 AM                   Registration

8:30 – 10:00 AM                   (3 descendant speakers)

10:00 AM                                Break

10:30 – 12:00                        (3 descendant speakers)

12:00PM                                 Lunch NMHU Student Union Ballroom and outside patio

1:00 – 2:30 PM                      (3 descendant speakers)

2:30 PM                                   Break

3:00 – 4:30 PM                      (3 descendant speakers)

6:00 PM                                   Dinners and Programs (Reenactors, Music) (Family Gatherings)


Friday, June 17 Ilfeld Auditorium and Fort Union National Monument

8:00 – 12:00 AM                    Registration

8:30 – 10:00 AM                    (3 descendant speakers)

10:00 AM                                  Break

10:30 – 12:00                          (3 descendant speakers)

12:00 PM                                  Lunch NMHU Student Union Ballroom and outside patio

1:00 – 2:30 PM                       (3 descendant speakers)

2:30 PM                                    Break

3:00 – 4:30 PM                        (3 descendant speakers)

6:00 PM                                    Buffalo Dinner and Music      Fort Union National Monument


Saturday, June 18  Fort Union National Monument

Fort Union Days

9:00 – 12:00 AM                   Santa Fe Trail Speakers

12:00 AM                                 Lunch (Vendors)

2:00 PM                                   Programs


Sunday, June 19     Fort Union National Monument

Fort Union Days

Santa Fe Trail Travelers and Their Descendants Conference

The Las Vegas Citizens Committee for Historical Preservation is seeking descendants of the Santa Fe Trail Travelers to attend a conference on June 15th – 17th, in Las Vegas, NM. More events will take place at Fort Union on the 18th & 19th. This will be a reunion and storytelling event that focuses on the travelers of the Santa Fe Trail and their descendants. The Santa Fe Trail started in Missouri and ended in New Mexico and was traveled by covered wagons pulled by oxen with a wagon master that led the way. Life on the Santa Fe Trail was not easy and the people who traveled this trail left behind extraordinary and beautiful stories to their descendants. It is the goal of this conference to share these stories and talk about the incredible lives of these travelers. All the speakers at this event are descendants of Santa Fe Trail travelers. We hope that you are able to attend the Santa Fe Trail Travelers and Their Descendants Conference and bring all the stories of your ancestor’s journeys on the Santa Fe Trail.