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Kansas Kaleidoscope - October/November 2004

Real People. Real Stories.

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Kansas Kaleidoscope, October/November 2004 The Need for Speed!
Trails Across Kansas


Going on a trip? Today you would jump in your family car and travel down the interstate at 70 miles per hour. What if the year was 1850? Your choices would be a horse, a wagon, or a steamboat! People have always been traveling; just the routes and forms of transportation have changed. With each change in transportation, people found new ways to travel faster. Read on to learn more about Kansas' place inthe history of trails and transportation.

For Parents and Teachers:

Lewis and Clark ExpeditionIn fourth grade, students learn about the development of trails, railroads, and highway systems that connect Kansas to the rest of the country. These routes shaped the history of our state. What trails and roads went through Kansas? How did people travel on these routes? How did these routes affect the develoment of Kansas? In this issue we provide an overview of the major trails through Kansas and the forms of transportation used on these routes over the last 225 years.

1779 - Buffalo Trails

For thousands of years, Native Americans have lived in and traveled through the area that would become Kansas. In the 1700s and early 1800s, the tribes included the Pawnee, Kansa, Osage, and Wichita.

July 4, 2004 reproduction boats of the Lewis and Clark expedition in Kansas City, courtesy Kansas City, Kansas Library1804 - Lewis and Clark Trail

In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson purchased the Louisiana Territory from France and the United States doubled in size. Jefferson wanted to know all about this new land.

1821 - Santa Fe Trail

In 1821, the people of Mexico revolted. They cast off Spanish rule and became an independent country.

1829 - River Roads

Steamboats were the fastest way to travel in the early 1800s. They carried settlers, livestock, freight, and merchandise across the country.

1854 - Oregon-California Trail

Between 1804 and 1854, the West changed dramatically. Lewis and Clark proved that you could cross the continent over land.

1859 - Stagecoach Lines

In 1859, gold was discovered near Denver and with it came a rush to reach the Rocky Mountains. The Smoky Hill Trail was the quickest route across Kansas.

Pony Express1860 - Pony Express Trail

As California and Oregon became settled, people living there felt cut off from the rest of the country. They wanted to know what was happeneing back East and not have to wait months for the news, especially with ever increasing talk of war between the North and South.

1879 - Railroads

Up until the Civil War, most people were traveling through Kansas. After the Civil War, they were traveling to Kansas. What brought them here?

More than 15 million Model Ts were sold between 1908 and 19271904 - Roads

By 1904 automobiles entered the transportation market. The "horseless carriage" introduced a big change in the way people got around.

1954 - Highways

Automobiles were continually made stronger and faster throughout the 1900s. In the mid-1900s, people traveling across the country did not want to bump along on poor roads.

2004 - Air Travel

Have you ever watched an airplane make a jet stream across the sky on a sunny day? This is yet another kind of trail crossing our state!

In This Issue:

  • On the Cover
  • For Parents & Teachers
  • Visit History
  • Countdown to Statehood
  • You Do the Math
  • Kaleidoscope Challenge
  • Glossary
  • Fun Fact
  • Joke Break
  • History Lab
  • Answers
  • Book Nook
  • Bee a Winner!
  • Kaleidoscope Winner
  • In Our Next Issue

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