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Santa Fe Trail Passed Through Hyde Park PDF  | Print |

The Independence-Westport Road by Lyle Kennedy

Sante Fe Marker

The one block of Gleed Terrace from Campbell to Charlotte is the only remaining section of the Independence-Westport Road (later called the Santa Fe Trail) in Hyde Park. This road or trail came down Troost and turned west, crossed the creek on what is now Harrison, due westward over that section of Gleed Terrace, then on through lots 15 through 18 of Hampden Parkway, through the land on the west side of Holmes, the last two lots on the East side of Janssen Place, on through Notre Dame land and down just below where the Eagle Scout Memorial is now, then slightly northwest to about the southwest fence corner of the Riederer home, and then at a right angle across the creek and up the hill through old Junior College to the high ground of 39th Street, which ended at McGee.

Gillham Road north of 39th Street looking east 1911

1911 picture courtesy of the Parks, Recreation and Boulevards Department of Kansas City, Missouri. Picture taken from west side of Gillham, north of Westport Junior High School. Locust Street did not go through and the Eagle Scout Memorial is not there. Right stone wall still exists. Remanents of the Santa Fe Trail are north of the middle stone wall.

This was the famous overnight camping place for those Westward bound for over 30 years. There was plenty of water for the livestock in the streams, and for the people there was the spring. There was also plenty of room on either side of the creek to circle the wagons with the animals in the circle so that they did not wander and be stolen by the Indians (there were no Indian attacks as far as is known) but they did steal.

Cave Map

This area was called Cave Spring, actually it consisted of cracks in the Argentine rock formation that went back in a north-northwesterly direction for a considerable distance. Bill Toedman, who lived on 39th Street, insisted it went many blocks, and it became a danger to the many adventurous boys bent on exploration.

When in the early part of the century, Hampden Place and Hampden Parkway were over platted, Charlotte was cut through from 37th Street to Gleed Terrace, the cave was blocked, the water diverted into the sever in Harrison Parkway, and the entrance filled with the excess dirt. It's location, however is easily discernible today by the curve of the ground, the outcropping of the rock and the circle of trees.