Sinking of the Lady Elgin

Make a visit to the Chicago Maritime Museum and you’ll learn much about the popular lake steamboat the “Lady Elgin” and the story of her sinking on Lake Michigan in September of 1860.

The Chicago Maritime Museum is located at 310 South Racine in the Helix Building. This is the venue to add to your next trip to Chicago as the museum unveils and highlights the history of Chicago as an important port city as well as the ships and steamers that operated from there.

Lady Elgin

The Lady Elgin

The Lady Elgin was a popular side wheel steamer built in Buffalo New York in 1851. As with most steamers of the era, her hull was made of wood. She was a ship that carried hundreds of passengers up and down Lake Michigan. She was considered a luxurious first rate steamer. In addition to runs on Lake Michigan, the Lady Elgin had made journeys from Chicago to Buffalo and Chicago to ports in Ontario Canada. She also had some sailings as far north as Lake Superior.

September 8, 1860

One of the worst Lake Michigan ship disasters occurred on the night of September 8th, 1860 just about ten miles off Winnetka Illinois. The Lady Elgin was rammed and almost cut in half by a fully loaded lumber schooner.

What made this a particularly deadly shipping disaster was that the Lady Elgin had a full compliment of passengers that evening and 297 of them lost their lives. What made this collision and sinking all the more unreal was that it occurred just ten miles from shore.

The Great Lakes

An Excursion to Chicago

The beginning of this deadly voyage actually started in Milwaukee Wisconsin early in the morning of September 7th. The Lady Elgin was filled with members of Wisconsin Democratic militias which chartered the ship for an excursion to Chicago with a planned return the following day. The militia would tour the city of Chicago, participate in a patriotic parade and then set out back to Milwaukee later in the evening. This trip was a show of solidarity with the Union cause as the question of Wisconsin’s loyalty to the Union was somewhat of a question at that time.

The Lady Elgin reportedly pulled out of Chicago at about 11:30P on the night of September 8th. It’s also been reported that she picked up additional passengers for the return trip to Milwaukee and probably had between 600 and 700 people on board.

Britain's Lord Nelson of whose wife the Lady Elgin was named. Lord Elgin was Canada's Governor General from 1847 to 1854

There are stories that the Lady Elgin’s captain, Jack Wilson, was a bit concerned about the weather. Weather on the Great Lakes has a habit of changing dramatically and fast. The closer to the fall season, the more dangerous the lakes can become and on very short notice. This story is about a disaster that happened in 1860. Even today with the advancement in meteorology and modern navigation gear, Great lakes weather is still a large concern for lake freighters.

Regardless of any weather concerns the captain may have had, the Lady Elgin set sail. The captain’s decision may have been influenced by the number of passengers counting on getting back to Milwaukee as originally planned plus the fact that the steamer had a federal mail contract.

The Collision and Sinking of the Lady Elgin

What is known about the fatal collision on the night of September 8th, 1860 is as follows.

The Lady Elgin was fighting gale force winds when it left Chicago heading north along the shoreline. The schooner Augusta was sailing in this weather using only a single white light. The Augusta hit the Lady Elgin on her port side and while being damaged herself tore through the steamer leaving a huge hole on her side. The Augusta was damaged on the bow but was not taking on water.

After the collision the Augusta kept sailing south toward Chicago thinking that somehow the Lady Elgin must have continued her northward journey. This of course was a mistake. After the collision, and even though the captain ordered cargo and cattle to be thrown overboard, the Lady Elgin sunk in only about twenty minutes. Two lifeboats eventually reached shore, some survivors were taken off life rafts and still some managed to be rescued from floating debris.

The final records indicate that about 300 people died in this collision and sinking. The captain, Jack Wilson, also died.

Two additional Trips Into History articles you’ll find interesting are the Loss of the SS Wexford in 1913 and the Sinking of the Carl D. Bradley on Lake Michigan.

Schooner of the era being built in Maine

Changes in Maritime Law

The investigation which followed the collision and sinking absolved the crew of the Lady Elgin of any blame. Interesting maritime law at the time gave sailing vessels the right of way over steamers. By the same token, sailing ships were not required to use running lights. As a direct result of this collision and the subsequent investigation, a new regulation was passed in 1864 requiring sailing vessels to carry full running lights.

 

Edmund Fitzgerald anchor displayed at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle, Detroit Michigan

The Discovery of the Lady Elgin

The wreck of the Lady Elgin was discovered in 1989 in about fifty feet of water off Highwood Illinois. Today, the vessel is a destination for divers. Permission to dive the wreck is required from the Lady Elgin Foundation. Most artifacts have long been taken away and the dive is essentially an interesting recreational endeavor. The shipwreck site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, a visit to the Chicago Maritime Museum offers one of the best ways to learn about the rich history of Great Lakes shipping, both passenger and cargo shipping.

Another excellent site is the Dossin Great lakes Museum located on Belle Isle in Detroit Michigan. Belle Isle is an island in the middle of the Detroit River between Michigan and Ontario Canada.

(Photos and images from the public domain. U.S. public domain. Edmund Fitzgerald anchor courtesy GNU Free Licensing Annebethmi at English Wikipedia)

 

The Buffalo Soldiers of West Texas

Protecting the Trails

One of the least publicized stories of the old American West might just be the history of the “buffalo soldiers” involvement during the years decades after the American Civil War. This includes the history of the buffalo soldiers of west Texas.

fort stockton texas

Fort Stockton barracks

In a large way, the Civil War divided the era of American westward expansion into two distinct periods.

Prior to the war, westward expansion involved, among other things, in 1849 a mad dash to the California gold fields. It also involved large migration into the Texas area as well as into the northern plains. Migration picked up into the southwest after the Mexican American War in 1846.

Prior to the war years there was no transcontinental railroad and the way west was either over the Oregon Trail through the center part of the country or via the stagecoaches that ran through the southwest. There was no transcontinental telegraph system as well during this time. In fact, 1858 marked the year of the start of the Butterfield Overland Stage Line. This line ran from Missouri through Texas, the New Mexico Territory and into California near San Diego. From their it ran north to San Francisco which was growing tremendously from the Sierra Nevada gold mining.

buffalo soldier

Drawing at Fort Stockton TX

The Buffalo Soldiers

The buffalo soldiers have a very unique history. There are several books written that offer a good overview of how, when and why the buffalo soldier regiments were formed into the regular U.S. Army.

The history of the buffalo soldiers is extensive. The fact is, African-American’s fought bravely alongside the Union army during the Civil War. After the Civil War and by 1867 there were four black regiments established. They were the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 24th and 25th Infantry. These were the first  “Buffalo Soldiers“.

It was evident that using black regiments in southern reconstruction was not a good political idea and even more so when there was a real need of more soldiers on the western frontier. Indians were impeding white settlement everywhere from Texas north to Wyoming and Montana. Red Cloud’s War in Wyoming and Montana was arguably the first large conflict starting in 1868.

western infantry uniform

Late 1800's Infantry Buckle

At this very same time plans and construction were getting underway to build the transcontinental railroad. This meant a need for security for both settlers and railroad laborers. Post Civil War, if someplace had to be designated a battle front, it would have been the frontier west.

The buffalo soldiers were sent west out of Fort Leavenworth Kansas and eventually occupied most of the frontier west military outposts at one time or another during the latter 1800’s.

Forts in Texas, New Mexico Territory, Wyoming and Montana..the buffalo soldiers made an appearance. Having African-American troops in a position of authority obviously caused some friction, especially with the Civil War fresh in everyone’s mind.

Research will tell you that the majority of racial abuse came from the area of Texas and New Mexico which of course was home to a large number of ex-Confederate soldiers and sympathizers. Amazingly, some Texas newspapers after the war editorialized negatively concerning the skills of the new buffalo soldiers. The San Antonio Texas newspaper at the time was one of the more aggressive on the subject. The newspaper had a sympathetic readership with most being ex-Confederate military or southern cause supporters. The negative press certainly didn’t help and it had to be endured. If anything, it complicated the work that the soldiers were sent out to accomplish.

cavalry buffalo soldier

Buffalo Soldier exhibit, Fort Stockton

The Mission

If you had to sum up the goals of the buffalo soldiers in the post Civil War West, it would be to protect the trails and in doing so foster westward migration.

There are so many events and incidents in the west involving the buffalo soldiers, the list seems endless.

The story of the buffalo soldiers in Texas and particularly at Fort Stockton in southwest Texas is a good representation of what these brave soldiers were involved in. The buffalo soldiers were an integral part of the post Civil War old west and perhaps more than many realize.

Fort Stockton lies between San Antonio and El Paso and today is directly on Interstate 10. During the 1860’s and 1870’s, the fort was at a crucial junction for the stagecoach and freight lines heading to El Paso and eventually California. Routes that ran past Fort Stockton came out of San Antonio and down from Fort Concho to the north. The Butterfield Overland Mail stage came down through Fort Concho near present day San Angelo Texas on it’s short lived route between Missouri and California. While the Butterfield line disappeared with the start of the Civil War, the area around Fort Stockton still saw a good deal of traffic after the war.

sibley stove

Sibley Stove from Fort Stockton

The route down through El Paso heading west still was popular. In 1867, the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry (buffalo soldiers) went down into Texas.

When the buffalo soldiers arrived at Fort Stockton after the war they found that the forts were in disrepair because of their abandonment  and their occupation by the Texas Confederates. They required rebuilding. Fort Stockton was rebuilt on 960 acres of leased land. It was quite normal for Uncle Sam to build forts on leased land. Thirty-five buildings were constructed by the buffalo soldiers and the construction was completed in 1868. Fort Stockton was essentially a group of buildings with a large parade ground in the middle. It was not built with a stockade wall as most frontier forts were portrayed by Hollywood. It was obviously tough duty in a very remote area.

Both the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry of buffalo soldiers served some nineteen years at Fort Stockton. The Tenth Cavalry was moved to Fort Stockton in 1875 when the Ninth was transferred to New Mexico. What some may not realize is that it was estimated by the government that during that nineteen year span of occupation, 87% of the soldiers based at Fort Stockton were buffalo soldiers. That gives you a good idea of their historic footprint in west Texas. By 1870, the population around the fort grew to over 400. Irrigation was received from the Pecos River and people, mostly from San Antonio, moved there to start farms.

fort stockton guardhouse

Interior of Old Fort Stockton jail or guardhouse

By 1875 there were an estimated 1,100 hundred settlers in the county. Indian threats remained, mostly from the Comanches and Apaches, but during the 1870’s the dangers were dying down.

The last of the Comanches, including their famed leader Quanah Parker, eventually surrendered to the famed Colonel Ranald Mackenzie in Palo Duro Canyon Texas and were sent to the Indian Territory reservations.

Another Trips Into History photo article you’ll enjoy are the Wagon Ruts on the Old Santa Fe Trail. On our Western Trips site see our article on the New Mexico Buffalo Soldiers.

Fort Stockton Today

The military post of Fort Stockton was eventually closed and abandoned in 1886. The Indian threat was gone but the railroads bypassed the town. In fact, a good many western forts were closed at or near the end of the Indian Wars. Today, the fort has been restored and is one of the finest old west military museums depicting the important role of the buffalo soldiers.

fort stockton guardhouse cell

Guardhouse cell door

Operated by the Fort Stockton Historical Society, the museum houses many authentic artifacts of the era. The artifacts on display were retrieved from the site over the years and are now on display for all to see and learn from. The fort tour includes the museum building plus a variety of restored structures such as the officers quarters, enlistedmens barracks, the original guardhouse and others.

It’s really a great stop for the entire family while traveling through southwest Texas. Fort Stockton is also near other historic locations such as Fort Davis, another buffalo soldier fort, the world renown McDonald Observatory at Fort Davis and the Big Bend National Park along the Rio Grande. Southwest Texas is a great addition to your family vacation planner.

(Photos from author’s private collection)

 

Sacramento History / The Steamboat

Sacramento history is all about the California Gold Rush and the thousands of gold seekers arriving in this area of northern California in the late 1840’s. When you tour Sacramento today, and in particular the Sacramento Old Town district, gold rush stories and historic buildings are aplenty.

old town sacramento

Today's Old Town Sacramento

Walk the streets of Old Town Sacramento and you’ll see names connected to the city’s earliest days. Sutter, Crocker, Huntington, Hopkins…these are just a few. The fact is that Sacramento grew tremendously because of it’s close proximity to the gold mines in the Sierra Nevada foothills and to the Sacramento River which was a natural waterway to both the port of San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean.

The Gold Rush Transformed the Sacramento

There was no other river than the Sacramento that played such an important role in the growth and development of northern California. It also played a key role in the history of Sacramento. There is no other river west of the Rocky Mountains that is as rich in history and adventure than the Sacramento.

The California Gold Rush changed this river from a sleepy waterway to a bustling transportation highway. Before the gold rush no steamboats actually worked San Francisco Bay. Before the gold rush, San Francisco was a relatively small settlement with a few shacks.

california steam navigation company

The California Steam Navigation Company

Steam Navigation on the Sacramento

By the year 1850 it’s estimated that there were no less than twenty-eight steamers operating on the Sacramento River. Each year added to these numbers. During the very early years a passenger might have paid up to $30 for a trip between San Francisco and Sacramento. Stiff competition would eventually drive down fares to about one dollar. The competition was so fierce and the steamboats numbers grew so high that safety was completely overshadowed in the quest for maximum profits. Steamboat accidents on the Sacramento were many.

The competition became so intense that as soon as one steamboat operator would lower fares the others would soon follow. Eventually, the steamboat operators met and formed a monopoly to stop the madness. This was the birth of the California Steam Navigation Company. Nearly all would claim that this was a monopoly and indeed it was. Ridiculously low fares were a thing of the past but so was the chaos. Transportation fares stabilized and river transportation benefited.

steamboat chrysopolis

The Steamboat "Chrysopolis"

Those Great Sacramento River Steamers

Arguably, the most famous and popular steamboat ever to ply the waters of the Sacramento was the “Chrysopolis“. The steamers nickname at the time was the “Chryssie“. The 245 foot long Chrysopolis was built in 1860. The ship’s beam was forty feet and it’s depth ten feet. This magnificent steamboat had a 1,357 horsepower steam engine and huge paddle wheels that were thirty-six feet in diameter. This was an impressive steamboat which held the fastest speed record between San Francisco to Sacramento.

The Chrysopolis was built every bit as luxurious as the best steamboats on the Mississippi. Red plush upholstery, rosewood paneling,crystal chandeliers…the Chryssie had it all. In addition to the beautiful accommodations, the Chryssie offered passengers “all you could eat for one dollar“.

steamboat yosemite

The side wheeler Yosemite

The Yosemite

Constructed in 1862, the Yosemite  was placed in service in 1863 by the California Steam Navigation Company to operate along with the Chrysopolis.

In 1865, only two years after she was put into service, the Yosemite suffered a fatal boiler explosion as she was pulling out of Rio Vista Landing along the Sacramento. Fifty-five people were reported killed and many more injured. The history books are filled with incidents of steam boiler explosions. Indeed, this was the dangerous part of early steamboating. In the case of the Yosemite, her boilers were said to be of the safer, lower pressure design. Obviously, the safer design was a failure, at least in this instance. The steamboat itself was not destroyed in the blast and she was eventually equipped with new boilers.

steamboat wilson g hunt

Side wheeler Wilson G. Hunt

The Wilson G. Hunt

The side wheeler Wilson G. Hunt was built in New York in 1849. The steamer had a single cylinder engine powered by a low pressure boiler. Her dimensions were 185.5 feet long, 25.8 feet abeam and with a depth of 6.75 feet. The 250 horsepower steam engine could drive the boat at about 15 knots.

The Wilson G. Hunt, like most of the steamers of the 1850’s, traveled to the west coast via Cape Horn. This in itself was a dangerous journey. During her lifetime she saw service in Puget Sound, the Fraser River, the Columbia River and then on the Sacramento River. On the Sacramento, the William G. Hunt operated beginning in 1850 by the California Steamship Navigation Company.

Steamboat racing on the Sacramento River was forbidden. Too many boiler explosions occurred when steamer captains tried to race one another. By the same token, expediency was desired and regardless of the prohibition against racing, it did occur. One such incident involving the Wilson G. Hunt occurred just above Benicia California when the steamboat New World suffered a boiler explosion while racing the Hunt. It was not long after this mishap that the owners of the Hunt joined in with the California Steam Navigation Company.

Following are links to three additional Trips Into History articles you’ll enjoy. The Stolen Boat the New World…the Fort Yuma Steamboats….and the King of the Steamboat Men on the Columbia River.

steamboat paddle wheel

Paddle wheel display at San Francisco Maritime Historical Park

Learn About the Great Steamboats

Here are few great venues to learn more about the steamboats that operated on the Sacramento River and offered ferry service during the gold rush era and beyond as well as on the great rivers of the northwest such as the Columbia.

The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is located adjacent to Fishermans Wharf. The vessels on display there make it the largest museum collection in the National Park Service. Walk onto the pier to visit the park’s collection of historic ships and for great views of the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge. The park is open year round. Nearby to it is the park’s Maritime Museum in a 1939 Streamline Moderne Bathhouse Building.

steamboat wheelhouse

Historic steamboat wheel display at Columbia River Maritime Museum

The Columbia River Maritime Museum is located in Astoria Oregon, northwest of Portland at the mouth of the Columbia River. The museum is open all year and everyday with the exception on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Here you’ll see a great display of ship artifacts including bells, fog horns, whistles and navigation equipment. Included within this excellent museum is the Ted M. Natt Research Library which contains a large collection of historical resources pertaining to the maritime history of the Columbia River and the Pacific Northwest. This is a world famous maritime museum with visitors from around the globe.

Two excellent books on this subject are Water Trails West by The Western Writers of America and Steamboats on the Western Rivers by author Louis C. Hunter and Beatrice Jones Hunter.

(Photos and images of steamboats are from the public domain. Photos of Old Town Sacramento, California Steam Navigation sign, paddle wheel and steamboat wheel are from author’s collection)

 

 

San Francisco Telegraph Hill

 

Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill

Historic Telegraph Hill is one of the Seven Hills of San Francisco. It’s as well known as the San Francisco cable cars and Fishermans Wharf and it’s the site of the distinctive and quite unique Coit Tower. Thousands of people visit Coit Tower annually and if your upcoming plans include a visit to San Francisco, this is one stop you do want to add to your trip or vacation planner.

A Semaphore for Telegraph Hill

Today’s Telegraph Hill was known by several different names over the centuries. The Spaniards who were the first to occupy present day California had named the hill “Loma Alta” which meant “high hill”. After that, the earlier settlers on San Francisco referred to the hill as “Goat Hill“. Eventually, the name Telegraph Hill took hold and for a reason. During September 1849, just a year before California’s statehood and after the U.S. took control from Mexico, a semaphore was built on the hill as a means to alert citizens of the ships entering San Francisco Bay. The semaphore consisted of a pole that had two arms. Depending on the configuration of the pole’s arms, the operator could send a message as to what type of vessel was entering the city. Was the vessel a steamboat?, a side wheeler?, a sailboat?, a frigate?, a sloop?, etc.

View of Oakland Bay Bridge and Treasure Island from Coit Tower observation deck

Why This Was Important

One might ask why this signaling form the semaphore on Telegraph Hill was so important. The fact of the matter was that it proved itself quite useful in the realm of finance and trade.

The knowledge of the character of the cargo entering the bay and thus entering the city could and did reflect on prices set. If a trader was unaware of what type of cargo would be unloaded, the prices he or she paid might be too much. This is an example of the law of supply and demand up close. If whatever cargo an arriving vessel carried would add a surplus to current inventories, then prices were apt to drop and drop quickly. Those who made a living through speculation would become daily observers of the Telegraph Hill semaphore.

The Electric Telegraph

Most people know the effect that the transcontinental telegraph had on the short lived yet still famous Pony Express system. As soon as the telegraph lines were completed, the Pony Express vanished within just a few months. After the electronic telegraph was completed in 1862, the semaphore on Telegraph Hill was eventually taken down. Even though the semaphore was gone, Telegraph Hill retained it’s famous name and is today one of the top attractions for those visiting San Francisco.

Lillian Hitchcock Coit

The Building of Coit Tower

Those visiting San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill today will be able to explore Coit Tower. The twenty-one story high tower was constructed in 1933 during the time of the Great Depression.

Coit Tower is named after Lillian Hitchcock Coit, who donated much of her fortune to the City of San Francisco. Lillie Hitchcock Coit came to San Francisco with her parents in 1851. Her father was a surgeon and a graduate of West Point.

Coit had a colorful history. Aside from being seen smoking cigars and wearing trousers, the wealthy socialite also had an affinity for gambling and in this pursuit often dressed as a male. Lillian Coit was also very enamored with the city’s firefighters. In fact, Lillian Hitchcock Coit was listed as a volunteer firefighter. She became such a fixture at fires around San Francisco that she was actually named the official mascot for Knickerbocker Engine Company No. 5. She was awarded a gold badge from the volunteer firefighters honoring her membership. It has been said that Lillian Coit was always fascinated with the fireman’s red shirt and helmet.

Mural inside of Coit Tower

Lillian Hitchcock Coit passed away in 1929. The funds used for the building of Coit Tower represented about one-third of her entire fortune. Coit also funded the construction of the “three firefighters statue” in San Francisco’s Washington Square Park.

You’ll also enjoy our Trips Into History photo article on the Cable Cars of San Francisco. On our Western Trips site see our visit to San Francisco’s Nob Hill.

Visiting Telegraph Hill

Telegraph Hill today is mostly a residential area. You can actually drive up Telegraph Hill to Coit Tower where there is parking available. As a walking tour, there are a several ways to reach the top and Coit Tower. You can walk up from Lombard or Greenwich Street. The Filbert Street steps, just to the south, lead through much more of the lush landscaping.

 

(Photos from author’s collection)

Attend Indian Market Santa Fe

 

indian market santa fe

Indian Market Events

Once A Year Event in Santa Fe

Indian Market truly is a premier event for Santa Fe New Mexico and the largest event held there every year. There are dozens of Native American cultural events that take place during Indian Market week.  Indian Art of course means painting, drawing, weaving, clothes, jewelry, pottery and much more.

All of these are on display at Indian Market and I know you will enjoy the event immensely. You’ll also see many Native American booksellers with one of a kind items. It’s estimated that well over 100,000 people attend the event each year. These include gallery owners, collectors and simply fans of Indian Art.

Since 1922

Indian Market started a long time ago as a partnership between local pueblos and community leaders. It has been held in Santa Fe every year since 1922.  In 1922 the event began as the first annual Southwest Indian Fair comprising some 3,500 works, including pottery, baskets, textiles, silver work, bead work and paintings.Today, the event is known to be the largest of it’s kind in the world.

indian market new mexico

An event during Santa Fe’s 400 year anniversary

Currently half of the board of directors of the SWAIA ( Southwestern Association for Indian Arts) are Native Americans and most are participating Indian Market artists.

The artists are Native/Indigenous people from over 100 federally recognized tribes and First Nations tribes from Canada. Some artists have participated for over 60 years and often times you’ll find several generations sitting in the same booth. Indian market involves some 600 booths. Their artwork is actually a big part of their lives and it’s a unique way of communication that lasts a lifetime.

Indian Market Week precedes the weekend Indian Market exhibition.

Indian Market Events Held During the Week

During the week there are previews and awards handed out with about $100,000 in prize money..There are several functions that are tied into Indian Market such as the Friday night press reception, the best of show announcement, a sneak preview of award winning art and a silent auction. I would also look into the Indian market auction gala usually taking place at the La Fonda Hotel on the plaza. SWAIA also bestows lifetime achievement awards during the weekend event.

santa fe plaza

Event at the Plaza Pavillion

Another unforgettable Indian Market event is the clothing contest which is held on Sunday morning from 9A-Noon. Children and adults model contemporary and traditional Native clothing.

Bring your camera because this is the photographed event of the week. Entertainment is also presented on the Plaza Stage from 1-4P during the weekend.

In addition to the artwork displayed you’ll also be able to sample an array of Native American food such as fry bread, Navajo tacos, roasted corn and other Native treats.

Indian Market has grown to the degree that Native Americans throughout the United States are represented as exhibitors. It is probably the largest single event in this country for displaying Native American art.

Many of the participating artists have attended the Institute for American Indian Arts as well as other universities. The Institute for American Indian Arts offers degrees in Studio Arts, New Media Arts, Creative Writing, Museum Studies and Indigenous Liberal Studies. The IAIA has graduated more than 3,800 students and welcomes students from the 563 federally-recognized tribes. As many as  112 tribes are represented on it’s campus.

indian market art

Exhibit booths on the plaza

The dates for the 2014  Indian Market in Santa Fe is August 18th -24th.

Visiting the Santa Fe Area

Of course there are many more things to do in August in Santa Fe while attending Indian Market. One is the Santa Fe Opera which also draws people each year from around the country.

Several of our photo article links on our Western Trips site will give you some good ideas for side trips while in Santa Fe for Indian market. They include a drive on the Turquoise Trail just south of Santa Fe…A visit to the Puye Cliff Dwellings, a short drive north and the old Spanish Mission San Francisco de Asis in Rancho Taos.

new mexico rail runner train

New Mexico Rail Runner Train between Albuquerque and Santa Fe

Don’t forget to also visit the many galleries in Santa Fe including those on the famous Canyon Road. There’s nothing like the collection of art in Santa Fe. If you’re looking for great restaurants you’ll also find these in Santa Fe and there are very good restaurants available to fit any type travel budget.

The event is known throughout the world and you’ll no doubt see people in attendance from all over the world. Try to book your hotel early because it’s my understanding that many people book rooms a year in advance. If you’re planning on trying to attend this year’s event, it’s never too soon to book your accommodations.

Santa Fe hotels and Santa Fe restaurants are many and you’ll be able to locate lodgings and dining with little effort. The following site will give you a good list of accommodations and restaurants to choose from.  http://santafe.org/Visiting_Santa_Fe/Dine/index.html

If you’ve already attended Santa Fe’s Indian Market, chances are you’ll be back again. If you haven’t attended in the past, I highly recommend adding Indian Market to your vacation or road trip planner. It’s a very unique annual event only found in Santa Fe.

(Article and photos copyright Trips Into History)