Tree in the Trail

Brief Description: Tree watches passersby on the Santa Fe Trail

Geographical Setting: , , ,

Historical Era:

Date Range: 1810-1820

Keywords: , ,

Original Publication: 1942

Suitable for Grades: 3-7th

Target Audience: Middle Grade

Librarian's Review

In 1610 a cottonwood seed takes root at a strategic location on an old “Indian trail.”  Over the next 200 years, the tree witnesses a series of natives, Spanish, French and American peoples pass along the Santa Fe Trail.  The author ingeniously continues the story beyond the tree’s lifetime when a wagoner turns her dead wood into an ox yoke.   The descriptions of the end points of the trail, Independence, MO and Santa Fe, NM, as well as Council Grove (an important stopping point along the trail) in 1834 are especially instructive.  As was his specialty, the author includes hand drawn maps and diagrams.

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