Author Rod Beemer will deliver a multimedia presentation entitled “General Custer & The Smoky Hill Trail” Saturday morning October 15, 2016, at the Tenth Annual Conference of the Smoky Hill Trail Association in Hays, Kansas. Registration to be held at Memorial Union, Fort Hays State University, 700 College Drive, Hays, Kansas, 67601.
Welcome everyone to the 2016 conference of the Smoky Hill Trail Association. We are “returning to our roots” this year, so to speak. Our Association was formed 10 years ago in Hays.
The Association is alive and well, due to the participation of all of you, members of the organization, and the fine leadership of officers and the members of the Board of Directors during the past ten years. We still have a lot of work to do. It has been my privilege to serve as your President for the past 3 years, but due to family obligations that have been thrust upon me, I will not be a candidate for President for the coming year. The members Board of Directors during my tenure have been hard-working and very supportive to me. Thanks to them and to all of you for your good work.
Now, to this year’s conference. The Board selected the theme of “The People of the Smoky Hill Trail.” The Board acted as a conference planning committee this year and has done that task
well. A good selection of topics and speakers will bring to light those many groups of people who traveled the trail for the past 150 plus years. Included are gold-seekers, soldiers, native Americans, civilians, buffalo hunters, famous personalities, Galvanized Yankees, Buffalo soldiers, and BOD employees. Tours will visit sites along the Smoky Hill Trail — Lookout Station on the BOD, the Big Creek Station on the BOD (including a chuck-wagon cookout at a ranch established in the 1870s), the location of the original Fort Fletcher, the precursor of Fort Hays, and a possible location of an Native American campsite from the 19th century.
I’m sure you will enjoy the beautiful City of Hays and the rich history of the area. Pick up your “Possible Bag” at the registration desk, its filled with ideas. As you will recall, the original “Possible Bags” came from the Indians and were used for survival purposes.
Have a wonderful and memorable 10th Conference
President Elton Beougher