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New Santa Fe Historical Society

State Line Road at Santa Fe Trail

(Approximately at 122nd Street and State Line Road)

Kansas City, Missouri 64145


The story of New Santa Fe, Missouri, a gateway to the Santa Fe Trail

The town of New Santa Fe (or Little Santa Fe, as some call it) stood at the junction of the Santa Fe Trail and State Line Road, now southwest Kansas City. The little village had great historical significance in the development of western commerce in the 19th century.



New Santa Fe was a little post village situated on the west line of Missouri, about midway in Washington Township. The village developed about the farm of John Bartleston, who erected a cabin in the forest along the Santa Fe Trail in 1833 and subsisted on hominy and potatoes. Within a few years, a community known as Little Santa Fe developed. Wagon caravans laden with merchandise for the Mexican and California trade paused here before pushing westward. In 1851, Little Santa Fe was incorporated as New Santa Fe. About this time the village's troubles began. Located on the line between a free and a slave State, it suffered from the Border War of 1855-60, the Civil War, and the depredations of the bands of outlaws who came after the war. Finally, the isolation of the village from the railroad reduced it to little more than an historic site. (1941 Missouri: A Guide to the "Show Me" State, Missouri State Highway Department)

Dabney Lipscomb and his wife, Elizabeth W. Lipscomb, “laid out” the town on October 5th, 1851.

"Being on the State line between a free and a slave State, it experienced some of the most remarkable events that have been known on a turbulent border: the Border Ruffian War of 1855-60, the awful commotions of the Civil War, and the bands of outlaws, murderers and robbers since the War of the Rebellion ceased have haunted this section to an unwanted degree. The country around about New Santa Fe was of unsurpassed loveliness and fertility." (History of Jackson County, p. 361)


Associated Historical Trail Sites