E-News April 8, 2020

OCTA logo
E-News – 8 April 2020
Thank You For Your Continued Support
National Frontier Trails Museum to Remain Closed
Update on Kathy Franzwa
Give Us a Like on Facebook
Download Speaker Videos From Santa Fe Convention
Upgrade Your Membership Now For a Wonderful Gift!

Thank You For Your Continued Support of the Oregon-California Trails Association

Thank you for your continued support of the Oregon-California Trails Association and for your strong belief in our mission. Your donations support our mission of protecting the Historic Emigrant Trails legacy by promoting research, education, preservation activities and public awareness of the trails, and working with others to promote these causes.

Last week, Congress passed the CARE ACT, which includes a provision allowing individuals to deduct up to $300 from their taxes, even if they do not itemize. If you take the standard deduction on your 2020 tax return (the one that you’re filing in 2021), you can claim a brand new “above-the-line” deduction of up to $300 for cash donations to charity you make this year. Donations to donor advised funds and certain organizations that support charities are not deductible.
OCTA has made it easier than ever to support our mission with a secure online donation portal. With your past help, we have expanded our public programming with the addition of traveling trunks and more offerings on our websites, mapped and marked trail, preserved graves, and introduced more people to the 19th century western emigration story than ever before.

Some years, deadly diseases all but closed trail traffic in the 19th century. The year 2020 has also seen trail closures in some areas due to another deadly disease, COVID-19. Mt. Hood National Forest, for example, is closed for this reason. However, many sections of our trails remain open. While we do hope that you’re all still getting out and enjoying fresh air on our trails, we encourage you to do so responsibly and keep safe distances between yourself and others.
But OCTA itself needs your support to weather this storm.

I hope you will consider continuing to invest in OCTA and its mission. While our HQ doors are closed for the rest of the month, we remain committed to the work of OCTA and we continue to move the organization forward from our home offices. As much of the nation is shut down, many Americans have turned to the outdoors, visiting parks and trails in record numbers. We are part of the valuable recovery effort of our nation. Be sure to suggest to family and friends that our trails can be a respite from our current situation, both on-the-ground and with our cyber resources.

And thank you again for your support.

National Frontier Trails Museum in Independence to Remain Closed Through June 30

Today, OCTA HQ received a message from Frank Buhro, the Historic Sites & Museum Administrator for the city of Independence, Missouri. He wrote:

“I wanted to give you the latest update as we have it now. The City has decided that they will not be opening the National Frontier Trails Museum (NFTM) for the remainder of this fiscal year, ending June 30, 2020. They are reviewing the budget impacts of the virus on the city’s revenue streams and will make further determinations in the coming weeks. As of now, Pele and I will be working from home and answering emails as they come in. I will be coming in weekly to check on mail and distribute it to the Chicago & Alton Depot, NFTM Friends, and OCTA. All contractual agreements with the NFTM Museum have to be suspended until further notice. That includes the Living History Program and the PTA wagon rides.

“There has been no revision on historic sites opening potentially mid-May. The next two weeks will be crucial in making that determination. Once the stay at home order is no longer in effect the sites should be able to re-open.”
OCTA HQ also remains closed through at least April 27, with re-opening dependent on what state, county, and city officials decide in the coming weeks. HQ staff continue to work from home. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us should you need anything.
Travis Boley, Association Manager – tboley@indepmo.org
Kathy Conway, Headquarters Manager – kconway@indepmo.org
Sharon Brown, Western Region Representative – sabocta@gmail.com

Update on Kathy Franzwa
Marley Shurtleff of the Northwest Chapter sent out the following message yesterday:

Just an FYI for those who know Kathy Franzwa, wife of OCTA co-founder Greg Franzwa. She is in the final stages of Lou Gehrig’s and probably won’t last much longer. A card can be sent to her mother’s address.

Her address is:

5515 107th St. SW
Mukilteo, WA 98275-4438

Her mother’s name is: Pat Colyer.

Kathy cannot use e-mail anymore and she probably cannot write but she is with her mother, who can write notes for her. Her mother cannot hear very well and does not use the telephone.

From Joyce Bolerjack’s daughter Claire Vorauer (Joyce died just a year ago): “Please pass along my greetings to all the Rut Nuts my mom loved.”

Give Us a Like on Facebook

OCTA has focused even more intently on electronically communicating with you since we are not able to do so face-to-face for now. We’ve been focusing especially on making fun and informative “This Day in History” posts on our Facebook page. If you haven’t already given us a “like,” do so now so that you don’t miss out on near-daily updates! We’ve already shared information on the first ride of the Pony Express (which has over 5,200 views since we posted it!), the opening of a new wagon road between Los Angeles and San Francisco in 1861, General Henry Atkinson and his role in opening the West to settlement, and the presidency of John Tyler and his role in opening the Oregon Territory to settlement, among others.

We will also soon be launching new Instagram and Twitter accounts and we’ll be inviting you all to post your own photos, videos, writings, and other content that we can share with each other while we wait for the world to open up again.

Download Speaker Videos
From Santa Fe Convention

If you weren’t able to attend the convention in Santa Fe last September, we recorded all of the speakers. If you attended the convention, you can view all of the videos for free by emailing kconway@indepmo.org for the access code. If you didn’t attend the convention, you can purchase access for $10 per speaker or $60 for all 14 speakers. The link for purchase can be found on our websiteMany of us are locked away for weeks due to Coronavirus shut downs, so enjoy some time learning about Southwestern trails!

Speakers and topics include:
  • Doug Dinwiddie – Military Protection Along the Southern Trail
  • François-Marie Patorni – The French Presence in New Mexico
  • Kevin Henson – Cooke’s Wagon Road and Mormon Battalion Routes in New Mexico
  • David Miller – Randolph Marcy: Explorer, Road Builder, and Guide
  • Mark Howe – Archaelogy on New Mexico’s Southern Trail
  • Jim Hardee – Bartolomé Baca and the Trappers
  • Frank Norris – Railroad in Northern New Mexico
  • Larry Francell – J.B.D. Stillman, Civilian Post Surgeon at Fort Lancaster, Texas
  • Peter Leman – Mangas Coloradas
  • Prince McKenzie – Railroads Along the Southern Route
  • Tom Sutak – Traveling to the Gold Fields Along the Southern Route
  • Laura Anderson – Women, the Sick and Others Left Behind
  • Tom Jonas – Kearney’s Trail from Santa Fe to Arizona
  • Richard Melzer – Children on the Santa Fe Trail

Upgrade Your Membership or Purchase a Gift Membership Now For a Wonderful Present!

For a limited time, OCTA is encouraging our existing members to “upgrade” their membership. This also makes an excellent gift and we’ll send those gifts to your recipient as a present from you. These free gifts include:

Simply call us at (816) 252-2276 and we will renew your membership at a higher level or simply extend your existing membership for another year past your next renewal date and ship out our “thank yous” immediately. Or, send it as a gift to a friend or family member. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity; it’s only while supplies last.


Finally, if you’re not already a member, join now at the Emigrant level ($50) and we will send you a copy of your choice of items listed above. Not only that, but as a new member you will get immediate access to every single issue of the Overland Journal dating back to 1982 as well as access to Paper Trail, our incredible genealogy tool that helps you search original trail diaries.