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Courtesy Photo “Marie Felicite St. Vrain, Shedding Light on a Woman of the Santa Fe Trail”. Presentation to the Taos County Historical Society, Taos New Mexico by Christine St. Vrain-Fischahs.

Who Was This 1839 Mysterious Female Traveler?

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By Paul Figueroa


The Taos County Historical Society announces the return of its monthly public programs to the Kit Carson Electric Cooperative board room at 118 Cruz Alta Rd., Taos, NM.


On Saturday, August 7 at 2 pm, speaker Christine St. Vrain Fischahs will present “Shedding Light on the Santa Fe Trail’s 1839 Mysterious Female Traveler.” Admission is free for current members of the Society, with a $5 suggested donation for non-members.


Marie Felicite St. Vrain (born in 1823) was inducted into the Santa Fe Trail Association’s Hall of Fame in 2017 for her travels in 1839 along the mountainous route of the Santa Fe Trail. She was one of the earliest known females to do so. Marie was also honored in 2020 with a Women in American History Award from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Marie’s father, an Indian agent murdered during the Black Hawk War in 1832, prompted her favorite uncle, Ceran St. Vrain, to arrange her visit to Bent’s Fort, Colorado, when she was 16, in 1839.


Join Christine St. Vrain Fischahs, a retired paralegal, genealogist, historian, writer and current member of the Taos Mountain Chapter of the American Revolution, the Santa Fe Trail Association, the St. Vrain Mill Preservation and Historical Foundation and the New Mexico Genealogical Society on a journey to learn more about this mysterious woman. Christine has strong family ties to New Mexico, going back to the 1820s when her 4th great uncle, Ceran St. Vrain, ventured from St. Louis, MO to Taos, NM. Her great-grandfather, James B. Jones, served as Lt. Governor of New Mexico from 1943-47. Her great uncle, born in Albuquerque, was the playwright Preston St. Vrain Jones. Christine also created the website www.santafetrail200.org to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail.

The Taos County Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the study and preservation of the historical resources of Taos County and northern New Mexico. Membership is open to any interested person. Visit www.taoscountyhistoricalsociety.org for membership and additional information.

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