Descendants and Travelers of the Trail Chapter is initiating an ongoing project: building a data base containing summary information about each of our ancestors and other travelers of the Old Spanish Trail. It will eventually be made accessible to the public on the Old Spanish Trail Association website and become a reference for all OSTA members, historians, teachers, students and other interested parties. They already have a very good start with the people that we highlighted in our PowerPoint presentation at the Barstow Old Spanish Trail Association conference in 2017. 

The chapter is requesting that each Chapter member submit information about at least one ancestor or person who traveled the Trail to the Chapter’s email address by Friday, March 9, 2018. The Chapter’s NEW email address is:

Please use the attached form along with any attached photos, maps, illustrations or additional information you can provide.  Handy instructions and tips to help you fill in the form are also provided.  One page of information for each ancestor or traveler will be compiled, so please submit a separate form per individual—don’t report on multiple people on the same form. Chapter officers (Conchita and Rich Marusich, Cecelia Peña, and Mary Anne Pentis) will edit them as a group.


View the Comprehensive Administrative Strategy.

When many people in the West think about the Old Spanish Trail, they might think about history and culture. For the Old Spanish Trail Association (OSTA), the trail is also about tourism, exploration, adventure; and, challenges. Planning and installing identification signage and interpretive wayside exhibits, working to develop partnerships with museums and cultural centers, and protecting Trail resources, landscapes and values from the potentially detrimental effects of energy development, mining, commercial developments, and more are just a few of the issues confronting the trail in its six-state region.

An important part of OSTA’s efforts has been consulting with the federal administrators for the Trail – the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the National Park Service (NPS) – on a management plan, required by the National Trails System Act. That plan is intended to guide the administration and management of the Trail on federal public lands, and on state, tribal, and local government lands, and private lands through cooperative efforts with such entities and individual landowners. After fifteen years of prolonged planning and discussions the BLM and NPS have released a Comprehensive Administrative Strategy for the Trail. Read more…

View the Comprehensive Administrative Strategy.

OSTA Welcomes New Board Member April Arnold

Meet our newest OSTA Board Member, April Arnold! Her official title is Director at Large, but she is going to be instrumental in helping plan our conferences and helping states and chapters plan and organize their events. 

She is a professional event planner located in Grand Junction. She graduated from Colorado Mesa University in 2010 with a degree in Technical Writing and a degree in Computer Science. While the pursuit of both degrees taught her countless skills that proved to be invaluable in a multitude of scenarios, her passion for organization and a fast-paced environment lead her to event planning and operational management at Mesa Lakes Lodge.

After handling almost all aspects of resort management, she moved to the Clarion Inn where she ran the event planning department, managing both events and employees. While at the Clarion, she also handled the 2016 OSTA Conference.

As her desire to work with a variety of venues and caterers grew, she started her own business, April Marie Events. She now works across Colorado and Eastern Utah helping individuals and organizations plan and execute both social and a variety of business events from small groups, training, and large conferences.


Tour the Los Angeles City Archives, learn more about California’s Old Spanish Trail!

We have space for 20 people on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 to TOUR the Los Angeles City Archives at 10 am, then conduct research in the Ayuntamiento records of the Pueblo de Los Angeles until 4 pm. Michael Holland, City Archivist, will conduct the tour. THIS EVENT IS FREE! Please reserve your spot here by securing a free ticket.

Read a 1989 article about the Archives.

Los Angeles City Archives
C. Erwin Piper Technical Center
555 Ramirez Street

Thanks to our Director at Large Alexander King for arranging this special event.


OSTA member Conchita Marusich has just published In Search of William Wolfskill: Journey to Find the Legacy, the biography of her ancestor, William Wolfskill – mountain man, adventurer and important figure in early California history.

In her book, Conchita writes about the thrilling adventures of her trailblazing great-great-grandfather, William Wolfskill. His historic journeys over the Santa Fe Trail in 1822 and the Old Spanish Trail in 1830 are packed with exciting stories as he made his way westward towards California.

He settled in the small town of Los Angeles in 1831 and became a leading citizen. Famous for his Wolfskill citrus orchards, William is recognized as the founder of California’s citrus industry.


Alexander King was awarded the C. Gregory Crampton Award at our 2017 OSTA Conference.

The 2017 OSTA Conference, on the recommendations of several members, honored Alexander King for his many contributions to OSTA with the C. Gregory Crampton Award, our highest honor. Alex has worked hard to help establish several chapters – including our newest one, the Descendants and Travelers Chapter – and is a consistent presence at many events in Southern California. Congratulations, Alex, much deserved! (And, thanks to Lorraine Carpenter for the beautiful print).

We have a new chapter: Descendents and Trail Travelers, led by Conchita Marusich, an exciting new way for folks to join and enhance their expertise and experience.

The Board also approved the Pat Kuhloff Educational Fund that will spearhead a new committee with funding and goals – $500 was pledged from OSTA funds to begin this exciting new endeavor.