This transit center is recognized by the National Trails System, who is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The transit center marks where the California, Oregon, and Santa Fe trails united.
“Just as the pioneers headed west looking for new opportunities, this facility represents the connections we provide for people to connect to their modern-day opportunities,” KCATA Chief Planning Officer Chuck Ferguson stated.
The new transit center is home to KCATA’s first smart digital kiosk. The kiosk is connected to the larger KCitypost kiosk network with many features including the ability to display up to the minute transit arrival times, area events and activities, retail advertising, and information about the historic trails. The transit center also has bike racks, park-and-ride spaces, and accessible ramps for riders with disabilities.
Two murals decorate both the north and south sides of the shelter. The north side features maps of the three historic trails, while the south side includes portraits and the inspiring stories of three African-American women whose lives were impacted by the trails.
“The decision was made to honor African American women because they have been neglected in history and because of the important role that women of many languages played in this national experience,” said Lou Austin, Director of 3 Trails West, Inc.
The three women, Emily Fisher, Clara Brown and Biddy Mason were chosen because “each one has a story of struggle, triumph, freedom, forgiveness, love and fruitfulness,” artist Jeffrey Hall stated. Their stories inspired Hall to create a beautiful masterpiece that will displayed for years to come.
“KCATA made a commitment to serve the community and the biggest part of that is recognizing the community,” Austin stated. Emily Fisher was at the top of Hall’s list when the project began. Born a slave, her father freed her after she traveled to Jackson County, Missouri, from Kentucky. He gifted her a hotel which she ran until it closed during the Civil War. Fisher’s hotel had a reputation for excellent service and cleanliness, which she took great pride in.
“Most of us think of history as just stuff hanging on a wall, but today we are a part of what I call living history,” Austin stated as he recognized Emily Fisher’s relatives present at the event.
Above: Camille Harrison (left) attended the event with her granddaughter Tania Harrison, and Taelor Barrett (right). Camille is Fisher’s great (x4) niece and Barrett is Fisher’s great (x5) niece.
Below: Several members of Emily Fisher's family helped celebrate the dedication of the transit center.