Membership Benefits

  • Overland Journal is OCTA’s quarterly magazine which contains articles and book reviews concerning historic trails.
  • News from the Plains is OCTA’s quarterly newsletter, which contains information about the activities of OCTA national, OCTA chapters, and OCTA members.
  • Time Travelers is a program in which OCTA participates that allows OCTA members to receive a variety of special benefits, such as free admission or gift shop discounts when they visit Time Travelers affiliates. There are 185 museums and historic sites in 45 states that participate in the program.
  • When you join OCTA, you will receive free access to Paper Trail, the website based on a searchable index of 19th Century westward American migration documents. (

Emigrant – $50/year

  • Basic membership for individuals
  • Receive the Overland Journal, OCTA’s quarterly scholarly journal, and News From the Plains, OCTA’s quarterly newsletter
  • 5% discount on all OCTA merchandise
  • One vote in OCTA’s annual election
  • The opportunity to join a local chapter
  • Access to a members-only section of OCTA’s website
  • An invitation to OCTA’s annual convention

Pioneer – $65/year

  • Basic membership for families
  • Pioneers receive the same benefits as the Emigrant level, but get two votes in OCTA’s annual elections

Trail Patron – $125/year

Formerly the Supporting level, Trail Patrons receive the same benefits as the Pioneers level, plus a 10% discount on all OCTA merchandise.

Merrill J. Mattes Society – $250/year

Formerly the Patron level, this prestigious society is named for the former Superintendent of Scotts Bluff National Monument, Platte River Road historian, and a founding member of OCTA. Members of this society receive the same benefits as the Trail Patron. They also receive:

  • A 15% discount on all OCTA merchandise
  • Two free publications from selected stock (OCTA publications only)

Ezra Meeker Life Member – $1,000

Formerly the Life Member category, this membership level is named for Oregon Territory pioneer Ezra Meeker, who followed the Oregon Trail in 1852 with his young wife and infant son. In 1906-07, Meeker single-handedly led the first effort to gain historic status for these emigrant roads when he retraced his route in reverse with a team of oxen and a covered wagon. He retraced the trail later by rail, auto, and in 1924, by air. Life members receive all of the benefits listed above as well as:

  • A plaque signifying their willingness to help sustain Meeker’s vision
  • An Ezra Meeker Life Member lapel pin
  • A permanent 15% discount on all OCTA merchandise

College Student – $20

This level is designed especially for undergraduate and graduate students. Members at this level receive the same benefits as the Emigrant level.

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