How the Pioneers Traveled West


The pioneers traveled west in wagons, most likely in groups. The typical family wagon needed four oxen or mules and had big wheels to make pulling easier. Its body was four feet wide and ten to twelve feet long. It rode high off the ground so it wouldn’t get scraped. There was not much room inside the wagon but at the end of the body it was higher so the items would not fall out. Under the wagon were two buckets, one was for wagon grease; the other one was a bucket for coal. The grease bucket was for the wheels of the wagon. The coal bucket was from their fire since they had no matches. They also needed a wagon captain to choose the routes. The things they brought with them were packed for a three to five month trip. They had wooden hoops with hooks for guns, milk cans, bonnets, jackets, dolls and anything else they could bring with them. The animals they brought were Oxen, mules, horses and sometimes even milk cows! These animals were all to pull the wagon except the milk cow. For me, I think the people who invented the wagons were very smart because of every detail they put. For example: the buckets, I think that was very creative.
Source:
Patent Hinshaw Dorothy. West by Covered Wagon Retracing the Pioneer
Trails
. New York: Walker Publishing Company, 1995.

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