Coming soon "Prairie Song" by Mona Hodgson
a delightful story of a wagon train and the journey
Have you ever thought of their mode of travel
Here are a few facts about "The Wagon"
that would become their home
for many months....
The Pioneers traveled in a wagon called a covered wagon. The wagon was usually a wooden wagon made of hickory, oak, or maple. A wooden piece made from hickory stuck out from the front of the wagon. This piece called a tongue was connected to the yoke of the oxen, mules, or horses.
The wagon could not carry more than 2,000 pounds. It had big wooden hoops, called bows that were bent from side to side. There would be 4 to 7 wooden hoops on one wagon. There was a canvas pulled across the hoops that would keep out the rain, wind, and the hot sunshine. Pioneers would rub oil on the canvas to make it waterproof. Inside the wagon there were many hooks that hung from the wooden hoops. They could hang weapons, clothes, milk cans, and anything there was room for. The front wheels of the wagon were smaller than the back wheels. This helped the wagon turn. Underneath the back wheels there was a bucket full of grease hanging from the axle. This was used to make the wheels run smoothly. The conestoga wagons were called prairie schooners because from a distance the conestoga wagon looked like a ship sailing slowly across the green prairie. Traveling in a wagon was not an easy trip. There were many things that could go wrong. For example some wagon wheels would break or there would be no water. If they ran out of food they would need to hunt. When they were on the trail it was very noisy because all the pots and pans hanging off the wagons were clanging against each other.