Wagon Insights

I've been reading through the diaries that were sent to me from Indiana and I've found a few surprises about life in the late 1800's.  Here are 10 wagon facts I never thought about:

  • You had to wash your wagon
  • When you purchased a new wagon you traded in your old wagon, like we do today with our cars
  • Wagons broke down ALOT!  Poor road conditions, skittish horses and driver error contributed to the break downs.
  • You were responsible for the cost of damages caused by your runaway horse and wagon
  • There were ALOT of serious accidents around wagons - falling out of, getting run over by, getting injured by overhanging tree limbs, etc.
  • When your wagon needed repairs someone would come to you but it was much more expensive than if you somehow got the wagon to the wagon shop to be repaired.
  • Depending on the repair needed, it could take a few hours or several days to get the part
  • Wheels fell off wagons frequently
  • If you were going to take a train you hired a livery person to pick you up and take you home, unless you had relatives to help you out.
  • Family members borrowed each other's wagons for various jobs that needed to be accomplished
Who knew?!  
Drought Uncovers 19th Century Wagon
The above picture is from Oregon, guess wagon mishaps occurred everywhere!


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