Pictures for Wagon Hardware are courtesy of Richard Silva
1846 Pioneer Wagon
This is a replica of an 1846 wagon. A pioneer family would have used a similar wagon to journey to Mexican California on their 2,000-mile journey from the United States.
This is a small wagon only about 10 feet long and 4 feet wide. It was typically pulled by three yoke of oxen (six head). It should be noted that this type of wagon had no seat, no brakes, or springs.
At the start of the journey, this wagon would have been packed full with about 2,000 pounds of food, clothes, tools, bedding, and few personal possessions. Consequently most pioneers, including the children, had to walk the entire way.
A wagon that finally reached Sutter’s Fort would have been of great value to its owner. There were few wagons in California in 1846 but the need for wagons to haul goods from place to place was in great demand. The owner of such a wagon would have made a very profitable living.
This wagon was built in 2004 in Mitchell, South Dakota, specifically to help complete the interpretive story of life at Sutter’s Fort prior to the Gold Rush.
Thanks to Frank Tortorich for the above text.
Pictures for Harnessing are courtesy of Richard Silva