Wagon trains were the home and community of westward-bound emigrants, and you can see the types of wagons they traveled in when you visit the California Trail Interpretive Center. Covered wagons were major contributors to the success (and sometimes failure) of these brave pioneers. With thousands of miles of rough and unfamiliar terrain ahead of them, emigrant families relied on these covered wagons to get them safely to their new lives in the American West.

Everything But The Kitchen Sink

Traveling these long and lonely wagon trails meant emigrants had to pack the things they might need for every circumstance, as well everything they would need to set up a new life and home in the West. While they probably didn’t pack the kitchen sink, they did pack lots of other cargo. Some of the things pioneers transported included:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Furniture
  • Clothes
  • Ammunition
  • Household items (dishes, linens)

The Unsung Heroes Of Westward Expansion

Without the use of these lightweight wagons, it’s unlikely that so many emigrants would have survived the long trek. Although riding in a wagon was jolting and rough (and most travelers avoided it for that reason), the wagon itself was a lifeline of supplies and necessary shelter on an uncertain journey. Each family’s wagon offered a certain amount of pride and security. Upon arriving in California, many emigrants continued to live in their wagons until they could set up or find permanent homes.

Learn More About The Brave Pioneers On The Trail

There is a wealth of information about the trials, triumphs, and culture of the early pioneers of westward expansion. Plan a visit to the California Trail Interpretive Center today and learn where your story connects in the story of America.

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