Frontier

Read more about Conestoga wagons.

Many of the settlers who came into the eastern part of the state and then later into other parts of the state did so in Conestoga wagons.

The Conestoga wagon was first built in the Conestoga Valley in Pennsylvania—thus the name. The front and back ends of the wagon were higher than the middle giving the wagon its distinctive look. This design helped keep the goods from falling out as the wagon went up or down a hill.
 
The wagons were usually pulled by cattle, oxen, or horses brought with the settlers. Limited cooking supplies, cooking utensils, clothing, and tools were packed tightly inside. Family members would usually walk beside the wagon to lessen the load. The driver might ride in front of the wagon or walk beside it with the reins in his hands.
 
A canvas -cover- was stretched over the wagon box to protect the contents. At night, the family would attach a canvas to the side to sleep under. They might also, depending on the weather, sleep under the wagon or just out in the open.



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