Daily Chores, Routines along the Trail, and Clothing

by Olivia and Claire


Sometimes pioneer women would wear a long dress, bonnet, and an apron. The dresses came down to their ankles. They were usually made out of calico, wool, or cotton. They usually did not wear corsets or petticoats. Most women would wear cotton sunbonnets.external image scottsbluffwagon.jpg


Men wore a collared shirt and a vest. They usually would wear buckskin coats with long fringes. They would also wear pants and a hat.

Clothes for Children

Little girls wore a dress, apron, and a bonnet. For nighttime they would wear a nightgown and a cap. Girls did wear petticoats. They also wore smocks. Sometimes when it was cool they would wear shawls. Boys wore pants and long shirts made out of deerskin. Again, during the winter time they would wear a hat made out of raccoon they had caught. During the summer they would wear straw hats.


Once in Oregon, children brought in wood for the fire to heat their house in the winter. The men and women milked cows and cleaned calf pens and would spread hay in the stalls every day. Sometimes children helped their parents fry corn cakes for breakfast. Also, they helped grind corn into meal. They fed the hens (if they had any) and they also fetched water from the stream nearby. The children also collected buffalo chips, shook off dust from dusty blankets, and hung up beef jerky to dry in the sun.external image 8b28003r.jpg

What They Did on the Trail

Every morning pioneers got up a little before daylight and would round up their livestock and then cook breakfast. Sometimes the women made the family’s lunch. The ride was very bumpy so the pioneers would walk next to, or behind the wagon. Sometimes they would stop to rest for an hour or two. After a rest, they would start down the trail until 4:00 or 5:00. At night the wagon train would pull into a circle for protection. The men would round up the livestock for the night and the women would fix dinner for the children, men, and themselves. After dinner the family would gather around the fire and sing songs, tell stories, and dance. Most of the time they would sleep inside of the wagon but they would also sleep under the wagon, in a tent, or under the stars.

Image sources: http://memory.loc.gov/pnp/fsa/8b28000/8b28000/8b28003r.jpg