About Wagons

by Zachary Wagon_drawing_by_Kase.JPG

There were three different kinds of wagons. Those three types of wagons were a farm wagon, a prairie schooner, and a Conestoga. I will talk about all three of them. First the prairie schooner. The prairie schooner is about 4feet wide and around 10 to 12 feet long. About 10 feet tall with the bonnet on. About 23 feet long with the tongue and neck yoke on. Weighed about 1300 pounds empty. Most pioneers used the prairie schooners because of their light weights. The wagon was almost always pulled by 4 to 6 oxen or 6 to 10 mules, now that’s a lot! Front wheels were about 44 inches in diameter. Rear wheels were about 50 inches in diameter.

Well let’s move on to the Conestoga wagon. The Conestoga wagon’s weight was between the weight of 3000 and 3500 pounds. Front wheels were about three and a half feet high. Rear wheels were about four to four and a half feet high. The entire wagon was about twenty-six feet long and about eleven feet wide. Flooring and side boards were about one half of an inch to five eighths of an inch thick. A dip toward the center removed the weight of the load off the end gates. The end gates held in position by a chain that allowed it to be dropped for easy packing and unpacking. So that’s enough of that.

Lets move on to the farm wagon, the very last wagon. The Farm wagon was used to carry travelers and there belongings to the Oregon trail and the California trail. The ends of the wagon were straight up and down. The floor was not curved or it was a straight floor but the load was tight anyways almost nothing moved at all. The wagon was able to haul about one thousand six hundred pounds to two thousand five hundred pounds. From where the drivers sat to the end of the wagon, the length was about twelve to thirteen feet long. Now I’m going to tell you three different facts are about all of these wagons. First, on all wagons back wheels are bigger than front wheels. Second, wagons were probably lighter than a car!

See how we outlined the size of a wagon that was four feet by ten feet!