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Conestoga Wagon Time-Lapse
Conestoga Wagon Time-Lapse
Published: 2012/09/26
Channel: National Museum of American History
Covered Wagons of the Oregon Trail
Covered Wagons of the Oregon Trail
Published: 2013/03/08
Channel: ozemay22
Conestoga Wagon History
Conestoga Wagon History
Published: 2012/04/30
Channel: Michael Wills
Pioneer Wagon
Pioneer Wagon
Published: 2011/06/21
Channel: LivingHistorySchool
Conestoga Wagon
Conestoga Wagon
Published: 2015/05/07
Channel: Studies Weekly
CONESTOGA WAGON
CONESTOGA WAGON
Published: 2015/02/16
Channel: Carlos Kretz
Building the Conestoga Wagon D
Building the Conestoga Wagon D
Published: 2013/10/03
Channel: Wayne Kempson
Sheep wagons as classic campervan: the Airstream of pioneers
Sheep wagons as classic campervan: the Airstream of pioneers
Published: 2015/10/12
Channel: Kirsten Dirksen
Fall Color Covered Wagon Ride 34 Min.
Fall Color Covered Wagon Ride 34 Min.
Published: 2012/09/25
Channel: David Quam
Lance
Lance's 'Beatrice Conestoga Wagon' Journal, Oct 25, 2013
Published: 2016/11/29
Channel: Lance's Journal
Conestoga Wagon
Conestoga Wagon
Published: 2016/04/06
Channel: Studies Weekly
Covered Wagons, Bumpy Trails
Covered Wagons, Bumpy Trails
Published: 2015/01/15
Channel: Lovingtustinhistory
Building the Conestoga Wagon E
Building the Conestoga Wagon E
Published: 2013/10/06
Channel: Wayne Kempson
Covered Wagon
Covered Wagon
Published: 2013/07/12
Channel: Kenneth Sharratt
Covered Wagon Part II
Covered Wagon Part II
Published: 2014/12/30
Channel: Skully Wood & Metal
Ch 9 CONESTOGA WAGON
Ch 9 CONESTOGA WAGON
Published: 2014/03/28
Channel: haddad2970
My 1955 Studebaker Conestoga Wagon
My 1955 Studebaker Conestoga Wagon
Published: 2016/09/09
Channel: sfdogboy1
Crossing the River in a Covered Wagon
Crossing the River in a Covered Wagon
Published: 2015/08/24
Channel: Donna Schlachter
Building the Conestoga Wagon A
Building the Conestoga Wagon A
Published: 2013/10/01
Channel: Wayne Kempson
Building the Conestoga Wagon C
Building the Conestoga Wagon C
Published: 2013/10/02
Channel: Wayne Kempson
Conestoga Wagon
Conestoga Wagon
Published: 2017/04/13
Channel: Fred Giles
Cross Country Horse and Covered Wagon Trip
Cross Country Horse and Covered Wagon Trip
Published: 2012/09/03
Channel: Mark Allen Channel
My 1955 Studebaker Conestoga Wagon Pro-Street
My 1955 Studebaker Conestoga Wagon Pro-Street
Published: 2016/12/06
Channel: sfdogboy1
Conestoga Wagon Tar Bucket - Original Antique
Conestoga Wagon Tar Bucket - Original Antique
Published: 2016/02/14
Channel: Saddle Mountain Treasures
1955 Studebaker Conestoga - Gateway Classic Cars St. Louis - #6796
1955 Studebaker Conestoga - Gateway Classic Cars St. Louis - #6796
Published: 2016/03/08
Channel: GatewayClassicCars
Let
Let's Draw a Covered Wagon!
Published: 2015/04/05
Channel: pattyfernandezartist
Make a Conestoga Wagon!
Make a Conestoga Wagon!
Published: 2014/01/29
Channel: Kevin Honeycutt
Building the Conestoga Wagon B
Building the Conestoga Wagon B
Published: 2013/10/02
Channel: Wayne Kempson
Conestoga wagon i made for shannon holds 3 yards of saw dust for the horses
Conestoga wagon i made for shannon holds 3 yards of saw dust for the horses
Published: 2013/02/19
Channel: silvercreekfarms68
HWWS 5th Wheel Covered Wagon Features
HWWS 5th Wheel Covered Wagon Features
Published: 2012/07/03
Channel: HansenWheel
Assembly of Covered Wagon.wmv
Assembly of Covered Wagon.wmv
Published: 2010/08/21
Channel: waterdognw
Covered Wagon
Covered Wagon
Published: 2015/11/05
Channel: Patsy Greenway
3D Covered Wagon start to finish
3D Covered Wagon start to finish
Published: 2013/10/28
Channel: CraftyCritter919
Conestoga Wagons--Disneyland History--1950
Conestoga Wagons--Disneyland History--1950's--TMS-440
Published: 2016/06/10
Channel: DLDHistory
The Covered Wagon
The Covered Wagon
Published: 2015/01/05
Channel: Decater Collins
Conestoga wagon i made for shannon holds 3 yards of saw dust for the horses
Conestoga wagon i made for shannon holds 3 yards of saw dust for the horses
Published: 2013/02/19
Channel: silvercreekfarms68
06-26-10 Conestoga Wagon by Sherman Francisco
06-26-10 Conestoga Wagon by Sherman Francisco
Published: 2011/03/08
Channel: Gwinnett Woodworkers
WPMT: History Spot, Conestoga Wagon
WPMT: History Spot, Conestoga Wagon
Published: 2010/06/29
Channel: Tribune Media
Conestoga "Crazy Wagon or Rainbow" at Lake Winnepesaukah "Lake Winnie". August 2, 2013.
Conestoga "Crazy Wagon or Rainbow" at Lake Winnepesaukah "Lake Winnie". August 2, 2013.
Published: 2013/08/05
Channel: Nicolas Lara
Unboxing The Model Trailways Conestoga Wagon
Unboxing The Model Trailways Conestoga Wagon
Published: 2012/02/23
Channel: ModelExpoOnline
History Project | Conestoga Wagon
History Project | Conestoga Wagon
Published: 2017/02/08
Channel: Kenshinobi Gaming
Unboxing The Model Trailways Conestoga Wagon V2
Unboxing The Model Trailways Conestoga Wagon V2
Published: 2012/03/16
Channel: ModelExpoOnline
The Conestoga Wagon
The Conestoga Wagon
Published: 2015/06/11
Channel: Bedford County 21st CCLC Consortium
Conestoga Wagon Simulator
Conestoga Wagon Simulator
Published: 2010/08/06
Channel: ckylunatic
The American West 03 - Wagon Trails to the West (1849) - from Timelines.tv
The American West 03 - Wagon Trails to the West (1849) - from Timelines.tv
Published: 2013/01/31
Channel: timelinesTV
How to drive a covered wagon
How to drive a covered wagon
Published: 2010/12/25
Channel: sldenning1
Kevin
Kevin's Conestoga Wagon Update 9 November 2014
Published: 2014/11/10
Channel: Kevin LaMontagne
The HitchHiking Hosts Show 101: StageCoach / Conestoga Wagon
The HitchHiking Hosts Show 101: StageCoach / Conestoga Wagon
Published: 2015/10/23
Channel: The HitchHiking Hosts Show
Conestoga Wagons Ride at Disneyland
Conestoga Wagons Ride at Disneyland
Published: 2007/08/04
Channel: freedogshampoo
conestoga wagon
conestoga wagon
Published: 2015/06/09
Channel: Sydney Jones
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Line art drawing of a Conestoga wagon

The Conestoga wagon is a heavy, covered wagon that was used extensively during the late eighteenth century, and the nineteenth century, in the eastern United States and Canada. It was large enough to transport loads up to 6 tons[1][2] (5.4 metric tons), and was drawn by horses, mules, or oxen. It was designed to help keep its contents from moving about when in motion and to aid it in crossing rivers and streams, though it sometimes leaked unless caulked.

The term Conestoga wagon refers specifically to this type of vehicle; it is not a generic term for "covered wagon". The wagons used in the westward expansion of the United States were, for the most part, ordinary farm wagons fitted with canvas covers.[3] A true Conestoga wagon was too heavy for use on the prairies.

History[edit]

Painting depicting a Conestoga wagon. Note the severe angles at either end and the curved center, characteristics of the large Conestoga compared to other varieties of covered wagon.

The first known mention of a "Conestoga wagon" was by James Logan on December 31, 1717 in his accounting log after purchasing it from James Hendricks.[4] It was named after the "Conestoga River" or "Conestoga Township" in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and thought to have been introduced by Mennonite German settlers.[5] The Brethren of Lancaster County, an offshoot sect of the Mennonites, said that there was a local Native American tribe called the Conestoga.

In colonial times the Conestoga wagon was popular for migration southward through the Great Appalachian Valley along the Great Wagon Road. After the American Revolution it was used to open up commerce to Pittsburgh and Ohio. In 1820 rates charged were roughly one dollar per 100 pounds per 100 miles, with speeds about 15 mi (24 km) per day. The Conestoga, often in long wagon trains, was the primary overland cargo vehicle over the Appalachian Mountains until the development of the railroad. The wagon was pulled by a team of up to eight horses or a dozen oxen. In Canada, the Conestoga wagons were used by Pennsylvania German migrants who left the United States for Southern Ontario, settling various communities in Niagara Region, Kitchener-Waterloo area and York Region (mostly in Markham and Stouffville).[6]

Construction[edit]

Conestoga wagon
A Conestoga-style covered wagon on display at the Cole Land Transportation Museum in Bangor, Maine

The Conestoga wagon was built with its floor curved upward to prevent the contents from tipping and shifting. Including its tongue, the average Conestoga wagon was 18 feet long, 11 feet high, and 4 feet in width. It could carry up to 12,000 pounds (5,400 kg)[7] of cargo. The seams in the body of the wagon were stuffed with tar to protect them from leaking while crossing rivers. Also for protection against bad weather, stretched across the wagon was a tough white canvas cover. The frame and suspension were made of wood, and the wheels were often iron rimmed for greater durability. Water barrels were built on the side of the wagon, toolboxes held tools needed for repair, and a feed box on the back of the wagon was used to feed the horses. The early freight wagon was not intended to be ridden upon. The wagon had a brake handle on the left side between the two wheels and a teamster either walked beside the wagon or could ride standing (and could sit for a rough ride) on a pull-out board, called a lazy board, that provided access to the brake handle. The left horse near the wagon was referred to as the wheel horse and was sometimes ridden. The Conestoga wagon began the custom of "driving" on the right-hand side of the road.[8]

Conestoga draft horse[edit]

For pulling the heavy freight wagons the Conestoga horse, a special breed of medium to heavy draft horses, was developed.[citation needed] The Conestoga was never an established breed, and they could be of several different colors. The beginnings were from the same Conestoga Valley as the wagon being Lancaster County. The horses were not bred by any scientific method but by necessity.

Samuel Gist, a prominent landowner, slave owner, banker, as well as a partner with George Washington, contributed to the eventual breeding of what became known as the Conestoga. Gist became famous by founding the Gist settlements, including one southwest of Leesburg, Ohio, and freeing his slaves through his will after dying. The lineage of the Conestoga is not clear and there is more than one possibility. In 1774 there were 50 English stallions and 30 mares imported into Virginia. These either came from Byerley Turk, the Darley Arabian, or the Godolphin Arabian. Gist imported a Darley Arabian stud named Bulle Rock from England in 1732. Breeding this horse and descendants with Virginia mares led to larger size horses. These mares, bred with studs of Flemish ancestry, were reportedly brought to the United States by William Penn, but this has been asserted as lore.[9]

The demise of the Conestoga was predicted in 1864, relegated to oblivion by "modern inventions and recent innovations", through a Congressional printing and historical contribution by John Strohm. A few miles south of Conestoga, in Martic, Pennsylvania, a John Eshelman owned a sleek solid black Conestoga pictured as plate XXIV in the publication.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Conestoga wagon". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  2. ^ "Conestoga wagon". About.com 19th Century History. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  3. ^ Stewart, George R. (1962). "The Prairie Schooner Got Them There". American Heritage Magazine. 13 (2). 
  4. ^ "Conestoga Wagon Historical Marker". ExplorePAhistory.com. 2011. Retrieved December 9, 2013.
  5. ^ "Wayne Works". CoachBuilt. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  6. ^ "Conestoga Wagon". - The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  7. ^ "The Conestoga Wagon". Colonial Sense. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  8. ^ Dutson, Judith (May 7, 2012). "Storey's Illustrated Guide to 96 Horse Breeds of North America". Storey Publishing. pp. 20–22. Retrieved April 5, 2015. 
  9. ^ Gill, Harold B., Jr. (2015). "A Sport Only for Gentlemen". e-newsletter. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Retrieved April 5, 2015. 
  10. ^ Strohm, John (1864). "United States Congressional serial set, Volume 1196". Congressional printing (historical). Government Printing Office. pp. 175–180 (Volume 1196). Retrieved April 5, 2015. 

External links[edit]

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