Freight Wagon “Prairie Schooner”


  • Freight Wagon “Prairie Schooner”
  • Produced 1900-1915
  • This wagon is very similar to ones used by settlers heading west in the 1840s and 1850s. Each of these wagons was handmade, and took several months to construct.
  • They were outfitted with as much as 1 ½ tons of food and other provisions.
  • The oilcloth side covers were the source of the name “Prairie Schooner”, because they reminded people of the sails of the ships their ancestors came to this country aboard.
  • Conestoga wagons were generally pulled by teams of six oxen, mules or horses.
  • Oxen were the favored source of power for westward travelers for several reasons (1) Oxen were less expensive than mules or horses and somewhat hardier, (2) Oxen were less desirable to capture than horses or mules to Native Americans, and (3) Oxen could always be eaten if disaster struck.
  • Acquired by the museum in 1987

Model Specifications

  • Length: Approx. 11 ft
  • Weight:
Freight Wagon “Prairie Schooner