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Historical Tidbit Thursdays - The Oregon Trail - Preparing for the Journey - #TidbitThursday

Howdy!

Welcome to our newest addition to the blog - Historical Tidbit Thursdays!

The next few weeks I'm veering off my normal Texas History research trail to dive deep into the Oregon Trail and share my research with you! Hope you enjoy!


Most emigrants arrived at their "jumping off" points (the place where they started the Oregon Trail journey) by steamboat. Jumping off points included Independence (Missouri), Saint Joseph (Missouri) or Council Bluffs (Iowa).

When the emigrants arrived to town, they brought little with them except a lot of money to buy supplies. It took about 2 to 3 weeks to purchase and prepare for the 6 month long trip.


The first thing they bought was a covered wagon or "prairie schooner" (so named because the white canvas looked like ship sails). The wagon could carry 1000 to 1500 pounds of goods. It was four feet wide by 12 feet long. The wagon would be crammed full and there wouldn't be much room for travelers. Only young children or those who couldn't walk or ride would sit in the wagon.

Emigrants would buy several hundred pounds of flour and bacon, sugar, salt, coffee, dried fruit, and other dry goods. They also bought heavy cooking pots and pans, sturdy tin dishes (not many, they usually shared), weapons (guns, ammo). A plow and farming implements.

Each wagon needed 4 to 6 oxen to pull the load.

Source:
How Many People Traveled the Oregon Trail? by Miriam Aronin; ISBN#978-0-7613-5332-4


Photo Credits: Britannica.com

Western Word of the Week - Dog House - #WesternWordoftheWeek

Howdy!

Welcome to our Weekly Western Word of the Day...

Dog House - the housing where hired hands lived/slept

Also called "bunkhouse", "dice-house", "dump", "shack", "dive".

Source:
Cowboy Lingo by Ramon F. Adams; ISBN#0-618-08349-9

Western Travel - Heritage Farmstead Museum (Part Seven) - Plano, Texas - #TravelTuesday

Welcome to my weekly column #TravelTuesday featuring places I've discovered during my research trips or just wandering around in historical areas. I hope you enjoy my discoveries.

Last week we wandered down the main first floor hallway from the front door all the way back to the kitchen area. Today we're going to look back in the hallway at a few artifacts that we missed.


Right across from the telephone sitting area, an electric upright vacuum cleaner (in great condition) leans back in the dark corner.


I tried to find this model or something similar on Google and was able to find a historic advertisement for a Bee-Vac electric cleaner (similar-looking in design).


Now, I'm heading down a rabbit trail, but I just had to investigate the history of electric vacuum cleaners and behold, I found a website dedicated to their history - www.vacuumcleanerhistory.com/. According to the site, a "carpet sweeper" invented in July of 1860 by Daniel Hess. Imagine before this, people had to brush dirt off the rugs. Now this carpet sweeper with its roller brushes and dirt-sucking bellows could make the job back-pain-free. (I imagine it is similar to the modern carpet sweeper we still use but without suction).


In 1901, Hubert Cecil Booth invented a horse-pulled machine called "Puffing Billy" that featured "an internal combustion engine which powered a piston pump which pulled the air through a cloth filter".


In 1907, James Murray Spangler of Ohio invented the first portable vacuum cleaner and sold his patent to William Henry Hoover the next year who redesigned it a little bit and eventually came out with the first upright vacuum in 1926.
Now back on track to our hallway tour for one final stop...


Here's another look at the floral wallpaper and the pair of carved wooden chairs in the hallway.

Learn more by checking out the official site - www.heritagefarmstead.org/

Heritage Farmstead Museum Physical Address: 1900 West 15th Street, Plano, Texas 75075 Phone Number: 972-881-0140 Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10am-4:30pm. Closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission: $3.00 per person (ages 3 and up) + $4 for tour of house

Photo Credit of Vacuum Cleaner Advertisement - https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1021/8371/products/YTH1_008_grande.jpg?v=1493359652
Photo Credit of Carpet Sweeper - "By Underneaththesun - I took this photograph at the Don Aslett Museum of Clean in Pocatello, Idaho.Previously published: No, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67204804"
Photo Credit for Booth's Horse-Drawn Vacuum - http://cbsnews2.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/r/2015/08/30/a64bcc8a-8760-4b8e-a403-61a9d93cc795/thumbnail/620x350/60c2e8981cf7e03e13c6c3190b0304b0/horsedrawn-vacuum-machine.jpg#
Photo Credit for Hoover vacuum - https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-DVgiNw82S8k/VZQoh__QZvI/AAAAAAAAF54/IWICpgBSwiQ/s1600/FirstVersions_Hoover_Model-0-detail.png

Historical Tidbit Thursdays - The Oregon Trail - Jedediah Smith - #TidbitThursday

Howdy!

Welcome to our newest addition to the blog - Historical Tidbit Thursdays!

The next few weeks I'm veering off my normal Texas History research trail to dive deep into the Oregon Trail and share my research with you! Hope you enjoy!


Jedediah Strong Smith was born January 6, 1799 in Bainbridge, New York.

In 1822 at twenty-three years old, he joined a tradition expedition to the Upper Missouri River.



In 1823, he led a group of traders over a high plain through the Rocky Mountains (the same path taken by Robert Stuart in 1812). It was later called the "South Pass" because it was south of the route Lewis and Clark had taken earlier.

Soon Jedediah took over the fur-trading business. In 1830, his business partner, William Sublette, organized a group of 10 wagons to travel through the South Pass. This was the first wagon train to journey successfully through the Rockies.

Source:
How Many People Traveled the Oregon Trail? by Miriam Aronin; ISBN#978-0-7613-5332-4


Photo Credits: https://www.wyohistory.org/encyclopedia/south-pass

Western Word of the Week - Bull's Manse - #WesternWordoftheWeek

Howdy!

Welcome to our Weekly Western Word of the Day...

Bull's Manse - the ranch owner's main house (mansion)

Also called "white house" (as it was usually white-washed), "headquarters", "big house"

Source:
Cowboy Lingo by Ramon F. Adams; ISBN#0-618-08349-9

Western Travel - Heritage Farmstead Museum (Part Six) - Plano, Texas - #TravelTuesday

Welcome to my weekly column #TravelTuesday featuring places I've discovered during my research trips or just wandering around in historical areas. I hope you enjoy my discoveries.


Last week we investigated the Farrell-Wilson informal family parlor. Today, we'll start our tour back at the front doorway looking toward the back of the house as in this beautiful photograph from the Heritage Farmstead collection. The first thing that will catch your eye is the abundance of color - the ornately designed carpet covering the stair treads, the almost aqua wallpaper with pink rose bouquet designs, the intricately patterned rugs, and the floral wallpaper in the family parlor.


We've seen this photograph before but I placed it here so we can revisit the details of the wallpaper and the stair runner. Also, you may notice the house is a bit darker in my own photographs as I didn't have external flash devices available. Despite the bright sunshine, the house was a bit dark inside even with the electric features turned on.


As we move toward the back of the house, we stop at the hall tree standing between two sets of carved wooden chairs. An umbrella and cane rest in the base of the tree while a nice bowler hat hangs above the oval mirror (a little bit different straw hat was hanging on the tree in the Farmstead's staged photo above).


A quick glance up at the electric pendant light hanging from the ceiling.


A small working area at the end of the hallway, right next to the dining room and kitchen. First thing to notice is the old-fashioned telephone box hanging on the wall and the telephone sitting on the table.

Also on the table is the book, "Never a Good Girl: The Renegade Spirit of the Farrell-Wilson Family" by Hilary Kidd and Jessica Bell, limitedly available as hardcover on Amazon:


Learn more by checking out the official site - www.heritagefarmstead.org/

Heritage Farmstead Museum Physical Address: 1900 West 15th Street, Plano, Texas 75075 Phone Number: 972-881-0140 Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10am-4:30pm. Closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission: $3.00 per person (ages 3 and up) + $4 for tour of house

Photo Credit of Downstairs First Floor - http://www.heritagefarmstead.org

Historical Tidbit Thursdays - The Oregon Trail - Oregon Country - #TidbitThursday

Howdy!

Welcome to our newest addition to the blog - Historical Tidbit Thursdays!

The next few weeks I'm veering off my normal Texas History research trail to dive deep into the Oregon Trail and share my research with you! Hope you enjoy!

In the 1500's, Spanish explorers sailed ships to the Oregon area but didn't make permanent homes. They focused their efforts on California.

 
In 1805, United States President Thomas Jefferson sent explorers Meriwether Lewis (Jefferson's private secretary) and William Clark (who was a friend of Lewis's) to explore the lands west of the Mississippi River, documenting what they saw and creating detailed maps.

 
In 1810, New York fur-trade businessman John Jacob Astor sent a group of men to set up a trading post in Oregon Territory named Fort Astor (or Astoria). This became the first American settlement in Oregon Country. However, Astoria faced a lot of difficulties - the local natives killed most of the traders after a confrontation. A small group headed back to New York to report to their boss, John, led by Robert Stuart. Along the way, Crow Indians stole their horses. Robert Stuart had traversed the Oregon Trail - in reverse.


In 1833, a letter appeared in a New York Christian-faith newspaper saying that Nez Perce Indians were asking questions about the Bible ("white man's book of Heaven"). In response, churches sent missionaries west to teach natives about Christianity. One missionary was Doctor Marcus Whitman who went to Oregon in 1835. In 1836 he returned to New York. February 18th he married Narcissa Prentiss. The very next day, they went to Oregon Country to set up a missionary. A year later, she gave birth to Alice Clarissa Whitman (who drowned to death two years later).

Source:
How Many People Traveled the Oregon Trail? by Miriam Aronin; ISBN#978-0-7613-5332-4


Photo Credit: https://www.biography.com/people/meriwether-lewis-9381267
Photo Credit: https://www.biography.com/people/william-clark-9542620
Photo Credit: https://www.biography.com/people/john-jacob-astor-9191158
Photo Credit: https://www.nps.gov/whmi/learn/historyculture/narcissa-biography.htm

Western Word of the Week - Tanks - #WesternWordoftheWeek

Howdy!

Welcome to our Weekly Western Word of the Day...

Tanks - large dirt ponds to provide water for animals

Today you will often see large barrels that are called tanks.

Source:
Cowboy Lingo by Ramon F. Adams; ISBN#0-618-08349-9

Western Travel - Heritage Farmstead Museum (Part Five) - Plano, Texas - #TravelTuesday

Welcome to my weekly column #TravelTuesday featuring places I've discovered during my research trips or just wandering around in historical areas. I hope you enjoy my discoveries.

Last week we investigated the Farrell-Wilson formal parlor and the interesting pieces in there. Today we'll move to the next room, the informal family parlor.

Staged Family Parlor, photo from the Heritage Museum website

The room has been altered a little bit since this photo above was taken and now features a Depression-era family playing a board game, Monopoly. A Monopoly-type game called The Landlord's Game was invented by Elizabeth Magie in 1902 (patented in 1904). It evolved into what we know today by 1933, sold by Parker Brothers.


Just past the mannequin on a table in front of the window is an old-time radio.


Now we come to the fireplace which seems larger than the one in the formal parlor. Both feature wooden mantels, looking-glass mirrors, and colorful stone surrounds.


Here is a nice book cabinet with a modern-day interactive iPad in front of it. Notice the Holmes stereoscope viewing device on the top-right. These were popular after their invention in 1860 as they made pictures 3-dimensional.


An old photograph of the Wilsons (Ammie and Dudley).


Colored-glass electric chandelier.


A better view of the radio and an interesting red cushioned chair with an embroidered foot rest.


That's all for today. Next week we'll look at a few odds and ends in the downstairs hallway.

History of Monopoly - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_board_game_Monopoly

Learn more by checking out the official site - www.heritagefarmstead.org/

Heritage Farmstead Museum Physical Address: 1900 West 15th Street, Plano, Texas 75075 Phone Number: 972-881-0140 Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10am-4:30pm. Closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission: $3.00 per person (ages 3 and up) + $4 for tour of house

Photo Credit of Family Parlor - https://www.heritagefarmstead.org/plano-elegance-blackland-prairie-farmstead-1890-1925/family-parlor-223-2/

Historical Tidbit Thursdays - The Oregon Trail - The Journey - #TidbitThursday

Howdy!

Welcome to our newest addition to the blog - Historical Tidbit Thursdays!

The next few weeks I'm veering off my normal Texas History research trail to dive deep into the Oregon Trail and share my research with you! Hope you enjoy!

As we mentioned in the first post, the first group journey consisted of a 1000 people but only 120 wagons. That means a little over 8 people for every wagon. Each wagon had to be filled with enough food and supplies to last 6 months.

Only very young children, those who couldn't walk or ride, would sit in the wagon. Most walked. They averaged 12 to 15 miles of walking per day.

Children had their use along the journey - collecting firewood or buffalo chips for fires.

The emigrants (as they were called) faced blistering heat, snowstorms, raging rivers, accidents, wild animals, and contagious diseases (like cholera).

But the end of the journey was worth it - each adult male was granted 640 acres.

Source:
The Oregon Trail by Rachel Lynette; ISBN#978-1-4777-0786-9

Western Word of the Week - Rancho - #WesternWordoftheWeek

Howdy!

Welcome to our Weekly Western Word of the Day...

Rancho - another name for a ranch or a farm but one that focuses on animal or livestock raising more so than crops

Also called "spread", "layout", "outfit", "hacienda" (which is usually thought of as a Spanish plantation or landed estate)

Later it came to be thought of as a fenced range (as opposed to open range)

Source:
Cowboy Lingo by Ramon F. Adams; ISBN#0-618-08349-9

Western Travel - Heritage Farmstead Museum (Part Four) - Plano, Texas - #TravelTuesday

Welcome to my weekly column #TravelTuesday featuring places I've discovered during my research trips or just wandering around in historical areas. I hope you enjoy my discoveries.

Last week we went inside the Farrell-Wilson house and saw part of the formal parlor. Today we'll explore more of this room.

The fireplace was a focal point of the room (same as it is today) and would have provided the main source of heat during the winter months. Notice the ornately carved mantel. It wasn't clear whether the stone surround, which is in excellent condition, was original or if it had been replaced.


To the left of the fireplace, two mannequins model gunny sack dresses. It was common in this period for goods (like potatoes, flour, sugar, etc) to be purchased in large sacks. Originally the sacks were made of natural fibers and plainly colored. As people wanted to reuse the bags, they became more colorful. All the dresses featured in this house are made of gunny sacks. Embellishments, such as lace or ribbon, were added to the collars, cuffs or hems.


On the lace-covered table is a small jigsaw puzzle. Interestingly, jigsaw puzzles were invented in 1767 by engraver and mapmaker, John Spilsbury. They became popular with the upper classes in early 1900's America. In the 1930's Depression Era, drug stores and libraries rented out puzzles for the masses to enjoy. This was about the time that die-cut cardboard puzzles were mass produced (reducing the prices and making them available to the middle classes).
Sample Puzzle Box

Looking back to the right of the fireplace, a small serving cart stood upon which was a platter of sandwiches, deviled eggs, and servings of juice. A fancy Victorian chair with a beautifully embroidered seat cushion sat beside it. Carved into the top of the chair are groups of grapes and leaves. This photo also avails us a good view of the intricately woven floor rug.


Contrast this soft, delicate chair to the heavy, uncomfortable-looking, dark leather rocking chair sitting nearby.


One more interesting piece in this room is the framed artwork made of human hair woven with floral-shaped ribbons.


That's all for today. Next week we'll take a peek inside the Informal Parlor next door.

The History of Jigsaw Puzzles - www.puzzlewarehouse.com/history-of-puzzles/

Learn more by checking out the official site - www.heritagefarmstead.org/

Heritage Farmstead Museum Physical Address: 1900 West 15th Street, Plano, Texas 75075 Phone Number: 972-881-0140 Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10am-4:30pm. Closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission: $3.00 per person (ages 3 and up) + $4 for tour of house

Photo Credit of Puzzle Box - http://i.ebayimg.com/images/i/360476776389-0-1/s-l1000.jpg