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Historical Tidbit Thursdays - The Oregon Trail - The Cost of Items - #TidbitThursday

Howdy!

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

This week I wanted to share some of the estimated prices travelers faced during their journey with this ingenious book I found at the library, told through the eyes of a fictitious family's clever son.

They sell their house for $1850 in preparation for their journey.



They purchase stagecoach tickets from Springfield, MO to St. Louis MO at $8 per person. This is a distance of around 100 miles. The average speed of a coach was 5 miles per hour or 60 miles per day. So this journey took at least 2 days.



Once in St. Louis, they purchased steamboat passage from St. Louis, MO to St. Joseph, MO (more commonly known as St. Joe) at a cost of $12 per person and $12 freight. St Joseph would be their "jumping off" or starting point to Oregon. Here they would buy their wagon and all their supplies for the long journey.

Items they would purchase:
  • Guidebook ($0.30). We can assume the train's Captain would purchase this to guide the rest of the travelers.
  • Wagon ($150)
  • 4 Yoke Oxen ($280)
  • 2 Milk Cows ($80)
  • 1 Donkey ($50)
  • 3 Rifles ($60)
  • 30 lbs of Lead ($1.50) (to make bullets)
  • 25 lbs of Gun Powder ($5.50)
  • 1000 lbs of Flour ($150)
  • 450 lbs of Bacon ($60)
  • 25 lbs Coffee ($12.50)
  • 5 lbs Tea ($2.75)
  • 125 lbs Sugar ($67.50)
  • 1 barrel/20 lbs Pickles ($10)
  • 50 lbs of Salt and Pepper ($3)
  • 50lbs Dried fruit ($3)
  • 50 lbs Lard ($2.50)
  • 10 lbs Saleratus (Cooking Powder)($1)
  • Cooking Utensils ($4)
  • Tent ($5.00)
  • Bedding ($22.50)
  • Matches ($1.00)
  • Candles and Soap ($7.00)

Total $978.75 and about 2175 lbs.

Source:
How to Get Rich on the Oregon Trail by Tod Olson; ISBN#978-1-4263-0413-2


Photo Credits: Stage Coach By Captain-tucker - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10640949
Photo Credits: Steamboat By Unknown - This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3d02054.This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3662610

Western Word of the Week - Crowding-Pen - #WesternWordoftheWeek

Howdy!

Welcome to our Weekly Western Word of the Day...or, as I affectionately call it, Western Wednesdays!

Crowding-Pen - the small corral (circular pen) where animals were gathered for branding

Also called "branding corral"

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

Western Travel - Heritage Farmstead Museum (Part Nine) - 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 stopped in the upstairs office of the Farrell-Wilson House. Today we're visiting the boy's bedroom.


The large corner fireplace basically splits this staged room into two halves. The larger bed, furniture and toys are on the left while the smaller bed sits along the wall to the right next to the doorway.


Here's a close-up of the larger bed (with different quilt on top than the staged photograph above). The colors and patterns used throughout this room seem so much darker and more masculine. Note the striped wallpaper with its dark hues of blue and gold. If you look closely you will see a leather baseball glove and ball near the end of the bed. Keep moving to the right and you'll find a small child's desk with a kerosene lantern. A boy mannequin wears typical clothes for the period. A child's wooden game sits on the rug beside the mannequin.


Turning back to the left wall we find the older boy's toys including a massive Paper Wasp's nest (can you imagine how the mother would react to that treasure?), a bird's nest, a slingshot, a spy glass, and some binoculars.


If we turn back to the toys on the braided rug we'll find a pair of Speed King metal skates, Lincoln Logs building pieces, Ring the Pin game, materials to make a paper kite, and some toy soliders.

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

boy's 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 Staged Boy's Bedroom - https://www.heritagefarmstead.org

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

Howdy!

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

 

By 7am, the wagon train started moving. Each day they travelled about 15 miles (which doesn't seem like a lot considering their entire journey was 2000 miles.

The train would follow the same paths taken by previous travelers and they would confirm their distance and position by landmarks along the way. Popular landmarks (even today) include Courthouse and Jail Rock (second picture above) and Chimney Rock (first picture above), both in Nebraska.

At about the 600 mile mark (at 15 miles per day would be about 40 days) they would reach the trading post Fort Laramie (in modern-day Wyoming). Here they could refill their supplies, rest their oxen and families.

The next big stop was South Pass where they would cross the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains. Interestingly, this is an area where water on the western side flows down to the Pacific Ocean and water on the eastern side flows down in the direction of the Atlantic.

1 in 10 travelers did not complete the journey. Deadly diseases (like cholera), injuries or accidents plagued them. One sad example of family tragedy in the book was the Sager family. Farmer Henry Sager, his wife Naomi and their 7 children (the baby, Henrietta, having been born on the journey) headed to Oregon for better farm land. Along the way, their daughter Catherine (9 years old) jumped out of a moving wagon. Her dress was caught and she was thrown under a wagon wheel which crushed one of her legs. The doctor was able to set it right away but she was confined to the wagon the rest of the journey. Her father became ill and died around Laramie, Wyoming. Naomi caught "camp fever", a form of typhus which resulted in high fever, chills, rashes and confusion. She also died. The orphans were cared for by some of the train members and the doctor. Captain Shaw, in charge of the wagon train, helped make arrangements for the orphans with Dr. Whitman at the mission.

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


Photo Credits: https://www.visitnebraska.com
Read more about the Sager family here: http://oregonpioneers.com/The%20Sager%20Family.htm

Western Word of the Week - Cook-Shack - #WesternWordoftheWeek

Howdy!

Welcome to our Weekly Western Word of the Day...or, as I affectionately call it, Western Wednesdays!

Cook-Shack - a separate building or house for eating or cooking

Also called "mess-house", "grub-house", or "feed-trough".

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

Western Travel - Heritage Farmstead Museum (Part Eight) - 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 completed our wanderings of the floor hallway. Today we're going to head upstairs...


Tucked in the back of the office just above the kitchen is a little room made into an office and man-cave. This photo was staged and some of the furniture shown here are no longer displayed in this room (at the time I visited anyway).


As we enter the office, the first thing we find is a tall wooden file cabinet that is partially blocking the steep, narrow backstairs to the kitchen below.


The stair rail currently displays a set of leather saddles.


The last saddle is actually a lady's side saddle (see how the pummel sits askew). A built-in storage cabinet utilizes the tiny corner space. An old book titled "Harris & Son" sits on the bottom of the small table while a strange cow horn and a fancy crystal glass drink set rest on the top. This photo offers a good view of the patterned wallpaper.


Turning slightly left from the saddles we come upon a small felt-topped gaming table set up with dominoes and two interesting chairs. Just behind there on the right we get a glimpse of a secretary desk and an old-fashioned typewriter.


Here's a better look at the secretary desk in the far right corner of the room. Above it hangs a rifle set upon small deer antlers. Beside it stands a coat rack with a carved walking cane and a felt hat. Take note of the interesting looking glass next to the display of old books.


On the very left of the room is the black coal-fed furnace which would heat this room (and most likely nearby rooms). Note the coal bucket beside it on the floor. The wooden writing desk has seen better days but I like the row of ink bottles sitting on the top.

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 Stage Office - https://www.heritagefarmstead.org

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