Conestoga or Covered Wagon?

Oregon Trail Covered Wagon

Contrary to what many believe, the emigrants traveling to Oregon and California did not use Conestoga wagons. Conestoga wagons weighed 1-1/2 tons when they were completely empty making them much too big and heavy for the trails. They would have gotten bogged down in the mud, and their weight would have been too much for the poor animals pulling the wagon to handle.

Most emigrants used converted farm wagons fitted with canvas covers. These wagons became known as covered wagons or prairie schooners.

Think of it this way: Conestoga wagons were the big moving vans of the day, while covered wagons were the U-Haul trucks.

Why were covered wagons called “prairie schooners”? Ollie Ox will explain that and so much more to you as you and he travel together across the Oregon Trail.