Fun Facts About the Oregon Trail

The first man to die of a gun accident on the Oregon Trail was John Shotwell. Hard to believe but true.

Oxen eat almost anything. On occasion, spare clothes bounced out of a back of a covered wagon and were quickly eaten by an ox pulling the following wagon.

A few dozen people tried to travel the Oregon Trail pushing fully loaded wheel barrels rather than traveling in covered wagons. Did they make it? No one knows for sure.

The “Wind Wagon” was invented. Sails were attached to farm wagons with the idea of blowing people across the Oregon Trail. The wagons were a total failure. There was no way to control them, so they tipped over a lot and crashed. Not good!

Rufus Porter wanted to fly people to Oregon on propeller-driven balloons powered by steam engines. He actually got 200 people to sign up for the trip, but his balloons never got off the ground.