Red River Carts

by

Connie Pede

 

An important event happened in 1801 that many people werevery pround of. This was the ox cart. This was something that the peopleof Pembina treasured.

Originally, the ox carts were made of wood, all of it,which the men used to haul buffalo meat and hides. The men hunted a longtime to get their food. Most of their food was found on the prairies ofNorth Dakota and Manitoba. In this country, they had "Pembina Buggies"which gave these people their way of transportation. Then later, they wentout of fashion and then they had the steamboat.

In 1776, men were still using carts of the North West Company. In this year, the Declaration of Independence was signed. The truth aboutusing carts was first told by Alexander Henry, the Younger, fur trader forthe North West Company.

This cart of 1776 was thought to be the best vehicle, theRed River Cart. Everybody thought that this cart was made by hand by menof the Hudson Bay Company.

In 1808, Alexander Henry, on his own, sent six carts drawnby only two horses. Each cart has 40 kegs of sugar equal to nine piecesfor each cart. And these same carts were used to bring many loads of greasefrom the Red River posts.

These carts were built for prairie travel and the widerims on the wheels made these carts to ride better on flat and marshy ground. After most of the carts were made, they were of only one pattern, justlike they were all machine made.

The cart was a two-wheeled vehicle that was made only ofwood. They used materials that were at hand, so they would not have togo far away for the tools and materials. This was very handy for them whenthey had to make repairs while on the trail.

The only tools that were needed to build a Red River Cartwas an axe, saw, screw auger, and a draw knife. Most of the men say thatthe carts which were mostly made of oak, were also from elm, too. The rimson the wheels were made from white ash or oak, because they had no springin the wheels. Men even say the axle was made of poplar log, and stillother men say that they were made of oak.

If it weren't for the Red River Carts in the 1800's, therewouldn't have been any transportation for all these people. And the steamboatwas also a big help to them, also. So this was really a good invention.

 

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