PROBLEMS ON THE OREGON TRAIL
It wasn't easy crossing rivers in the 1840s. Large flat boats called scows would carry the wagons across the rivers. The people would put wood by the wagon and on the scows so the wagon couldn't ride off the front or back. When pioneers came into the Indians territory, some Indians would let them across with rafts ferries . Most of the time there would be a few adults and children steering the wagon across the river. They tried to steer with the big poles that go across the wagon.
When it rained it caused mud. They fixed it by making the kids go get long grass. They put the grass in front of the wheel where the mud was. The ox, cow, or horse would pull with the people helping push the wagon.
Sand was a problem on the Oregon Trail. When it got dry the sand got into the drivers eyes, the driver sometimes stopped. Some drivers would keep on going and hope they would stay on the trail.
Men and woman of any age could get sick on the Oregon Trail. We will tell you two of the many diseases. These two diseases are cholera and Malaria. Most people who got these diseases would die. They put crosses by the side of the trail when someone died.
Food was a problem because it would spoil because they didn't have a refrigerator. If they did have a refrigerator it would made the whole trip a lot easier. But they didn't have one, so it wasn't easy. When they ate something like buffalo or salmon and didn't eat it all, they had to have it dry, like beef jerky. The Indians taught them this trick when they were on The Oregon Trail. The other problem was that there was not a lot of food on The Oregon Trail, so it was hard to find food on the trail.
Indians could be a problem because when the pioneers came, the pioneers took their land and did bad things to the Indians. Since that happened the Indians became mad and hostile. When you came to an Indian tribe you wouldn't know if they were hostile or friendly.
Accidents were very dangerous because wagons were moving and animals were scurrying around. The Indians could be hostile. Sometimes they ran over a rock, and then the wagon would spill. Crossing rivers was a dangerous thing to do, they cock the wagon wheels and they go across the current. Sometimes the wagon flipped over and they lost everything and sometimes lives were also lost.
On the Trail
Oregon Trail Home Page
This page was made by Mrs. Hughitt's 4th grade Think Quest Team at Dry Hollow Elementary Under Constuction, last updated on 3/12/2000
email Linda Hughitt