Antique Wooden Wagon Wheels
The First Invention of the Wagon Wheel
When the wagon wheel was first invented the wheel was solid wood. Of course there was a hole in the center for the axle to fit, but the wheel was really heavy. It probably didn’t take very long before someone figured out that if the wood of the wheel was cut down to spooks this would make the wheel as light as possible, enabling the horses to pull it easier and be much more efficient.
Folks love to use wagon wheels as decorations in their yards and it seems to bring up the “Good Old Days” feeling whenever you see one.
This photo comes from a museum and is attached to a water wagon. You can imagine the wagon coming into camp with the water needed for drinking, cooking and cleaning. It might have been in some gold rush area where the men were digging for gold in the side of some mountain and had to go farther away to bring back water for the workers.
Most wagons have four wheels and a two-wheel vehicle was called a cart. Most of them were steel rimed to keep the wood from breaking apart so easily.
Horse Drawn Amish Buggy
We live in Amish country and see their buggies driving fairly often pass our home. Our friend Henry and his wife Elsie live with 2 or three kids and are just starting out in life. They bought a house about two miles up the road from us and Henry keeps the family horse at our close neighbors field.
On Sundays when they host the church service for their community we can see a couple dozen buggies rattling past out place. We wave but usually don’t see them wave back as they are sitting inside the buggy that has a barrier and you can’t see anything except for someone hands guiding the horse or horses.
When I walk past Henry’s place on these special Sundays the yard is just full of buggies and usually see many Amish folks outside and across the road they might have a volleyball game set up for the young people.
Besides his family buggy Henry has a small one person cart that he sometimes uses behind his horse and they can made really good time when he wants to go someplace fast.
A Funny Sight in Amish Country
One day I was taking a walk when our Amish neighbor Henry, drove pass on his tractor. He could drive it as long as the tires were medal so he liked to use it to get from his home to our close neighbors where he keeps his horse. It was close to two miles he would have needed to walk if he didn’t use the tractor.
This time as he went past I was greatly amused to see a small child’s red wagon attached to the back being pulled by this large tractor. He was pulling a red Radio Flyer wagon that was empty. Most likely he planned to use it to haul stuff when he got to his destination and this was the best way to get it there, but the sight of it was really funny.
Another time I was passing Henry’s place and noticed that they were having Church services at his home. The Amish usually hold church services in their homes and take turns. Most happen only twice a month or every other Sunday.
What was interesting is that below their home, (Henry has a wife and 6 kids), they had put up a valley ball net and the young people, both girls and boys, were enjoying a exciting game while visiting with each other.
Henry has a outhouse in their front yard and I noticed at least 8 to 10 ladies waiting their turn to use it. The men probably would be embarrassed to join the line and probably found some handy bushes instead.
When I was a child we had an outhouse part of the time. We had moved back to Oregon from Tennessee and bought my Dad’s Uncle Berts place. There was only a rustic cabin with no bathroom or any running water. We had to bath in the creek and use the outhouse. However my siblings and I thought this was really fun and enjoyed the primitive life.