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Rollin’ at FARM

August 13, 2011

As part of the celebration of the 95th anniversary of the National Park Service, things are really rollin’ at the Farm And Ranch Museum today.

Today (Saturday, August 13), several modes of transport are moving at the museum as part of a “history of transportation” demonstration every hour on the hour – the next ones at noon, 1, 2 and 3. There are also National Park Service orientation films rolling at FARM this weekend and next weekend (Saturday and Sunday, 10 to 3).

First, the transportation explanation, since I have pictures.

The gist is, you can come and watch these forms of transportation in action (and maybe try pulling the handcart yourself!) and think about and ask questions about how they actually would have been used to get people and their stuff from point A to point B, whether on the Oregon Trail or on the farm or the gold mine. (I recommend wearing sturdy shoes rather than sandals. It’s a bit dusty out there.)

Horseback: you can transport a person, but not a lot of stuff.

The handcart – cheap, but hard work. (Hey – nice blacksmith shop in the background!)

The ox cart – those oxen are full of pep today, especially with an empty cart. The gals almost had to run to keep up.

The oxen are pretty cute. They were having mooing conversations with the FARM longhorns.

The longhorns trotted alongside the fence, checking out the action.

And finally, the mule wagon, which was in use and not uncommon in the valley up until about 50 years ago.

It seemed as though the mules were gossiping amongst themselves.

And now, for an explanation of the second part of the rollin’ education you can get at FARM. Superintendents of 10 National Park Service units relating to the concept of “westward expansion” sent copies of their introductory films out here. Basically, you can give a virtual visit to these 10 parks by watching their films (and decide whether you want to go visit the parks themselves). You can stop in and request to watch a particular film, if you like.

Here are the options:

  1. Golden Spike National Historic Site in Brigham City, UT
  2. Lewis and Clark National Historical Park in Astoria, OR
  3. Fort Davis National Historic Site in For Davis, TX
  4. Pipestone National Monument in Pipestone, MN (I’ve driven by this before and wanted to stop!)
  5. Homestead National Monument of America in Beatrice, NE
  6. Mesa Verde National Park in Mesa Verde, CO
  7. Big Hole National Battlefield in Wisdom, MT
  8. City of Rocks National Reserve in Almo, ID
  9. Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Crow Agency, MT
  10. Washita Battlefield National Historic Site in Cheyenne, OK

Go check out the transportation, then get an introduction to a few NPS sites you may not have heard of. Admission to FARM is only three bucks, or you can get an annual membership for $20.

I’m definitely going to check out some of those park orientation films!

UPDATE: Farm And Ranch Museum joined forces with the former North Platte Valley Museum to become Legacy of the Plains Museum at 2930 Old Oregon Trail in Gering. See the Legacy of the Plains Museum website for the most recent updates.

Copyright 2011 by Katie Bradshaw

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 13, 2011 1:06 pm

    Your thoughtful consideration of these facts is inspiring!

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