Friday, June 8, 2012

Awesome Diorama of the National Road


Yesterday in Norwich, Ohio (about 7 miles east of Zanesville) I visited the National Road/ Zane Gray Museum. The National Road exhibit had an awesome diorama that stretched around a large room. I couldn't resist using my cheap point and shoot camera to make a video to document it.

In the center of the room, they had parked a Conestoga wagon. These massive vehicles were the semi-trucks of their era, and nearly every manufactured or imported good in early 19th century Columbus came over the mountains from Philadelphia in one of these:
Conestoga wagon dating to 1800. Specialized for mountain travel, Conestogas were never used much in the Great Plains further west.

Wagons normally traveled in trains like this. By the 1830s many elegant stone bridges like this one had been constructed. Some of them were built in an odd S shape, for which no one has a ready explanation.

The mule or horse teams were fed using the long trough that stowed on the back of the wagon.