Prairie Schooners and Pioneers
The wave of pioneers who took their wagon trains across the plains from St Louis Missouri to Western Oregon was like no other mass migration in history. Here is the whole story in two sentences:

“I was 13 years old when we crossed the plains in 1847, so of course the incidents of that trip are very vivid in my memory. I can still see the plains with the shimmering heat waves, the dark masses of buffalo moving over the rolling hills toward the Platte, the campfires of buffalo chips and later of sagebrush, the dust cloud hanging over our long train of prairie schooners as the oxen, with swinging heads and lolling tongues, pressed into the yokes to move the wagons slowly westward to the land of our hearts’ desire.”*

Here Joaquin Miller explains what drew them there:
"..on the banks of the beautiful Willamette in those dear old days, when you might ride from sun to sun, belly deep in wildflowers, and never see a house."**
* Eliza McKean Hustler quoted by Fred Lockley in the Oregon Journal in 1921 and reprinted in Conversations With Pioneer Women published in 1981 by 1 horse press.

** Joaquin Miller True Bear Stories published 1949 Binfords & Mort Portland
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