California Coaches & Wagons

Published by: David Sneed, Wheels That Won The West® Archives, LLC
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I recently had the honor and privilege of speakingto a great group of folks in Santa Ynez, California.  My presentations were part of a westernvehicle symposium hosted by one of the premier wagon and stage coach museums inthe country – the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum,
During the event, I was able to share a great dealof original imagery and information from our Wheels That Won The West® archivesfocusing on the early wagon industry, including specific design andidentification elements as well as rare discoveries and other investigative details.  Another of my presentations focused on thehuge, tall-sided western freighters that helped build so much of the westernfrontier.   
Other speakers included Allan Peterson of WellsFargo Historical Services, Doug Hansen of Hansen Wheel and Wagon Shop, KenWheeling – associate editor of The Carriage Journal, Bobby Tanner covering the legendary20 Mule Team and Borax wagons, Champion Para-Equestrian driver, Diane Kastama,and Graham Goodfield of Los Padres Outfitters demonstrating camp cookingtechniques.  Below is a snapshot of thespeakers.
Attendees of the 4-day conference came from as faraway as Canada and the east coast of the U.S. While the bulk of the program took place at the museum, the first dayincluded a tour of the Santa Barbara Carriage Museum along with a trip over thelegendary stagecoach road and stage stop at San Marcos Pass.  Wells Fargo and other participants punctuatedthe final day of the “Spirit of the West” event with vehicle rides and public demonstrationsat a nearby ranch.  Surrounded by rare,horse-drawn vehicles dating to periods as early as the 1860’s, the eventgarnered attention from regional and national media as well as the motionpicture industry.
Congratulations to the great folks at the Santa YnezHistorical Museum for an outstanding event, rich with information, entertainment, camaraderie andopportunities to better understand America’s first and largest transportationindustry. 

Traveling from the beaches to the desert andnumerous places in between, we covered a lot of ground in a short time on thewest coast.  As a result, we’ll besharing even more vehicle profiles from this trip in the weeks to come.
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