Newspaper Page Text
BiO-Lancastar Faming, Saturday, July 9, 1994 _
Bedford Co. Correspondent
Co.) Everyone looks forward to
summer vacation. That is espe
cially true for Travis and Ashleigh
Beal who are ages 10 and nine and
live in Zelinger, and Luke Smith
bower, 10, who lives in Loretto.
All three of these kids were a
part of the 1994 Appalachian Wa
gon Train, which traveled from
New Baltimore to Ligonier.
Travis and Luke rode on Appa
loosas while Ashleigh’s transpor
tation was a Shetland pony.
There were just three of the 130
children who participated in this
year’s wagon train parade.
Everyone has a lot of fun on the
parade and Travis, Ashleigh, and
Luke enjoy making new friends as
well as meeting up with the
friends they made last year.
This was the 25th year for the
wagon train to be held. Each year,
the horses, covered wagons, and a
few buggies travel 70 miles in
Twenty-five years ago, it began
in New Baltimore and ended in Li
gonicr. This year, it followed that
In addition to the fun, there is a
lot of work involved with the
train. Everyone has to help with
the chores and Luke says, “1 don’t
always like the food, but I’m
hungry enough to eat it anyway.”
Each night, the horses must be
washed down, especially if the
weather is hot, and brushed. And,
A scene from the wagon train evening entertainment. Truckloads of hay are every
where to provide food for the animals.
Kids Enjoy Traveling On W
of course, they must be fed. All
that walking makes them very
hungry. Each family carries its
own horse feed along on the ride.
Because this is a pioneer ride,
everyone must wear a Pioneer
type costume. Girls wear long
dresses and bonnets, the boys
wear fringes on their jeans, and
coonskin or wide brimmed hats.
In every way possible, the wa
gon train copies the life of the ori
ginal pioneers who traveled west
in covered wagons to make a new
life in a new land.
By imitating the lifestyle of the
pioneers, Travis, Ashleigh and
Luke leam how difficult it might
have been to have traveled on
horseback for months at a time.
On Monday, the train left New
Baltimore and traveled 14.3 miles.
Each day they traveled between
14.3 and 16 miles until their des
tination at Ligonier was reached.
In the evening, after thr ride is
over for the day, everyone enjoys
different kinds of entertainment.
On Sunday, there was a gospel
quartet that sang. Monday’s eve
ning fun was a contest for the ugli
est man. the nicest beard, the pret
tiest bonnet, the best young man’s
hat, and the best young lady’s
On Tuesday, everyone had a pig
roast dinner and a square dance.
Wednesday night there were
wagon train games and on Thurs
day, a big 25th anniversary cele
Friday night is talent night and
' s \
anyone can participate by singing,
dancing, or displaying some type
On Saturday, after a parade
through Ligonier there is marsh
mallow toasting around a camp
Each year, the wagon train
members carry a bag of mail pre
sented to them at the beginning by
the postmaster of that town.
It is to symbolize the mail that
was often carried west by the wa
gon trains. Since there was no
mail deliveries in the mid 1800 s,
friends and family who remained
in the east had to send letters to
their friends who had moved west
in any way possible.
When California was admitted
to the union in 1848, it looks six
weeks for the news to reach Cali
Then, in 1860, the first Pony
Express began. The very first Ex
press run was from St Joseph to
Sacramento and took 10 and '/>
days. President’s Lincoln’s in
augural address was delivered in a
record-breaking Pony Express
ride of seven days. 17 hours.
It was sometimes very lonely
and difficult for those who had tra
veled west by wagon train not to
be able to communicate with those
they had left behind.
This is just one of the history
lessons Travis, Ashleigh, and
Luke learned in their week-long
All three are looking forward to
next year’s trip.
Luke Smlthbower rides an Appaloosa In the Wagon
Travis Beal and his sister, Ashlelgh, rl<
Train with 130 children.