Wednesday, April 24, 2013

California Coaches & Wagons

I recently had the honor and privilege of speaking to a great group of folks in Santa Ynez, California.  My presentations were part of a western vehicle symposium hosted by one of the premier wagon and stage coach museums in the country – the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum,

During the event, I was able to share a great deal of original imagery and information from our Wheels That Won The West® archives focusing on the early wagon industry, including specific design and identification elements as well as rare discoveries and other investigative details.  Another of my presentations focused on the huge, tall-sided western freighters that helped build so much of the western frontier. 
Other speakers included Allan Peterson of Wells Fargo Historical Services, Doug Hansen of Hansen Wheel and Wagon Shop, Ken Wheeling – associate editor of The Carriage Journal, Bobby Tanner covering the legendary 20 Mule Team and Borax wagons, Champion Para-Equestrian driver, Diane Kastama, and Graham Goodfield of Los Padres Outfitters demonstrating camp cooking techniques.  Below is a snapshot of the speakers.
Attendees of the 4-day conference came from as far away as Canada and the east coast of the U.S.  While the bulk of the program took place at the museum, the first day included a tour of the Santa Barbara Carriage Museum along with a trip over the legendary stagecoach road and stage stop at San Marcos Pass.  Wells Fargo and other participants punctuated the final day of the “Spirit of the West” event with vehicle rides and public demonstrations at a nearby ranch.  Surrounded by rare, horse-drawn vehicles dating to periods as early as the 1860’s, the event garnered attention from regional and national media as well as the motion picture industry.
Congratulations to the great folks at the Santa Ynez Historical Museum for an outstanding event, rich with information, entertainment, camaraderie and opportunities to better understand America’s first and largest transportation industry. 

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