In the late 1700s and early 1800s, the covered wagon could be seen on the dusty and muddy roads of Frederick County, Maryland. The covered wagon was a home on wheels that was pulled by a team of horses, mules, or oxen to take a family to a new home in America.
According to history.com, “The origins of the distinctive horse-drawn freight wagon known as the Conestoga wagon can be traced to the Conestoga River region of Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County in the mid- to late-18th century. Conestoga wagons, with their distinctive curved floors and canvas covers arched over wooden hoops, became a common sight over the next century, as they carried farm products to cities and other goods from cities to rural communities, particularly in Pennsylvania and the nearby states of Maryland, Ohio, and Virginia, but also elsewhere in the United States and in Canada.”
Joe Eyler of Thurmont has indicated that these early wagons have ties to the Thurmont area and the Eyler family of the Eyler Horse Auction.
On May 29, 30, and 31, 2015, a wagon train will travel from Thurmont to Harney, Maryland. By the time it reaches Harney, the wagon train is expected to contain twenty or more wagons and forty outriders (riders on horseback). Grab your cameras as it travels through covered bridges, fords the stream at Four Points Bridge, and sets up camp Saturday night at Eric Glass’ house on Tom’s Creek Road.
On this ride, the official Maryland State wagon, owned by James and Cynthia Sayler of Keysville, Maryland, will be traveling home to Harney. This wagon has traveled thousands of miles, as it has traveled from Texas. The wagon was found in a barn in Harney.
On Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m., a Cowboy Church Service will be held before the wagons leave for Harney. The wagons are anticipated to arrive at the Harney Fire Company grounds around 12:30 p.m. for lunch and then break up for home.
Entertainment will be held during the gathering of the wagons on Friday evening at Eyler Road in Thurmont. Marshmallows, hot dogs, and ham and bean soup, compliments of Jubilee Foods in Emmitsburg, will be available at check-in.
On Saturday, Jubilee will provide fried chicken for the wagon train and outriders. Entertainment will be provided by Ralph Gann and any person with a string instrument.
This is the very first ride of its kind in the area. History is being made in Thurmont and Frederick County. The Thurmont Heritage Group is proud to sponsor this event, and all monies made by a free offering from the wagon train will go towards scholarships for equine college students who apply.
Call Joe Eyler at 301-271-2023 for more information.