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Wagons and Carriages

What do these photos tell you about the different kinds of wagons city people used?

Bottled Water Wagon

This wagon delivered bottled water in Colorado Springs. The sign on the side of the wagon says Manitou Soda Water. The wording on the crates inside the wagon says Hiawatha Table Water from Pikes Peak Mineral Water Co.

Bottled Water Wagon

Photo: Denver Public Library, Western History Collection

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Until the 1920s, most delivery vehicles in Colorado cities were horse-drawn wagons like the one in this photo.

Their Own Words

"People usually carried home their purchases, but those buying for large families could not manage the great loads, so for them there was a delivery service by means of horse and wagon. The purchases were packed in a large wooden box which had to be unpacked in the kitchen, during which process the housewife might have a pleasant chat with the delivery boy."

Source: Quantrille McClung, Memoirs of My Childhood and Youth in North Denver (Denver: Colorado Genealogical Society, 1979): 41.

Furniture Delivery Wagon

This wagon is delivering furniture for the People's Furniture Company in Cripple Creek. Its load includes a table, a chair, and other items.

Furniture Delivery Wagon

Photo: Denver Public Library, Western History Collection

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Many stores owned their own delivery wagons, especially those that sold heavy items like furniture. Stores that did not have their own wagons hired "express wagons." These wagons-for-hire were parked at convenient locations called express stands. Anyone could hire an express wagon.

Their Own Words

"My work for [Mr. Thomas] was to drive a little dun horse they called Major, hitched to an express wagon, delivering goods to and from the store, and picking up express jobs on the street. So Major and I 'majored along' and made money for Mr. Thomas. I had a stand on upper Union Avenue [in Pueblo], near the Commercial Hotel and under a cottonwood tree. . ."                                              

"In a laundry around the hotel corner lived another fat-faced, good-natured Chinaman, who often gave me a job. Dressed in his native costume, with wooden shoes, a black pigtail hanging down his back, carrying a basket full of clothes on his shoulder, he would come down to my stand, place the basket carefully in my express wagon, then jump onto the seat beside me and wave his hand in the direction he wished me to go."   

Source: Lyman Sproul, Turning Back the Clock (St. Louis: Mound City Press, 1953): 84.

An 1870's Buggy

This photo shows a man riding a buggy. It was taken in Colorado Springs sometime during the 1870s.

An 1870's Buggy

Photo: Denver Public Library, Western History Collection

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City people who could afford to own and feed a horse used light buggies like this one for shopping and visiting.

A Barouche In Denver- 1910

The large carriage in this photo was called a barouche. The driver's seat in a barouche was separated from the passenger seats. This one had a convertible top.

A Barouche In Denver- 1910

Photo: Denver Public Library, Western History Collection

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A barouche with the top down was a good vehicle for riding in parades. This barouche was leading a parade through downtown Denver in 1910. The man waving his hat is Theodore Roosevelt, the former President of the United States.

A Stagecoach In Colorado Springs

The photo of this stagecoach was taken on Pikes Peak Avenue in Colorado Springs. The building in the background is the Antlers Hotel.

A Stagecoach In Colorado Springs

Photo: Denver Public Library, Western History Collection

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People often used stagecoaches to travel from one city to another. The coach in this photo took people from Colorado Springs on sight-seeing trips. At least eight people are seated on top of the carriage, with six or more people seated inside.

Their Own Words

"Prior to November 1871, the only way to get to Colorado Springs was by stage from Denver and the fare was 20 cents a mile and the walking not very good."

Source: Recollection of W.H. McIntyre, Colorado Springs Gazette, July 31, 1921, Dawson Scrapbooks, Vol. 34, Colorado Historical Society.