A Chuck Wagon Comes to Fourth Grade

Back to Article
Back to Article

A Chuck Wagon Comes to Fourth Grade

Brian Houl and Andrew Lim

On April 20th, 2018 the fourth graders went to the field where there was a replica chuck wagon. A chuck wagon is a field kitchen converted into a wagon that was introduced in 1866 in Texas after the American Civil War. They were used so people could travel across America to get to California during the Gold Rush and they were called overlanders. The fourth graders are learning about California history and the Gold Rush in their history books so it was only right that they got to see what the overlanders took to get to California. The California Gold Rush was from 1848 to 1855 and started when a worker at Sutter’s Mill found gold. News of the gold reached the East Coast of America and soon people were going to California in hopes to find gold. There were three main ways to get from the East Coast to California. The first was to sail there on a boat and go around South America through Cape Horn and land in California. The second was to sail to the Isthmus of Panama and go across the isthmus then get a boat on the other side and sail to California. The third was to go in a caravan of wagons with other people and track across America until they got to California.

We interviewed three fourth graders from Mrs. Garrett’s class who went out to the field to see the chuck wagon. We asked what a chuck wagon was and Jackson Muldoon said, “A chuck wagon is a wagon that overlanders used to go to the gold fields.” Sarahi said People used it to get from one place to another.” We also asked what the purpose of the chuck wagon was and Abby said, “To take overlanders to California they go to California for the Gold Rush before there were cars or roads.” Jackson Muldoon said, “It this wooden kind of model and there is kinda a tarp like blanket thing over it. There is metal on the wheels is because of the rocks so it doesn’t break and snap.” The last question we asked was if they were reading about chuck wagons in fourth grade before they saw it on the field and Abby said “Yes, we saw it in our history books.” The fourth graders seem to know a lot about the chuck wagon and its purpose.

The fourth graders who saw the chuck wagon learned a lot of extra history. The class has been reading about the history of California since the beginning of the year and now they got to see one example of what it would look like in the form of a chuck wagon. The chuck wagon is only one part of an important time in California’s history and it is very amazing that the fourth graders could see it in real life and learn at the same time.