October 12th, 2023 – February 2025

The covered wagon is one of the most well known images of the American West. Settlement of the frontier started as a trickle of hardy individuals, and then turned into a flood. Pioneer accounts from the 1850s recall hundreds of wagons stretched in a line across the Great Plains like a river.

The journey was dangerous. Settlers left behind many treasured belongings and beloved family members along the way, but arriving in Texas was only the first challenge.

Legal claims, Native American politics, house building and the natural environment all had to be navigated before the pioneers could consider themselves truly home.  

Explore the hardships of the natural environment, Native politics, the land grant system and daily chores in our new exhibit, which will convince you that getting to Texas was the easy part!