1885 Bull Train between Sturgis and Deadwood
the museum, these two photos of Bull Trains caught Vern's eye so he took
a photo of them as they appeared in a glass case. Remembering that
Jane worked on such a train.
Gold Rush Supplies freighted in Rapid
City, Sturgis and Deadwood.
Bull Trains consisted of 6 to 8 oxen hitched to three wagons, called the
lead, swing, and trail wagons. The lead wagon would carry about 60 percent
of the load, the swing wagon about 25 percent, and the trail wagon about
15 percent. In all about 15 tons of freight could be carried by a bull
team. The bulls, or oxen, were broken in as four-year-old steers, used
for about four years and then sold for beef. Bull train transportation
however was only possible for about eight months of the year while pastures
were available. It is not surprising then that bull trains would later
be replaced by more efficient methods of transportation.
of A Prairie Community"