Ride the Red River Cart

Quick, low cost, and efficient

The History of the Red River Cart

Invented in 1801, the red river cart was first sighted near Fort Pembina. Originally, they were just small horse-drawn carriages with three foot wheels, but they were still able to carry about 450 pounds of cargo. Later the wheels would evolve to the much larger, four spoked wheels, some of which even had green rawhide wrapped around the outside of the wheel to act like a tire. They are made entirely of wood, not a single bit of metal is used. The spokes are long so they can safely pass through potholes and mud holes. Some of the carts were said to have wet rawhide stretched around the circumference of the wheel to form a tire.

The Advantages Of Using Our Carts

When you buy one of our carts, you can be sure that you will be riding in a safe, strong, and reliable cart. The Red River Cart is capable of transporting about a thousand pounds of cargo. The spokes are long so they can safely pass through potholes and mud holes. When traveling in cart trains, each driver was able to easily able to control five or six carts by having a rope that attached each of the oxen to form a chain. The Red River Cart was an efficient way of transporting goods.

Disadvantages of Using Our Carts

The are many good reasons to buy one of our carts, however there are a few disadvantages. One of these disadvantages is that because the axles were wood, they were broken easily. On a trip from Winnipeg to St. Paul Minnesota, one axle would last about 93 miles, so you would use about 5 axles on that 465 mile trip. Another disadvantage was that the cart wasn't operational in the winter. The ox cart moved slowly in all types of weather. The average trip from Fort Pembina to St. Paul was about a 40 day trip.

The Inventors

The Red River Carts were invented in the summer to fall of 1801. The wooden carts were invented by some of Alexander Henry's (a fur trader up by Fort Pembina) employees who had fashioned some carts to match the iron version of the carts that were common in their hometowns.

The Impact in North Dakota

The Red River Cart had a huge impact on North Dakota. It was the major transporter for the people in North Dakota before the railroad and the wagons. Because it was so easy to find parts to repair it, it was the go-to use of transportation for trappers and people who needed to get from point A to point B.

Importance to Settling the West

Settling in the West was important for farmers and ranchers because it gave them the opportunity to acquire land west of the Mississippi River. It was a good way to get away from everyone in the East and start a new life. It also gave former slaves an opportunity to become independent and to begin a new life.

Our Efficient Times!

We are open every day of the week 6AM to 5:30PM


Monday 6PM-5:30PM

Tuesday 6AM-5:30PM

Wednesday 6PM-5:30PM

Thursday 6PM-5:30PM

Friday 6PM-5:30PM

Saturday 6PM-5:30PM

Sunday 6PM-5:30PM

How to Contact Me

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Red River Carts