poTATEos' Red River Carts

I'll Get Ya There, The Old Fashioned Way


  • Buoyant; Can Stay Afloat
  • Can Carry Up To 1,000 Pounds
  • Parts Can Be Repaired Easily
  • Made Entirely Of Wood And Animal Hide
  • Only cost $209.99
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  • Parts Break Easily
  • Axles Can Break Up To 6 Times In One Trip
  • Axles Cannot Be Greased; Can And Will Make A Very Annoying Sound


  • These carts were used in the 19th century for the fur trade.
  • It was also used in the Westward Expansion to move west.
  • Were made from wood and animal hides because nails were very hard to come by in the West.
  • Was made with 2 12-foot long shafts. A draft animal would stand between them and pull.
  • The cart's started out only being able to carry 450 pounds, after about a year of tinkering, they could carry double that weight.
  • Use to use horses as the draft animals, that changed in the 1820s when oxen where used to carry larger loads.
  • There were many myths about the carts like that the wheels were wrapped in raw animal hide to keep them from falling off.
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Who Invented It?

  • It wasn't invented by a single person. It was invented by the Metis and Anglo-Metis people, and is still used today to show Metis Nationalism.

Impact and Importance to North Dakota?

  • Allowed fur traders to carry more hides for trading.
  • Allowed Native Americans to carry up to half a ton of buffalo hide at a time.
  • Help us understand the culture of the Metis people.
Life of a Metis Trapper - Part V: The Red River Cart