Oregon Trail: Last of the Pioneers

Steber, Rick
Bonanza Publishing 1993
Reviewed by: Michael Reiter

The book Oregon Trail:Last of the Pioneers is about true stories that young men and women tell what kind of experience traveling the Oregon Trail. Each story the person tell breifly describes the disadvantages were such as wooden wheels, indians stealing supplies, and having unhealthy oxes or horses. Each person talks about how supplies being brought was limited. Girls tell about their favorite doll and how it was the only toy they could bring. Young men also tell about their favorite toy or gun the brought and how father always took them hunting. The fathers in the book sometimes had to find housing so the horses could rest and for the kids to get better or had to head north to find work so the family could eat or make trades with other travelers. The trail was so rough that the families had wheels or axels broken or they lost something. Each story gives full detail about the mothers cooking and the fathers hunting and riding the horses. Much of these stories had some humor, for example George Kennedy talks about his father loading his gun to get a bear. He didn't kill it but the next day he saw a hen and shot it with a bear load which killed the hen but also left only its feet and legs.

George Kennedy pg.59 "God Blame!" he says, pullin' himself to a sittin' position, "forgot them was b'ar loads"
Charles Thompson pg.118 "Mom would henpeck the ol' man somethin' fierce, henpeck him to a point."
Albert Davis pg.158 "And there were cupboards, a table and some chairs and a bed in the back. We called it the cook van."

I enjoyed this book a ton. I would consider this book my personal favorite. At first, I didn't care about the Oregon Trail and what the purpose of it was. When my U.S. History class had to choose a book for a book report, I only chose this book because it was short. After reading a small portion, I got interested about the Oregon Trail to a point where I was reading so much and I hate to read. I also liked it because it told me about life in the past and how little they had of todays technology.

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