My friend Julie’s family comes from a ranching family in eastern Nevada and various antique items have made it into her home including a full-size sheep wagon that now sits comfortably in her backyard. The wagon was formerly used by her husband and father to camp in while they went hunting in the wilderness of the high mountain state. Julie would eventually like to turn the wagon into a place for people to stay and get a taste of the Wild West.
The wagon (which dates around the early 1900’s) has a metal roof that has been painted, the original wood and a full size bed in the back. It also contains the original wood stove and a small table that covers up a storage cabinet and lowers down in front of the bed. Many original sheep wagons did not have a sink, but Julie’s does. It’s covered with a wooden food prep board and the water drains out onto the ground. The sheep wagon shares the yard with an tin-roofed outhouse that she picked up for free.
Sheep wagons originated in Wyoming around the 1870’s with the development of the sheep industry. A sheepherder would follow his or her herd of sheep around the countryside and would use a sheep wagon for shelter from the harsh western weather. Sheep wagons are still used today by herders in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Nevada, but original sheep wagons are getting more difficult to find and maintain.