When visiting the Fort Walsh National Historic Site in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park in Saskatchewan, Canada, one can trace the history of the North West Company fur trading. One of the displays is this Red River Cart with its massive spoked wheels which were the latest ones used to carry twice the load.
The cart first appeared in 1801 with three-foot solid wheels with four spokes, eventually changing to the many spoked wheels. Some of the tires were made of shaganappi (rawhide) making it easier to travel longer distances and tote larger loads.
The wheels were broad so they did not cut into the prairie sod and the spokes were longer to get through shallow rivers or streams and mud holes. The Red River carts would travel in a single line unless the threat of Indians were near, then they would travel side by side.... continue below the picture...
The Fort Walsh National Historic Site in Saskatchewan, allows visitors to see what type of transportation was used around the Red River settlement.
Spoked wheels of a Red River cart with tires made of shaganappi (rawhide) on display at Fort Walsh National Historic Site, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, Saskatchewan, Canada.