Oregon Trail Story

Home at Trail’s End Cropped

Who can resist a good covered wagon or Oregon Trail story? And Melody Carlson is one of my favorite authors. So when Melody’s third book in her Homeward on the Oregon Trail released, I asked her to write a post about what inspired her to write stories about the Oregon Trail. She said yes! AND she’s giving away a copy of A Home at Trail’s End.

Melody CarlsonFrom Melody Carlson . . .

My interest in writing a historical series about the Oregon Trail was born out of plain old curiosity. Because my ancestors migrated to Oregon in the 1850’s, and because my grandparents were a major influence in my childhood, I grew up hearing fragmented tales of past pioneers. I knew where my relatives ‘hailed’ from and where they settled, but not much about the journey in between. So I recently set out to research the challenges of traveling the Oregon Trail and immediately got hooked. I quickly discovered this was a lot bigger than just a history lesson—I began to suspect these stories had relevancy today.

Melody in her modern day covered wagon

Melody in her modern day covered wagon

As I considered our country’s recent changing economy, I began to see how many of us could use some of that old pioneering spirit to help us navigate through our contemporary lives. I was personally challenged by the way my courageous ancestors “downsized” by selling off their farms and homes. And how they carefully loaded their wagons with enough food and tools and provisions to make this arduous and nearly impossible journey. And how they survived extreme conditions, disease and many unimaginable perils to arrive in an undeveloped wilderness. And then, once they settled, how they really had to roll up their sleeves and dig in to create new homes in the hopes of eventually improving their quality of life. I found it rather inspiring.

Home at Trail's End, A 1A Home at Trail’s End is the third and final installment in this historical series. It’s the story of how widowed Elizabeth Martin and her family get settled along the southern Oregon coast. It’s a time of building and planting, weddings and funerals…as friends and neighbors learn to get along in the new life they’re all building together.

Homeward on the Oregon Trail (Harvest House Publishers)

Setting: The Oregon Trail from Kentucky to Oregon

Time Period: 1850’s

1)  Westward Hearts

2)  A Dream for Tomorrow

3)  A Home at Trail’s End

For more information about Melody and this series check out her website at

Congratulations to Deborah Wilson, who won the signed copy of A Home at Trail’s End.

What spurred your interest in reading wagon train and prairie stories?

63 responses to “Oregon Trail Story”

  1. angela chesnut says:

    Sounds like a good book. I would love to win. Thank You for the chance.

  2. Susan French? says:

    Growing up we watched a lot of western series on TV. My dad loved Gunsmoke while my mom loved Roy Rogers & Dale Evans. Just the thought of living out of a wagon for months for end always made for a good afternoon of fun as my brothers loved to take on the role of the bad guys or Indians attacking our wagon train. Using our little red wagon provided hours of fun,but you never wanted to get the job of the horse and have to pull your older sister around the yard.

  3. amyc says:

    Lovely post with Melody. I would love to have this book. Thank you!
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

  4. Carol Scott says:

    I grew up listening stories about the Oregon Trail as well. I would love to read this book.

  5. chris granville says:

    would love to win this book
    2 sets of great grandparents came over the Oregon Trail, and I live in S. Oregon
    God bless you
    Chris Granville

  6. I never enjoyed history in the classroom, but later found that I loved reading historical fiction. It is fascinating to read of those early pioneers who left what they had always known and set out on a journey of hope and faith.

    Melody’s series sounds wonderful and I thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of A Home at Trail’s End!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

    • Mona Hodgson says:

      Hi Britney! Me too. Yawned a lot and doodled in history class in high school. But tell me a peopled story set in a historical time and place…and you’ve captured my attention. Glad you enjoyed the post. Blessings!

  7. Donna says:

    I love adventures and also reading about them. I have never been to Oregon but reading about it would almost feel like I am there and maybe some day I will be able to see that great state. I have been reading since I was a teenager and that was many years ago. I wish I had kept track of all the books I have read, it would fill a few libraries I am sure.

    • Mona Hodgson says:

      Thanks for joining us here, Donna. I’m with you–reading takes us on adventures to places we’ve never been. And it sounds like you’ve been on many literary adventures with all the books you’ve read. Blessings to you!

  8. Shirley Blanchard says:

    i would love to win this book thanks, i love theses stories keep them coming

  9. Shirley Blanchard says:

    ps for got
    Shirley B

  10. Barbara Thompson says:

    I’ve read the first books and they were great. Melody is a fantastic author. Would love to win this book. Thank you for the chance to win this giveaway and please enter my name.

  11. Amanda M says:

    I’ve always enjoyed history. And as someone who was homeschooled until college, I’ve always had a book in my hand from the time I could read. Western related stuff was a plus. 🙂

    Can’t wait to read THIS book!


  12. Teddy Coltharp says:

    Really enjoyed past books & love GOOD historical fiction !

  13. Nancy says:

    I love your writing. Pick me to win!!!!

  14. Hi Mona this book sounds wonderful.

  15. Hello,
    Your books let me know about a period of time, I never lived in!
    I can enjoy & day dream about an era, that was very simple & peaceful!
    Thank-You For Your Wonderful Books!

  16. Nat says:

    ahhh what a wonderful way to snuggle down and relax on a snowy eve!

  17. OH this sounds so good. I was raised on little house on the prairie and love that era !
    Linda Finn

  18. Emma says:

    watched a lot of western series on TV. A Home at Trail’s End sounds wonderful.Please enter me in contest.Thank you for the opportunity to win .

  19. Loved watching Little House of the Prairie as a kid, and now as an adult, I love prairie/pioneer novels!

  20. Cheryl Baranski says:

    A Home at Trail’s End sounds like such a wonderful book by Melody Carlson! Would so love to win it to read!

  21. Sarah says:

    I haven’t read yet any thing for the author however I saw her book on facebook. I would like to read a book by her.

  22. Mona Hodgson says:

    Don’t forget to include your email address with your post!

  23. Nicole Laverdure says:

    I love historical story set in the US, because I’m Canadian and I love reading!

  24. Bonnie Traher says:

    Looks like a wonderful story.

  25. Linda Smith says:

    I have enjoyed reading historical fiction about the pioneer women for many years now. It really encourages me as I read about so many hardships that they overcame. I will look forward to reading this series by Melody.

  26. I love books on the Oregon trail. Yours are always good.

    • Mona Hodgson says:

      Hi Virginia! Melody and I appreciate your interest in our books. And it’s fun that I can recommend her Oregon Trial series to my readers who enjoyed Prairie Song. Blessings!

  27. Julie Lyons says:

    I have enjoyed the books that you have written. The books you wrote that took place in Cripple Creek, Colorado were so good.

    I guess I enjoy reading books about wagon trains and the people on the prairie because It is fun to imagine what it would have been like for the people in those days.

    I would love to read your new book. I know I would love it.

    • Mona Hodgson says:

      Good to see you here, Julie. So glad you enjoyed the Sinclair Sisters stories. I’m excited for you to meet the Saint Charles Quilting Circle in The Quilted Heart. In the meantime, I know you’d enjoy Melody Carlson’s Oregon Trail series. Blessings!

  28. Stories about the Oregon Trail and the travels West. Would love to win this book by Melody Carlson. I would want to stop and go through the dishes set to the side of the trail left to lighten the load of previous wagons! I also liked the Little House books and their adventures. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

  29. Claudia Thompson says:

    Just love history and reading what happened or may have happened, additionally I live on the east coast near Williamsburg and the Outer Banks history . So interesting to read about the side of the country.

  30. Karen G says:

    I love reading books like this. Especially the ones traveling on the trail. Makes me wonder if I could have been strong enough to travel by wagon or foot to a new home so far away and many, many days to get there.

  31. Shirley Blanchard says:

    awe you know this is my kind of book, i sure would love to win, thanks for a chance
    Shirley B

  32. Mona Hodgson says:

    Congratulations to Deborah Wilson, who won the signed copy A Home at Trail’s End by Melody Carlson!

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