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.
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.
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.
A 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 www.melodycarlson.com
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?