Visit Oregon wouldn’t make much sense if it didn’t include one of the most renowned Oregon video games ever developed. In the 1970s and 1980s, many residents of Oregon were exposed to a television series called “The Oregon Trail” (1971 video game).
You can try out the demo version up above for free, and do so for as long as you choose. Remember to bookmark or share this with your loved ones as well.
History & Game Walk Through Of The Oregon Trail
Bill Heinemann, Don Rawitsch, and Paul Dillenberger created the classic 1971 computer game “The Oregon Trail” and it remains one of the most popular games of all time. In 1974, MECC released the product to the public.
The game was designed to teach elementary school students about life as an Oregon Trail pioneer in the late 1800s. During the Oregon Trail’s 1848 journey from Independence, Missouri, to the Willamette Valley in Oregon, you assume the role of a wagon captain and lead your chosen emigrants. Since then, the game has been released on a variety of platforms by several different developers and publishers.
Hunting is a critical component of the game. You can either buy ammunition at the beginning of the game or throughout it, as you play as a pixelated pioneer brandishing a gun. You can choose to go hunting at any time while you’re travelling. After that, you’ll be able to go out and hunt for more food, such as deer, elk, bears, bison, squirrels, and rabbits. The original version of the game had no graphics like the one shown above.
You were timed based on how quickly you could type in misspelled phrases that spelled out “WHAM,” “BANG,” or “POW.” Control a little man who can aim his weapon in eight different directions and shoot at the fast-moving creatures with a single shot in the updated version as seen above. In later versions of the game, you can use a mouse to manipulate crosshairs while hunting.
They are the hardest to hit, but they provide the most food in terms of kilojoules. Despite their speed and agility, Squirrels and Rabbits provide very little food. They are in the middle when it comes to the size, speed, and weight of food. Elk (western) and Deer (eastern) fall midway in between deer and bison when it comes to each of the three categories. You can only fire as many times as you have purchased or traded for in settlements in terms of rounds for your weapon.
You must keep this in mind when you first begin the game. In the early versions of the game, the wagon’s capacity was limited to 100 rounds of ammunition. As long as there were at least two living members, 200 pounds could be transported in the later variants. For most of the game, players will have to slaughter thousands of pounds of animals to transport back only 100 pounds of meat from each hunt.
This is an accurate depiction of what life was like in the untamed west. You’ll be able to hunt in a variety of settings in the game’s later iterations. For instance, if you were to go hunting in the winter, you’d come across snow-covered grass.
Snakebite, measles, dysentery, cholera, typhoid, and weariness are just a few of the many illnesses that can strike your team while you’re playing. For example, a simple broken limb or even drowning in a river can be fatal. Your oxen are also at risk of getting sick or dying on the road. A small funeral is held when a member of your group dies. You can write an epitaph for the deceased at the funeral and then proceed down the trail.
Survivors, items left in their possession, money on hand, and occupation are all taken into account when awarding points at the end of the path and game (banker, carpenter, farmer). If you play as a carpenter or a farmer, your score after the game is doubled or tripled.
The Oregon Trail Card Game
If you still haven’t had your fill of Oregon Trail excitement, you may play the new card game at home. With the new card game from the same creators, you and your family can now play together at home!
A video walkthrough of the game may be seen below. While it may sound awful, he truly enjoys it:
History Of The Real Oregon Trail
The consensus is that it’s long since gone and forgotten. Every time an entrepreneur takes a leap of faith and launches a new product, we can see a glimpse of this. It was the pioneer spirit that contributed to the creation of the United States as a single country. It was on the Oregon Trail that that spirit was on full show. Let’s retrace the steps of those tenacious pioneers who won the West for the United States.
What Is the Oregon Trail?
The Oregon Trail was a 2,100-mile-long wagon route in the early United States. The Oregon Trail’s eastern beginning point was at Independence, Missouri, and its final destination was the Willamette Valley in Oregon’s southwest. Some of these states were crossed by the Oregon Trail.
When Was It Used?
The formal Oregon Trail was primarily used between 1840 and 1870, but fur traders established their crude routes throughout the Pacific Northwest in the 1700s. First Transcontinental Railroad completed in 1869 made it practically obsolete. When settlers from the East arrived in the Pacific Northwest, they arrived in one week instead of six months, thanks to the train.
Reasons for Its Establishment
In the Pacific Northwest of the United States and Canada, the fur trade was a key economic driver. Beaver pelts were exchanged and sold to merchants throughout Europe in exchange for essential supplies and durable items.
To construct the Oregon Trail, the major driver was the fur trade, which was later employed for other commercial interests. The Hudson’s Bay Company bought the majority of the independent fur trapping and trade firms just as the Oregon Trail was getting started. Trade routes along the Oregon Trail were used by the British-sponsored agency, which had a monopoly on fur trading.
During the California Gold Rush, many people continued their journey south of Oregon. From Sacramento Valley gold nuggets discovered in 1848 to California gold mines discovered in 1855, they traveled the Oregon Trail.
Hazards of the Oregon Trail
Harsh Environment in Nature
Amateur journalists and official surveyors alike did an excellent job of documenting the Oregon Trail’s route. For every mile of the route, there were 10 graves, according to the data. Some people died as a result of the hazardous conditions they were forced to endure. Members of wagon trains helped each other out and had a good supply of food. Wagons and livestock were still needed to go on land and by water. A large number of people ended up in the water while trying to cross rivers.
Many people believed that the Northwest of the United States was free of pollution and unspoiled. Diseases from the East, on the other hand, spread through unsanitary behaviors brought by the newcomers. The Oregon Trail was not without its share of water problems for early inhabitants. The diseases of cholera, smallpox and dysentery claimed the lives of a large number of people before they even reached Oregon. Thousands of Oregon Trail travelers perished during the 1849 cholera epidemic in Nebraska and Kansas.
In contrast to early American settlers, some Native American tribes already considered the Pacific Northwest to be their home. Conflict erupted when settlers encroached on hunting grounds and brought new diseases to the area. The Blackfoot, Oglala, and Santee tribes within the Sioux Nation were wary of settlers. The Arapaho and Cheyenne, on the other hand, welcomed the newcomers and served as their guides and trading partners.
Aside from conflicts with local Native American populations, early immigrants had to contend with a conflict between the United States government and Great Britain. A conflict between the United States and the British meant that the United States could not expand its territory in North and West America. Although Britain briefly seized control of the capital city, the United States was able to defend itself against the British and their hired Canadian and Native American gunmen. After the Treaty of Ghent was signed in 1815, colonization of the Pacific Northwest began intermittently.
Oregon Trail Memoirs
Farmers and explorers
John Fremont was a government-funded explorer who completed the mapping of the region. In 1843, he joined a wagon train heading to Oregon. On the expedition with the wagon train, Fremont witnessed the beginnings of a civilized Pacific Northwest. It was a vivid picture of the campfires ablaze and the women preparing excellent meals. Children played in the grass as cattle grazed nearby. Afterward, he remarked on how eerily familiar the wilderness valley felt after taking in the sights there.
During the 1850s, farmers in the Pacific Northwest became the new fur traders. Men’s fashion in Europe had caused a significant slowdown in the fur trade. In the face of severe droughts in the Midwest, farmers such as J.T. Kern set out on the Oregon Trail in search of rich land in and around the Bear River Valley. A landscape with fertile valleys, fish-filled streams, and mountains abounding in timber was described by him in his journal in 1852.
J.T. Kearns and Enoch Conyers were on the Oregon Trail at the same time. The Bear River Valley’s wealth of grazing land impressed Conyers, who was also a farmer.
Women of the Forefront
Traders in the fur industry have long sought adventure and riches in the Pacific Northwest. In the early 1800s, the average daily wage for a man was $1. In the Pacific Northwest, beavers were plentiful, and fur traders made $4 each pelt. The uncivilized West was less appealing to women than it was to men.
Because they didn’t have access to stores or cultivated farms, their burden increased dramatically. Most people, on the other hand, thrived despite the hardships of the trek and life on the frontier that followed. We may read their journals and diaries to get a sense of how they felt about their new surroundings as they bid their goodbyes to family and friends and journeyed west.
In 1850, Margaret Frink and her husband set out on the Oregon Trail, a long time after the original fur traders had cut out their rough paths. There were already feed supply outlets, mercantile shops, and high-yield farms in place by the year 1850. Despite these perks, Margaret describes a physically arduous trek.
She talked about having to cross rivers and hike up steep mountains with a wagon in behind. She claimed that she and her horse made the most of the ascent, with the remainder being completed on foot. After setting up camp, she took a moment to appreciate the beauty of the landscape.
Overnight rain fell on her celebration one early July evening. She awoke the next morning to find the neighboring mountains covered with snow. She talked about how beautiful Bear River Valley, where they camped, was and how it will be even more so after towns and farms were constructed there.
During the Oregon Trail journey, Abigail Scott was accompanied by her parents and nine siblings. To keep a family notebook, her father tasked her with writing entries. Arrived mid-July at Bear River Valley. She portrayed a country of breathtaking natural splendor to the audience. The summits of the mountains were adorned with dense groves of fir trees, which were covered with beautiful grass. During their journey, they made numerous rest stops along the way, where they were able to drink water that was crystal clear, frosty, and delicious.
Famous People Who Helped to Blaze the Oregon Trail
Even though fur trappers established rudimentary roads through the western frontier, Thomas Jefferson, America’s third president, is credited for trying to chart a formal path from the East to the Pacific Northwest region. Thomas Jefferson.
To expand American commercial interests, he hired Lewis and Clark to find a viable, direct path to Oregon in 1803. Jefferson was disappointed by Lewis and Clark’s discoveries, as covered wagons couldn’t cross the Rocky Mountains. Fur trappers and other tradespeople relied on the pair’s map of the Oregon Trail, which they were able to do so thanks to their success.
He was a well-known businessman, and his family made substantial contributions to the Industrial Age of the United States through their efforts. The Waldorf Astoria hotel, for example, bears his family name. While in Oregon Territory in 1810, Astor owned a fur trading enterprise.
To discover new trading routes, he employed scouts to investigate the surrounding area. Fort Astoria was the name of the outpost they built. The Pacific Fur Company, owned by Astor, survived severe Native American raids and the War of 1812 with just minor casualties. Finally, his fur trade enterprise was sold due to the threat of British political opposition following the war.
Thousands of Mormons embarked on the Oregon Trail’s numerous on- and off-ramps in 1848. They contributed to the establishment of the Oregon Trail by establishing successful farms, ranches, and communities along the route. The efforts of others who followed after them were appreciated by subsequent tourists. The majority of them departed those towns in 1860 and accompanied Brigham Young to Utah, where he established one of the world’s most famous Mormon communities.
These three states are recognized today for their cozy coffee shops and highly marketed retail environments. Incredibly, such opulence was only possible because of unimaginable toil and sacrifice. For those times when your favorite barista misplaces your latte or you have to wait a month for an out-of-stock designer handbag, it’s important to recall the pioneers of the Oregon Trail. Count your blessings and be grateful for the good things in your life!