20 Mules And Borax Wagons In Washington Dc

Discussion in 'Other Reminiscences' started by Joe Riley, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    7,622
    Likes Received:
    11,977
    "It was 100 years since the 20 mules and the Borax wagons were in Washington DC. The last time was for the Presidential Inauguration Parade in 1917. Thanks to Garon and Donna Stutzman, and numerous donors, the 20 mules and Borax wagons returned to Washington DC for the 4th of July Parade in 2017. Garon and Donna had this documentary made and is shared here with their permission. Enjoy! We all did!"
     
    #1
  2. Ruby Begonia

    Ruby Begonia Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Messages:
    3,096
    Likes Received:
    4,709
    They should have done this when Ronnie was in office...Death Valley Days sponsored by 20 Mile Team Borax, Ronald Reagan (1964-1965).
     
    #2
  3. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    7,622
    Likes Received:
    11,977
    #3
    Bobby Cole likes this.
  4. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    7,622
    Likes Received:
    11,977
    "Well..........."
    [​IMG]
     
    #4
  5. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2018
    Messages:
    1,837
    Likes Received:
    3,862
    What caught my ear in that first video was the woman's comment about different mules handling the back wheels.

    I wanted to see what she was talking about, and this is the closest I could find. This shows the mules jumping the center bar. I think that's on purpose on the curve, but I'm not sure by the talking in the video.

    Check it out starting at 0:25 if you are interested in that sort of thing. If that's what they're doing, I'm impressed.

     
    #5
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  6. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    7,622
    Likes Received:
    11,977
    You are right, Nancy, looks like they are jumping the chain, responding to voice commands, to make the turn.
     
    #6
    Bobby Cole likes this.
  7. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2018
    Messages:
    1,837
    Likes Received:
    3,862
    Same wagons as first video. Showing turns. No extra mules for back wheels. I don't know what she was talking about.

     
    #7
    Bobby Cole and Joe Riley like this.
  8. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
    Moderator Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    6,428
    Likes Received:
    9,944
    That totally caught my interest, @Nancy Hart ; so I had to look and see if I could find out why those mules jumped over the center bar. I found an article that kind of describes what they do and why. The mules are jumping over in both videos, but it is not as obvious in the second video because of the filming angle.
    Apparently, back then, it was called “jumping the chain”, and I could kind of visualize what was going on after I read the article.
    If you can, imagine two people each holding one end of a rope, and walking in tandem, and another person walking around the center of the rope. Then, imagine the front person starting to turn to the right, which pulls the rope to the right , even though the back person is still walking fairly straightforward.
    The person in the middle is going to have that rope pushing against their legs, unless they jump over it; which is apparently what these mules are doing, just on a much larger scale.
    It is not extra mules to pull the back wheels, it is that the mule teams closest to the wagon are called “wheel mules” and the ones in the front are called “lead mules”.
    So, what she was meaning was that the wheel mules have to jump the chain as it starts to turn into them in order to keep pulling as the wagon goes around the curve, and then jump back over again once it is going straight.

    This is an impressive video, and really helps show how intelligent mules are.
    I didn’t think that I wanted a mule, until Ihad a friend who owned one. When we were on a trail ride, he had his girlfriend ride the mule, and I wondered why. Then , we came up to cross the highway, and a huge semi-truck came over the hill, and roared past us, and it had a tarp on top that was flapping and crackling in the wind from the truck.
    All of the horses totally panicked , and took off running away. The mule just kind of watched everything, and came trotting along behind us, being very careful of his inexperienced rider.
    Another day, he asked me if i would like to try riding Sawdust (the mule), and so I did. That mule was the most surefooted animal I have ever ridden , and just went up and down steep hillsides and into gullies like it was nothing.
    By the time we came home from the ride, I owned the mule, and my friend, Gib, owned my nice Morgan mare.

    https://www.nps.gov/deva/learn/historyculture/twenty-mule-teams.htm
     
    #8
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  9. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2018
    Messages:
    1,837
    Likes Received:
    3,862
    Thanks for that explanation @Yvonne Smith. I understand it now. I think mules are beautiful, especially the red ones. Love those ears.

    [​IMG]
     
    #9
  10. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2018
    Messages:
    1,941
    Likes Received:
    2,966
    The wheel animals, be they mules, horses or dogs, always seem to do the most work and are therefore usually the largest, strongest animals in the team. The lead animals are generally supposed to be the smartest, although that isn't necessarily the case in every team of animals. Driving a team that large must have taken a lot of talent. I guess that is why they had the outriders. I have read that the big stagecoaches and such with eight horse teams are seldom seen in movies anymore, as there are not many drivers who still have the skill and talent to control an eight horse team.
     
    #10
  11. Peter Renfro

    Peter Renfro Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2018
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    46
    Engalscoachshop.com has built them. They hava an entire You Tube channel devoted to the building of those wagons. Impressive to say the least!
     
    #11
  12. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    7,622
    Likes Received:
    11,977
    "Bishop Mule Days in Bishop, California 2003 --- Two Twenty Mule Team hitches were shown in the Mule Days arena. The long line hitch driven by Bobby Tanner was hitched to the historic Borax Wagons used to haul borax from Death Valley. The other team of 20 black mules pulled a train of several different types of replica wagons."

     
    #12
    Yvonne Smith and Nancy Hart like this.
  13. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2018
    Messages:
    1,837
    Likes Received:
    3,862
    Interesting. The second team has 5 rows of 4 mules hitched side by side. They probably don't have to worry so much about turning corners. Cool.
     
    #13
  14. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    7,622
    Likes Received:
    11,977
    History: 20-Mule-Teams in Death Valley

    "Between 1883 and 1889, the twenty mule teams hauled more than 20 million pounds of borax out of the Valley. During those years, the teams ran like clockwork, completing the 330-mile round trip between the Harmony Borax Works and the railhead in about 20 days, despite the difficult terrain. One team loaded and left the works every four days. During this time, not a single animal was lost, nor did a single wagon break down –a considerable tribute to the ingenuity of the designers and builders and the stamina of the men and mules."

    [​IMG]
    20-Mule Team, Death Valley, California, 1949


    [​IMG]
    Original 20 Mule Team Wagons, Harmony Borax Works, Death Valley, California, Kathy Weiser, 2015.
     
    #14
  15. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2018
    Messages:
    1,837
    Likes Received:
    3,862
    Not borax wagons, but a plow.

    I count at least 24 mules.

    1916
     
    #15

Share This Page