The old West has come to Northeast Wisconsin as 45 people travel by wagon train through Door and Kewaunee counties. Local 5’s Kris Schuller caught up with these pioneers – living history on the move.
On a sunny day out on the rugged Ahnapee Trail – the sights and sounds of the Wisconsin frontier come to life, as the ‘History on the Move’ wagon train rolls on by.
“You can smell the cedar trees, smell the lilacs, see the deer, see the birds, hear the birds and just unwind a little bit,” said Wagon Master Matt Koltz.
Twenty-years ago Matt and Gary Koltz’s father led a two-week long ride from Prairie du Chien to Green Bay to mark Wisconsin’s Sesquicentennial. This year’s wagon train marks the anniversary.
“He started this whole situation and we just wanted to carry it on,” said Gary Koltz. “Old covered wagons, traditional clothing, horses, wooden wheels, steel rims, such as that – we wanted to keep it historic.”
The wagon train will travel from Sturgeon Bay to Kewaunee, 50 miles over four days, with six covered wagons and many more horse riders. Moving slowly through the Wisconsin countryside. Many have made the trip before, all dress in period clothing.
“We’re suppose to look the part, so we can be in costume for four or five days and stay in costume as long as there are outside folks around,” said Pat Jensen, who’s making the trip.
The sight of covered wagons powered by so many horses attracts a lot of attention.
“I think it’s fabulous, I said it’s like Little House on the Prairie,” said one woman who stopped her car to take pictures.
“Makes you feel good to bring some joy to people – makes them chuckle or be awed,” Gary Koltz said.
It’s a history lesson for all to see – being lived out on the Ahnapee Trail.