Margaret Goodwin on Early Bighorn Basin Transportation

Margaret Goodwin, born in 1909, was interviewed in December 1987 by volunteers from the Washakie Museum in Worland, Wyo. This excerpt was prepared for the museum’s summer 2012 exhibit about early settlers in Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin, Voices of the Basin: History in their Own Words. Goodwin recalls riding in a carriage as a little girl, and her parents’ purchase of their first automobile in 1916. The recording quality is poor, but Goodwin’s tone of voice is still clear. A transcript is provided below:


The first carriage I can remember was a little one-seated buggy and a white horse and Max and I had to ride in a little box in the back.  We didn’t do much riding other than when we would go to town on a saddle.  Then we had a real luxurious carriage, a surrey with a fringe on top.  It had a red fringe and we had a standard horse.  We thought we were really up town then.

Then Dad got the first Ford. That was 1916.  And Mother fought that Ford, she didn’t think Dad ought to buy it. It cost $475 or something like that.  She said no Abner, it will just take the children’s breath away going 20 miles an hour, but Abner prevailed.

And then Mother had hobbled skirts in those days, and she and Dad went out to see how much of her ankle could show getting in the high running board of this Ford.  It was too much, so Dad had to build her a little box she could step up on to get into the car, so she wouldn’t show too much of her leg.

Transcription by Washakie Museum and Cultural Center, Worland, Wyo.