Here is a 'prairie schooner' in the eighteen thirties, crossing the mountains. It was Captain Bonneville who first brought wagons to and over the top of the Rockies. He abandoned them soon afterwards but he had 'blazed the trail' and succeeding traders and emigrants came to rely on the 'prairie schooner' as the best method of locomotion in spite of the hazards in crossing the Rockies, Snake River Canyon, the Blue Mts. and the Cascades. From the great migration to the northwest in 1843 on, these wagons moved in great trains. It is said that in 1853, about thirty thousand people crossed the Missouri river in these wagon trains bound for Oregon and California.
The now widely known village of Ober-Ammergau is a little village in the Bavarian Tyrol, about 75 miles southwest of Munich, in the valley of the Ammer, a swift-running, limpid stream which is fed by Alpine snows. Since the completion of the railroad from Munich, travellers usually take this route. The journey of four hours is a constant ascent into the Bavarian Highlands, over an undulating country prettily wooded and well cultivated. The fantastic peaks of the mountains peer like spectres through the gradually dissolving mist, white their lower parts are draped in a blue transparent veil of tremulous haze. Far beneath on the right is spread the wide lake, covered with islands. Its banks are dotted here and there with cottages amid dark wooded hills. Upon one of the islands is a tiny chapel which is said to have been erected by Boniface, the apostle of Germany.
A few minutes' walk from the railroad station brings you to the little bridge over the Ammer and into the village. Looked at from above it forms an ideal picture. Seen at sunset, or sunrise, the clean white walls with the green window shutters, the red-tiled roofs rising among the trees, seem to nestle together under the shadow of the surrounding hills and around the protecting spire of the church. The population numbers about 1500, many of whom are expert carvers of wood.