Minnesota Territory 1849-1858
Looking at the TerritoryMeeting the PeopleSeeking a FortuneMaking a HomeThe Exhibit


Red River and Pembina

Cariole (dog-sled)
Cariole (dog sled), possibly 1851-52
MHS Museum Collections, MC1981.11.25
A cariole is a flat-bottomed, single-seat, dog-powered sled. This one may have been used by British explorer John Rae in a trip from Pembina to St. Paul in the winter of 1852. These 400-mile dogsled treks seem to have been fairly common in 1850s Minnesota.

"On their return each had a dog train, which is the usual mode of travel from that country and which consists of a number of dogs harnessed together before a long and narrow sort of a sled called a 'train' on which the articles to be transported. . . . The dogs are . . . a cross between a wolf and a species of dog known as the St. Bernard. They strongly resemble the wolf and somewhat the bear but I could detect little of the appearance of the dog about them."

Horace Ransom Bigelow, diary. Bigelow was a New York lawyer who moved to St. Paul in 1854.