Wagon Land Adventure
As a young boy he would bring home pieces of purple glass and pottery. His big dream was to have a pioneer museum where children could learn of the past as he did. He always wanted a buggy. He acquired one when he was in high school. The wheels were collapsed and the wood was in need of repair. He found a wheelwright that would restore the wheels for $500. That was a lot of money to Eli, but he became very committed to using his savings to restore this buggy.
When he got that buggy restored, he realized all buggies were not the same. Horse-drawn transportation was an era that was not being preserved and would soon be lost if something was not done. If the children couldn't see how people lived and traveled, they couldn't appreciate the advances in transportation of the last 100 years. Over the past fifty years, Eli has continued to collect these relics of the west. The collection has continued to grow, and horse-drawn vehicles are still being added. There are over 350 documented horse-drawn vehicles. While the majority of these vehicles are owned by Eli Anderson, Wagon Land Adventure Foundation has acquired a few vehicles as well. This is an extensive collection, many in original condition, others restored to as close to original as possible. No two vehicles in the collection are the same. This is arguably the largest collection of horse-drawn vehicles in North America.
Wagon Land Adventure Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, was founded in 2008. The mission of Wagon Land Adventure Foundation is to provide an authentic and educational experience of the life and times of the pioneer horse-drawn era. The Foundation promotes preservation of American heritage for future generations, through educational programs and apprenticeships for training people in the art of wagon, carriage and buggy restoration, blacksmith methods, and other disappearing pioneer crafts and skills. Wagon Land Adventure educational information is disseminated through demonstrations, interactive exhibits, meetings, special events, newsletters, and other distribution outlets.
It all started about 50 years ago. From an early age Eli Anderson was fascinated with the history of the west. His interest was piqued with a visit to Pioneer Village in the second grade. Eli's mother was a room mother and went on the fieldtrip with the class. As the village was toured, Eli's mother told him of all the historical items she had grown up with. Eli was interested to learn what had happened to the relics of the past, but now these things seemed to be disappearing. Eli felt a great need to preserve what he could of the relics of the west when he could find them.