John Garrett’s Carver Covered Wagon has been passed down through the family in Sandy Mush since 1901. John’s grandpa, Will Garrett bought this wagon in 1901; it was built by Carver Wagon Works of Morristown, Tennessee. They were considered some of the finest crafted wagons of that time.
John’s father, Orville Garrett, who was born in 1900 was one year old when his father, Will, bought this wagon. Many years later, John remembers Sam and Jake, their two mules, pulling the wagon as they hauled corn from the field to have corn shuckings, and he also remembers them using it to haul hay, and then they would shock the hay.
John has replaced the bed, and he and Gladys, his wife, took a trip to an Amish farm in Pennsylvania in the early 90’s, where Ike fixed the wheels and spokes for John.
John enjoyed many wagon train rides through the years with this wagon and his Percheron draft horses, each weighing in at 1800lbs. For several years, folks would gather and camp at John and Gladys’ Rocky Creek Campground before heading out through Sandy Mush, up Willow Creek Rd. (where I remember as a child watching from Nanny and Papa’s front porch as they rode by) and over Beaverdam mountain to Canton to participate in the parade.
John also rode in the WNC Wagon Train for 30 years, first on horseback and then with his wagon. It was a 10 day trip with 120 wagons from Andrews, North Carolina to Tellico Plains, Tennessee. John has many fond memories and good stories from these trips, and it is wonderful that he has cared for and maintained this piece of farming equipment with its connection to our Sandy Mush history through all these year. A special thanks to John and Gladys Garrett for sharing their stories, history, time and photos.