Spring wagons were general-purpose wagons used for the transportation of either goods or passengers, enjoying wide popularity with 19th century American farmers. Since the box was hung on platform springs — either front, rear or both — it was sometimes known as a platform wagon or platform spring wagon.

Designed to be drawn by one horse, the wagon had a buckboard, the front-most board that could act as both a footrest for the driver and protection from the horse’s rear hooves in case of a “buck.”

The wagon was often referred to as a “Democrat Wagon,” because it was inexpensive, easy to drive, and used by a wide range of people. In this image, a spring wagon is parked outside Ralph Lemue’s Blacksmith Shop on Main Street in Angels Camp.

Angels Camp Museum has one of the largest collections of carriages and wagons in the nation on its landscaped park at 753 S. Main St., in Angels Camp.

— Kimberly Arth, executive director of the Angels Camp Museum