Day 118

A hobo’s dream house

July 22nd, 2010


  1. Lois says:

    A ‘modern’ covered wagon! Cute!

  2. Donna in Texas says:

    They need to be painted like the old Gypsy wagons.

  3. tim says:

    Did you try to get in?

  4. tim says:

    I wonder if they qualify for a reverse mortgage?

  5. Candice In Alabama says:

    The green one has a John Deere color scheme – check out the wheels.

  6. Michael in Atlanta says:

    I want one!!!!

  7. Dan says:

    These are Sheepherder’s Wagons. Back in the fairly recent past (maybe still) in the big empty spaces in Montana where sheep are grazed, sheepherders lived in thes for months. Room for a bed and a stove and shelter from rain. Easily moved to move or follow the flock across the range. Sheep require shepherds because they are pretty susceptible to predators and are naturally stupid animals – easily getting themselves into trouble.

    • Glenda says:

      Dan is correct these are Sheepherder Wagons – and still used today – when I did census work in wyoming we were required to count them as homes and plot them on the map (not sure what good that does since they are moved frequently). My grandfather had several of these when I was going up – lots of fun to play in and came in handy when the power was out. I remember Grama making breakfast in one of these when I was a kid.

      • Anna One in CA says:

        I think I remember a Sunset article about cool camping places and there was a grouping of these types of houses (can’t remember where) available for rent for the night. Cool. And very practical and thrifty! Be safe, Matt…

    • Mark in Idaho says:

      They are still in use today.

  8. Marshall in RVA says:

    How about an updated version.

    • Anna One in CA says:

      Thanks 4 the link, Marshall. Hey, I know, Matt can get one of those when he finishes his journey and can put up stakes wherever while he’s writing the book so many think he should write even thought I don’t think he ever mentioned doing that….but if he had… : )

    • Barb V from Michigan says:

      I just watched an interview with this guy recently. I can’t remember where though – Yahoo! video, HGTV? IDK, but pretty cool!

  9. Don in Tennessee says:

    Marshall in RVA

    I saw an article about Jeff Shafer and his 89 sq. f.t house shown in this article. I believe it was in PARADE and it was shown as the smallest home in AMERICA or something close! I also believe this house was in CA. This is a cool article. Thanks for sharing!


  10. Don in Tennessee says:

    THE HOBO NATION should purchase one of these Hobo Wagons and the car at the Farmers Union Oil Company with the flat tire.

    We could give it to Matt and he could use it as he travels around the country for book signings about his trip. Do we have any takers?

  11. Pacis says:

    Reminds me of Japan without the $240 steak dinner.

  12. Gina Seattle says:

    LOL @ Don. I’m picturing Matt driving across country in that car with the wagon attached. Priceless!

    • Janine says:

      I was picturing him walking with one of those Tumbleweed Tiny Houses on wheels, pulling it behind him like a rickshaw.

  13. Lori says:

    Dan’s right… sheepherder wagons. There are many people of Basque descent in certain areas of the Inland NW, a lot of them in Southern parts of Idaho & Eastern Oregon, too, who herd sheep. They still use these.

    • Dan says:

      Yes – plenty of Basque settled these parts. Some families have prospered greatly and are pillars of their respective communities. Virtually all families trace coming to the area as sheepherders. (Inland NW – never heard that term before – I like it)

  14. Barbara Kiviat says:

    That looks bigger than my apartment! Where do I buy one??

  15. deanna valenti meyer says:

    How interesting to learn about these. See…that’s what this whole thing is all about…learning new things.

    Don…you’re cracking me up over here. I’m with Gina’s comment…hee hee!

  16. Craig ( NC!) says:

    Look’s like a Hobo’s Dream SMOKE HOUSE!!
    I really wish we had a look inside.
    (‘lo jeff and matt)

  17. Jeff says:

    Hay Craig! Yea I like the idea of a smokehouse for one of these. I am digging that. I am ready to make some cheater ribs this evening in fact. Hope all is well….looks like Matt is fairing well too…..

  18. Holy cow. I thought these things were something abandoned not something is use. And for a shelter no less. They look so small and no windows. I’m a severe claustrophobic person so you wouldn’t be seein’ me in one of those. Baaaa!!!!

  19. Dan says:

    I’m glad no one questioned my statement that sheep are stupid!

    • I know I wouldn’t because they are. It’s not a mean thing to say, it’s just the way they are. That’s why there’s dogs and other animals that have been mentioned here to herd and keep predators away. Sheep just don’t know much.

    • April from CA says:

      I’m reminded of the movie Babe right about now! “barrr rammm ewww!”

  20. Glenda (the other one) says:

    About 200 miles away from Simms in Livingston, you can rent a sheepherder’s wagon for the night: Here’s another site that sells them; you can see pictures of the interior:

    • Thanks Glenda for the link. Now I was able to actually see in one of those to see what they are. I thought from the outside they looked like big fuel oil storage tanks to me or even propane gas storage tanks.

  21. Dan says:

    If anyone wants a look at the life of a sheepherder and raising sheep sometime, I recommend looking for the documentary Sweetgrass.

  22. Laurenis says:

    I can picture Matt pushing his cart and dragging one of these behind him…. although might be difficult when he hits the mountains!

  23. TJ says:

    Imagine the size of the woodpile it takes to keep one of those warm on those -70 degree mornings!

  24. carol says:

    Ok I’m not going to say “Janine is my friend” because I am embarrassed that I actually thought that these were made from old tankers of some type, that were reused. I thought they are a solution in recycling and being green. Now I feel kinda dumb. :(

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