In 1996 at a chuck wagon competition in Amarillo, Texas, a small group of Old West enthusiasts and wagon masters talked about an association. The mission would be to preserve the heritage of the chuck wagon and its use in the short, but significant, era of the cattle drives. In 1997, in Bryson, Texas, by-laws and articles of operation were adopted and the American Chuck Wagon Association was off and running. Today there are members in 31 states, Canada, Germany and Switzerland. Members participate in Cook off competitions, demonstrations, catering, charity events, school visits and many other activities to fulfill that original mission and even surpass the dreams of those organizers. Thank you for visiting our site and we hope you will visit us at one or more of our chuck wagon events.
("American Chuck Wagon Association")
Members of the American Chuck Wagon Association in Texas are responsible for the introduction and final approval of Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 8. According to Jerry Baird, one of the founders of the association:
"You know chuck wagons nearly totally disappeared. There were very few left in Texas, so we started an organization called the American Chuck Wagon Association. We had no idea it would grow like it’s grown. There are 146 wagons registered now in the association. They are put in archives at Texas Tech, which gives them a history that will be there forever. We decided to make the chuck wagon the official vehicle of Texas.
Of course we had to testify and go through everything imaginable to make it happen, but the chuck wagon is now the official vehicle of the state of Texas. It’s just like the bluebonnet is the state flower and the mockingbird is the state bird. It has its prominent place in history now."
S.C.R. No. 8
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
WHEREAS, The Legislature of the State of Texas is pleased to recognize the importance of the chuck wagon to the state's history and culture and to designate it as the official vehicle of Texas; and
WHEREAS, The chuck wagon has been important in Texas since the great cattle drives that lasted from the end of the Civil War to the mid-1880s; during that period, approximately 10 million head of cattle were driven along trails all the way from Texas to railheads in Kansas, Missouri, Wyoming, and Canada; and
WHEREAS, During the early days of the trail drives, a cowboy relied for survival strictly on what he could carry with him, experiencing hunger and discomfort; and
WHEREAS, In 1866, Texas rancher and Civil War veteran Charles Goodnight first used an army surplus Studebaker wagon on the trail drive; the Studebaker proved itself sturdy enough to withstand trail drives that could last up to five months; and
WHEREAS, Goodnight then designed and added a chuck box and a boot to the rear of his wagon; this innovation became the prototype for all future chuck wagons; the wagon's box was used to carry the cowboys' bedrolls, guns, personal effects, bulk food supplies, feed for the horses, and other supplies; and
WHEREAS, Today The American Chuck Wagon Association has 123 registered chuck wagons and over 200 members; the association's members are committed to restoring and maintaining chuck wagons with their own resources, which has ensured that the chuck wagon will continue to function as a viable tool on many of our Texas ranches and add to our state's historical and cultural charm; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the 79th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby acknowledge the important value of preserving the chuck wagon and designate the chuck wagon as the official vehicle of Texas; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be prepared as an expression of esteem from the Texas Legislature.
The American Chuck Wagon Association claims, on its website, that "in an effort to sway the Texas Senators several members of the ACWA descended on the capitol of Texas in the waning days of the session. A meal of rib-eye steaks, pinto beans, sourdough biscuits, potatoes and dessert was prepared by members including Jerry and Mickey Baird, Eddie Sandoval, Don and Shirley Creacy, Wayne Calk, Bob and Nancy Sparks, Gerry Self, Wilbur and Annette Wilson and Steve Wood."
The chuck wagon became the official vehicle of Texas when Governor Rick Perry signed Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 8 on May 27, 2005.
If you've a mind, build yourself a nice official vehicle (instructions below), grab yourself an official cooking implement and cook up a batch of the official state dish. While your official dish is simmering, you might partake of the official state snack. When you official dish is ready, serve with a good helping of the official state bread. After dinner, as the sun falls below the horizon, enjoy a round of the official domino game while an official musical instrument is strummed softly.
The chuck wagon was declared the official vehicle of Texas by Senate Concurrent Resolution and is not, therefore, listed in the Texas Statutes.
Only a few of Texas' myriad symbols were actually adopted by an act of the legislature and written into the Texas Statutes.
"Official Vehicle of Texas." American Chuck Wagon Association. American Chuck Wagon Association, 2012. Web. 7 May 2012.
"Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 8." Texas Legislature. State of Texas. [Austin: State of Texas, 2005. Web.
Smith, Tumbleweed. "Texas has an official state vehicle." Victoria Advocate [Victoria] 06 Dec 2006, A4. Print.
American Chuck Wagon Association: Official website.
Chuck Wagon Central: Lone Hand Western, Mark Bridge.
Waynes Wagon Works: Amarillo, Texas. Wayne Snider has been buying and restoring antique wagons to their original condition for nearly half a century.
More symbols & emblems: Complete list of official Texas state symbols from NETSTATE.COM.
How to Build a Traditional Farm Wagon or Chuck Wagon, by Fred Hanson. 557 pages. Publisher: Fred R. Hanson (2004)
This is a huge spiral bound book with 557 pages, 8 ½ by 11". There are loads of photos (some in color) and drawings, dimensions, suppliers and a step-by-step how to build everything from axle setting to water barrels, bows and more.
In this book the actual building of a wagon is followed. An entirely new wagon is produced from scratch. The wagon built is a farm/chuck wagon. The farm wagon is built. The conversion into a covered wagon is shown. Then all the chuck wagon accessories are built and added to the wagon. The difficulties encountered while building the wagon are addressed as best as possible, not left out or passed over. The wagon produced for this book is a full sized wagon with 44" wheels in front with 52" wheels in the back. A fully ironed running gear, complete with brake system. It is shown and explained how to build a tongue and groove wagon box or a double box. How to build a new box to match the running gear it will go to. The building and fitting of wagon tongues (poles). How to make every part of a farm wagon or chuck wagon is in this book, wood and iron, even the lazy back seat. If you want to build one of these wagons, you will want this book.
Chuck Wagon Cookin', by Stella Hughes. 170 pages. Publisher: University of Arizona Press (October 1, 1974)
Chili, stew, biscuits—it's all here in over a hundred old-time recipes, home remedies too! More than a cookbook, it's a treasure trove of ranch lore.
"This is a splendid collection of cowcamp cook tales and 112 authentic old-time dutch oven recipes." —Books of the Southwest
Barbecue, Biscuits, and Beans: Chuckwagon Cooking, by Bill Cauble, Cliff Teinert. 192 pages. Publisher: Bright Sky Press (September 1, 2002)
Chuck wagon cooks Bill Cauble and Cliff Teinert look as though they have stepped out of the pages of Lonesome Dove, and the foreword by Tommy Lee Jones speaks to the authenticity of their chuck wagon cooking and Southwestern cuisine. These authors share recipes and preparation secrets for their all-time favorite dishes—trail-side to elegant—featuring a bounty of beef and game, vegetables from beans, tomatoes, and squash to hominy, homemade breads, and delectable desserts.
"Adaptable and inventive, sumptuous and wholesome" is their goal—and achievement—as they use available ingredients and leftovers in developing meals and menus to please all tastes.
Texas Cowboy Cooking, by Tom Perini. 192 pages. Publisher: Comanche Moon Publishing; Revised edition (September 2001)
Texas Cowboy Cooking collects Tom Perini's all-time favorite recipes for mouth-watering Texan food and drinks. Perini also shares his award-winning tips preparing them, including his secrets to cooking the perfect steak - for selecting the cut, preparing it, knowing when to turn it, and when to call it done. Throughout, stunning photography, archival illustrations, and Perini's own dry, Texan wit bring to life the romance, adventure, character, and humor of life in cowboy country.
Trail Cookin': Chuck Wagon Tales of the Old West, by Capt. Gil Potts. 50 pages. Publisher: Nature Presents; 1st edition (1997)
A fun guide to cookin' from the incredulous pages of history.
Cast Iron Cookware and Dutch Ovens Dutch ovens, camp dutch ovens, skillets, bread pans, serving pots, griddles, grills, grill presses, sauce pots, fryers, cook sets. Raw or pre-seasoned and enamel cast iron.