World's Largest Covered Wagon.

World's Largest Covered Wagon

Field review by the editors.

Milford, Nebraska

In 1964 Kenneth R. Dahle bought land next to the new interstate exit in Milford. Even at that time, he said later, he envisioned building a giant covered wagon next to the freeway. But he was in no hurry.

Wagon and Muffler Man cowboy.
Wagon and Muffler Man cowboy, 1992.

First, Dahle opened a campground on the property named "Westward Ho!" and built big wooden teepees. In 1971 he constructed a gas station across the street -- cleverly designed by Dahle so it could later be expanded into his giant prairie schooner. He finally began work on the wagon in the spring of 1976, and two years later it was complete.

The gas station wagon measured 50 feet long and 50 feet high, with its "canopy" made of white roofing shingles over seven laminated wooden arches. Four 24-foot-tall wheels, each assembled from what Dahle claimed were 1,000 pieces of wood, were bolted to the four corners of the building. Dahle hoped to build a giant pair of oxen and never got around to it, but he did later add a cowboy Muffler Man.

Dale died in 1993. By 1998 the gas station had closed. The giant wheels were gone by 2000. In 2001 the cowboy Muffler Man was sold to a Western outfitter in Wyoming (and given a mustache) -- and he has since moved to Montana.

The wagon remains in Milford, awaiting a 21st century pioneer with the vision and skills to build four giant wheels and an ox or two.

World's Largest Covered Wagon

965 County Rd 238, Milford, NE
I-80 exit 382, northwest side.
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