A scan of the illustrated cover of an 1877 catalog from the Mitchell, Lewis & Co.Curator Jerry Bowman with the donators of the Mitchell Wagon standing in front of the rustic farm wagon in its pre-conservation condition.This beautiful Mitchell Farm Wagon was conserved several years ago and is currently on display in the museum. Michell Lewis was one of America’s finest wagon makers and was known for building strong and durable wagons out of Racine, Wisconsin during the second half of the 19th century. In 1882, William Mitchell, grandson of founder Henry Mitchell, opened a West coast facility in Portland, Oregon. Wagons being built in Racine were shipped via railroad to Portland, where they were sold.  In 1892, Mitchell Lewis merged with Staver and Walker, producer of plows and related farm equipment.  The new company was named “Mitchell Lewis and Staver.” Our wagon was originally bought by a farm family near Battle Ground, Washington in 1892.  That family had it for many years and eventually sold it to another farm family who had it 61 years. Members from that family, while on a car club tour at our museum, offered to donate the wagon to us.  We are the third owners of this historic vehicle.  It was in the shop for several months, undergoing a complete conservation. We were able to save almost the complete vehicle–including original paint, pin stripping, and patina.  The wagon is totally functional and very historical.  Mitchell Lewis went on to make cars and trucks in the early 20th century.  Mitchell Lewis Staver is still in business and based in Portland: they make and sell agricultural irrigation systems around the world.

The fully conserved Mitchell Wagon in its new home at the Northwest Carriage Museum.