Way before the popular computer game, real Americans made the adventurous (and treacherous) trip on the Oregon Trail. It was most heavily used from 1843 until the 1870s by settlers, ranchers, farmers, miners and businessmen migrating to the Pacific Northwest.
In 1836, the first wagons were used by a missionary party on the trek from Missouri to Willamette Valley in Oregon. It was headed by Marcus Whitman and his wife, Narcissa, and they had to abandon their wagons 200 miles short of Oregon. When the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, travelers started taking the train instead of wagons.