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    Monday, December 07, 2015
    NBC's TODAY Show Visits Hansen Wheel and Wagon Shop

    TODAY’S “Sunday’s with Harry” highlights a small town South Dakota family business, renowned for authentic Stagecoach and Western Vehicle construction.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:Hansen-Wheel-and-Wagon.jpg
    A small shop gained big exposure on national television. Hansen Wheel and Wagon Shop was featured on NBC’S Today Show “Sunday’s with Harry”. The segment with Hansen Wheel and Wagon Shop aired this past Sunday, December 6, and featured behind-the-scenes construction of stagecoaches and wagon wheels at the Letcher, SD, business.

    Harry Smith learned about Hansen Wheel & Wagon Shop after reading an article about the company in the WSJ earlier in the year. He then arranged a visit to Hansen Wheel and Wagon Shop this fall to meet with the crew face-to-face, and shoot footage for his show.

    Reporter Harry Smith took in a stagecoach ride, cooked at the chuck wagon, and was intrigued by the craftsmen employing the same crafts which were used over 100 years ago. These “Heritage Crafts”, as they’re known, are considered by many to be lost arts – but at Hansen Wheel and Wagon Shop, the professional trades of coach building and wheelwrighting are alive and well. 

    Owners of Hansen Wheel and Wagon Shop, Doug and Holly Hansen, focus on maintaining the historic trades and designs used in years-gone-by to build their horse-drawn vehicles, as well as maintaining the historic accuracy of each wagon they restore. “It’s more than just a family business, we have a dozen full-time employees and we are always on the lookout for craftsmen wanting to expand or develop a long-term trade,” says Doug.

    Nearly forty years ago, Doug rediscovered the trades involved in wagon making through a self-taught quest into the lost art, as well as extensive research and networking with other craftsmen and historians. The Hansens now offer employment opportunities in these trades through apprenticeship programs much like those utilized in frontier days to train employees and help perpetuate the expansion of these traditional crafts.

    “The craftsmen at Hansen Wheel and Wagon Shop have the opportunity to ‘live history’ and through the wagons and coaches we build and restore, we can offer our customers that same opportunity,” Doug relates.

    “We were excited to have Harry Smith visit our shop,” Doug said. “Our craftsmen take great pride in perpetuating the handcrafted quality of old world artisans, and enjoyed the chance to show off their skills to a worldwide audience. We had some fun with the film crew as well. After rolling out the chuck wagon to serve a hot, campfire dinner, Harry stepped right in and helped with the fry bread. We even hitched up our Deadwood stagecoach for footage, allowing the crew to experience the spirit of the Old West.”

    For information on Hansen Wheel and Wagon Shop, visit our website at:

    And watch for updates on current shop projects at our Facebook page:

    Footage of the episode can be found at:

    Leah Murray, Doug & Holly Hansen, and reporter Harry Smith

    Doug and Harry take the Deadwood coach out for a spin.