Legends of America

Follow the links to the various pages of Legends of America

The Old West Legends of America Outhouse Madness Ghostly Legends Outlaws Old West Saloons Rocky Mountain General Store Legends Photo Store The Book Store Make your travel reservations here! Route 66 Native Americans The Old States - Back East

Legends of America    |    Legends General Store    |    Legends Photo Shop

 

Legends Of America's Facebook PageLegends Of America's Twitter PageLegends on Pinterest

Legends Home

Site Map

What's New!!

 

Content Categories:

American History

Destinations-States

Ghost Stories

Ghost Towns

Historic People

Legends & Myths

Native Americans

Old West

Photo Galleries

Route 66

Travel Center

Treasure Tales

 

   Search Our Sites

Custom Search

Google

 

About Us

Advertising

Article/Photo Use

Copyright Information

Blog

Facebook Page

Guestbook

Links

Newsletter

Privacy Policy

Site Map

Writing Credits

 

We welcome corrections

and feedback!

Contact Us

 

Legends' General Store


Old West/Western

Route 66

Native American

Featured Items

Sale Items

Books/Magazines

CD's - DVD's

Nuwati Herbals

Personalized-Engraved
Postcards

Wall Art

Custom Products

and Much More!

 

  Legends Of America's Rocky Mountain General Store - Cart View

 

Legends' Photo Prints

Legends Photo Prints and Downloads
 

Ghost Town Prints

Native American Prints

Old West Prints

Route 66 Prints

States, Cities & Places

Nostalgic Prints

Photo Art Prints

Jim Hinckley's America

David Fisk (Lens of Fisk)

Specials-Gift Ideas

and Much More!!
 

Legends Of America's Photo Print Shop - Cart View

 

Family Friendly Site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old West Legends IconOLD WEST LEGENDS

Stagecoaches of the American West

Bookmark and Share

Riding in a Stage


Creeping through the valley, crawling o’er the hill, Splashing through the branches, rumbling o’er the mill; Putting nervous gentlemen in a towering rage. What is so provoking as riding in a stage?


Spinsters fair and forty, maids in youthful charms, Suddenly are cast into their neighbors’ arms; Children shoot like squirrels darting through a cage- Isn’t it delightful, riding in a stage?


Feet are interlacing, heads severely bumped,
Friend and foe together get their noses thumped; Dresses act as carpets-listen to the sage; "Life is but a journey taken in a stage.”

 

-- From: Six Horses by Captain William Banning &

George Hugh Banning, 1928.

 

Categories:

 

Stagecoach Kings & Drivers

Stagecoach Lines

Stagecoach Tales

Stagecoach Terms and Slang

Stagecoach Slideshow (See Below)

 

 

Stagecoach

Stagecoach. This image available for photo prints  & commercial downloads HERE!

 

 

 

Numerous stagecoach lines and express services dotted the American West, as entrepreneurs fought to compete for passengers, freight, and most importantly, profitable government mail contracts.

 

Often braving terrible weather, pitted roads, treacherous terrain, and Indian and bandit attacks, the stagecoach lines valiantly carried on during  westward expansion, despite the hazards.

 

Though stagecoach travel for passengers was uncomfortable, it was often the only means of travel and was certainly safer than traveling alone. If passengers wanted to sleep, they were required to do so sitting up and it was considered bad etiquette to rest ones head on another passenger. There were also numerous other rules required of passengers including abstaining from liquor, not cursing or smoking if ladies were present, and others.

 

Though there were many types of stagecoaches used for various purposes, the most often used for passenger service was the Concord Stagecoach, which was first built in 1827.

 

Designed by the Abbot Downing Company, the coach utilized leather strap braces underneath, which gave them a swinging motion instead of using a spring suspension, which jostled passengers up and down. Over the years, the New Hampshire based company manufactured over forty different types of carriages and wagons, earning a reputation that their coaches rarely broke down, rather they just "wore out." The coaches weighted more than a ton and cost between $1500 and $1800 at the time. The stages had three seats, providing for nine passengers with little leg room. Passengers were also allowed to ride on top. The term "stage" originally referred to the distance between stations as each coach traveled the route in "stages."

 

The most profitable contracts to be had by the stage lines were U.S. Mail contracts, which were hotly contested for. Though the Pony Express is often credited with being the first fast mail service from the Missouri River to the Pacific Coast, the Butterfield Overland Stage actually began a  twice-weekly mail service in September, 1858. Each service crossed more than 2,800 miles from San Francisco, California to Missouri and was required to be completed in 25 days or less.

 

Along the many stage routes, stations were established about every 12  miles that included two types of stations -- "swing" and "home." As the stage driver neared the station, he or she would blow a small brass bugle or trumpet to alert the station staff of the impending arrival.

 

The larger stations, called "Home Stations," generally ran by a couple or family , were usually situated about 50 miles apart and provided meager meals and overnight lodging to passengers. Often; however, "lodging" was no more than a dirt floor.

 

Stagecoach Robbery

Though stagecoaches were a vital means of transportation,  they were also a major target of outlaws. This image available for photo prints  & commercial downloads HERE!

 

These stations also included stables where the horses could be changed and often, a blacksmith and repair shop, in addition to a telegraph station. Here, drivers were usually switched.

 

The more numerous "swing" stations, generally run by a few bachelor stock tenders, were smaller and usually consisted of little more than a small cabin and a barn or corral. Here, the coach would stop only about ten minutes to change the team and allow passengers to stretch before the coach was on its way again.

 

At one time, more than 150 stations were situated between Kansas and California.

 

Though there were numerous lines throughout the Old West, some figure into history more prominently than others, most notably the Butterfield Overland Stage Company, Wells, Fargo & Co., and the Holladay Overland Mail and Express Company.

 

As the railroad continued to push westward, stagecoach service became less and less in demand. With the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869,transcontinental stage-coaching came to an end.

 

However, this was not the end of the stagecoach, as it continued to be utilized in areas without railroad service for several more decades. In the end, it was actually, the introduction of the automobile that led to the end of the stagecoach in the early 1900's.

 

© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated March, 2014.

 

   

Legends of America Lodging

Book your lodging right HERE online

 

Stagecoach Rules Poster

Stagecoach Rules.

This image available for poster prints HERE!

 

Stagecoach Slideshow:

 

 

All images & more available for photo prints & commercial downloads HERE!

 

From Legends' Photo Shop

Unique Greeting Cards Exclusive to Legends of AmericaCustom Greeting Cards - Combining our great vintage photographs with words, wisdom and proverbs of the Old West, these photo cards are unique to the Legends of America.

 

Unique Greeting Cards Exclusive to Legends of America

 

                                                            Copyright © 2003-Present, www.Legends of America.com