Old Butterfield Stage Line Coach

Filler today -- Back to Tombstone, Arizona! This old original mail and passenger coach from the mid 1800s has found a home in Tombstone as a sightseeing vehicle for tourists.

John Butterfield's Overland Mail Company stagecoach service connected St. Louis, Missouri, and Memphis, Tennessee, with San Francisco, California and operated between the years 1857 to 1861. Butterfield’s passengers, usually nine, plus conductor and driver, crossed the Southwestern deserts in bone-jarring coaches, drawn by two pairs of raw-boned mules. They traveled through the deserts of western Texas and southern New Mexico, southern Arizona, and southern California
.
Passengers rode three abreast, squeezed into back and middle rows, both facing forward, and into a forward row, facing rearward. The facing passengers in the forward and middle rows had to ride with their feet interlocked. All the passengers rode with baggage on their laps and mail pouches beneath their feet. They traveled day and night, with no more than brief moments at way stations for often poor food and no rest. They suffered from continual heat and choking dust in the summer and intense cold and occasional snow in the winter. And they always worried about the Indians. Passengers were warned:

BY TRAVELING THROUGH
INDIAN COUNTRY THE SAFETY
OF YOUR PERSON CANNOT BE
VOUCHED FOR BY ANYONE BUT GOD.

Passengers and crew readied their weapons at the slightest sign of Indians,

Butterfield’s route extended some two thousand eight hundred miles (the longest stage line in the world) A passenger paid two hundred dollars (equivalent to about three thousand dollars today) for a ticket. He expected to arrive at his destination after some 25 days of ceaseless travel. There was, said one passenger, "No security against Indian attack, while murders and robberies were known to be of constant occurrence along the line…”

A San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin Special Correspondent who made the trip from San Francisco to St. Louis in 1858, said that, "All the traveler needs to render himself comfortable is a pair of blankets, a revolver or knife (just as he fancies), an overcoat, some wine to mix with the water, (which is not of the sweetest quality) and three or four dollars’ worth of provisions…”
So very interesting - somewhat the same in a lot of countries but someone has to keep this wonderful carriage in good working order1 fav
posted November 21st, 2015  
Enjoyed seeing this coach and your commentary was so informative!
posted November 21st, 2015  
What a great story book picture you gave us there , I want to visit one day Fav
posted November 21st, 2015  
Super capture, composition
posted November 21st, 2015  
It mus be amazing to ride in this coach! Especially today when the roads are tarred
fav
posted November 21st, 2015  
@ninaganci Thanks for the fav and the comment, Nna. We didn't take this; took the trolley around town instead. The town has several of these old and original coaches, and the driver gives a commentary as he takes the passengers around the old historic town. Same as the trolley. These coaches are really popular with the tourists.
posted November 21st, 2015  
A few minutes on this ride might be fun. Days? Not so much. Fun to read about tho.
posted November 22nd, 2015  
@thimblelady Hours to fly across country now; 25 days then. Ouch!!
posted November 23rd, 2015  
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