Stagecoach Question - redirect

Thanks for those of you who have educated me on the stagecoach
questions. Most of you have been courteous and helpful.
I do, however, have some followups:
1) Established that the stagecoaches did indeed make long,
cross-country journeys; how long would such a trip take?
Did they travel non-stop; or was it travel-by-day and rest-at-night?
If they did make stops; was it at established towns along the route,
similar to airport "hops" today? Were routes planned to utilize these
towns; and if so, could they potentially reach a town by nightfall,
each and every night? It does not appear that the coaches could carry
much, in the way of food, water, camp equipment, repair supplies, etc.,
to provide for the absence of frequent stopovers in towns. Would
regular maintenance and/or cleaning/painting be exercised at any of
these stops? Would there be adequate facilities for major maintenance
work, in these "frontier" towns?
2) Did the stages travel alone; or was there a convoy system?
( a safety-in-numbers philosophy...) Would there be a regular
presence of cavalry, patrolling the general routes, providing security?
3) Were there different "classes" of stage travel? (As in today's
"first class on LuxuryAir" vs. "economy class on BudgetJet")
These may seem like "nit-picky" questions; but I am trying to get
a visual picture of what a typical coach would look like at the end
of a journey, to say, the Pacific coast. How "used" would it look;
and how would the passengers and crew appear? How "lived-in" would
the coach appear? These are probably strange things to consider,
for those used to the world of "counting rivets, and strict adherence
to FS numbers"; but I feel they DO have an influence on the appearance.
Has anyone tackled the Andrea kit?
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Reply to
Greg Heilers
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The Butterfield Trail ran not too far from where I live (El Paso), in fact there used to be a sign along runway 4/22 that read "You are now on the Butterfield Trail." Anyway, from what I have read there were regular stops scheduled along the way. I seriously doubt that they travelled at night for the most part. There was an expected schedule and I'm sure different lines wanted to be able to advertise some sort of schedule. Of course that might be more in the lines of: "You leave El Paso at 0915 on Saturday and get to Tucson SOMETIME on Thursday. Maybe.
The technology to maintain a stage would be present anywhere you could find a blacksmith. I would not be at all surprised to find that many stop over points had individuals with multiple skills that also included blacksmithing. Repairing a broken wheel was something folks worried less about than we do changing a flat tire.
By the time that stages coach routes were well established in the South West the Indian Wars were over for the most part. At least in that part of the U.S. How often did Indians or outlaws really attack stages? It does make a great scene in The Man Who Shot Libert Valance. You do bring up a good point about security. More than likely you will find that stage routes probably followed closely to the line of forts in the SW states.
As far as different classes of stages, I would imagine that all were pretty much the same, though private coaches might have a little more class.
I imagine a stagecoach looked a lot like my Toyota after a road trip: Covered with dust and "lived in"". I suspect the stagecoach lacked the empty Gatorade bottles.
CB
Reply to
Jinxx1
There was an expected schedule and I'm sure different lines
LOL.....That reminds me of one of the few (maybe, the ONE) good line in "Dances With Wolves". Costner and Pastorelli come across this skeleton, with the remnants of arrows protruding from the rib cage. Pastorelli says: "Somebody back East probably sayin'; 'Now, why don't he WRITE?'".
Thanks for the good info!
:o)
Reply to
Greg Heilers
Seems like there was a movie that partially took place in a "Stagecoach Stop" - might have been "The Ballad of Cable Hoague (SP?). Looked like a pretty grungy place.
Jack
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Reply to
Jack G
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is Mark Twain's book "Roughing It", which leads off with an account of how he traveled to Nevada by stagecoach. Fascinating reading, and answers your questions. Quite an interesting trip, even before his stagecoach driver was murdered...
And the *rest* of Project Gutenburg is pretty nifty too...
WinBear
Reply to
WinBear
Travel in the west in 19th century was a lot different than in east, where convoys would not be needed. I will speak of travel east and midwest.
Normal travel was by walking or horseback, and cities were too far apart often times, so the business called the Inn provided nightly stops. No one traveled by night, individuals OR stagecoaches.
Now, a stage made more time than a single individual, even one on horseback (since he would not normally have had a horse relay system). So, the coach could skip some inns. If two cities were a long way apart, then they would stop at an inn overnight. If cities were closer, they'd be able to make trip in one day.
Sometimes the inns were actually owned and maybe operated by coach line, in other cases they would be normal inns with an independent proprietor.
Sometimes coach companies would contract with existing livery stable for horses, in other cases they ran their own stables.
Greg Heilers wrote:
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Reply to
Don Stauffer
in article snipped-for-privacy@usfamily.net, Don Stauffer at snipped-for-privacy@usfamily.net wrote on 9/10/03 12:59 PM:
To add a tiny bit of information, stagecoach inns--and there are several still in this area--were often located at major streams for the obvious reasons and in case of storms and high water, the travelers would have a safe place. The Spanish did the same thing for travelers along the Camino Real, however they were pretty Spartan affairs, being little more than a pen for the stock and a jacal for the travelers.
MB
Reply to
Milton Bell
Milton,
Last time I was around and in Brushy Creek, doing a little a-fishin'; I was actually able to find some of those talked-about "still remaining" petrified wagon-wheel ruts in the creek bed, from "way back then". Pretty neat...
:o)
Reply to
Greg Heilers
there are still miles of ruts on the oregon trail.
Reply to
e
Greg,
Stagecoaches, just as with any horse-drawn, or ridden transportation, traveled in stages, due to the limits of what any horse or team of horses could do in a given period of time.
Horses trained to harness represented a far greater investment to the stage lines than did any saddlehorse (even though a cowboy's horse was to him no less valuable!) due to the "skills" required of them. Therefore, the teams were used in relays cross-country. If the stage could be town-to-town, fine. If not, then stage stops (with stables for fresh horses, feed & water), sometimes a blacksmith were established (some of these eventually became at least small towns). If these stage stops were far enough from a town with a hotel, there would have been some sleeping accommodations, and food & drink available.
Often, also, the stage drivers would "stage", much the same as the horses, particularly in rugged country, so as to take advantage of the knowledge particular drivers had as to the terrain.
As far as "escorts", very seldom. The stagecoach would have had two crewmen, a driver, and a helper (riding "shotgun") to aid with any breakdown, and provide armed protection when needed.
As for the class of travel, it was just plain "coach", 4-6 people in two seats, facing each other (bet they wished for Dial Soap!).
As the roads traveled were almost always dirt roads, the stage coaches got very dusty, and mud-spattered in wet weather. They were cleaned, however, probably fairly regularly, to enhance the image of the particular company. Repairs could be made enroute for the most part, unless a serious breakdown, but again, just like the farm wagons of the era, they were built hell-for-stout where it counted.
Art Anderson
Reply to
EmilA1944
That's the part that seems, to me, to fall into the "just asking for it" category. Any band of a dozen or more "raiders", "banditos", or "Indians", would seem be drawn to such a situation, and easily create havoc. Was there simply just not enough "travel" going on to be able to use some sort of a convoy system?
Reply to
Greg Heilers
The Butterfield stage line encouraged passengers to bring arms for self defense. They also had a policy that forbade the carriage of gold or silver as cargo in an attempt to make the stages a less appealing target for highwaymen. The more isolated stage rest stops along the route were essentially mini forts and were well equiped with armaments. Traffic on the line was too light for a convoy system, with only four stages departing each town per week, two eastbound and two westbound.
John Benson ------------------------ IPMS El Paso Web Guy
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Reply to
John Benson
I took a coach tour of Tombstone, AZ. Amazing number of flies were inside the coach (the horses) Must have been miserable in stagecoaches in their time....
Craig
Reply to
Craig
All three, I suspect.
Reply to
EmilA1944

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