June Events: Yesteryear Re-discovered

CA poppy close view

In June 1907, when stagecoach travel was rapidly being replaced by the railroads, an old, yellowed handbill happened to surface. “Atchison, Kansas to San Francisco, California in 35 days; fare, only $200 in gold” read the heading. Issued by the Atchison and California stagecoach line in 1857, the handbill advertised the line’s recent road improvements, fine horses and new coaches, boasting “the longest distance ever attempted by a stagecoach line” of 1,913 miles. Every passenger was allowed 25 pounds of luggage consisting of clothing, and charged 50 cents a pound for any excess baggage weight—but advised to send the excess by ship. Paid-up passengers had unlimited “stopover” privileges at any place along the route, meaning they could leave the vehicle at a given point and resume their journey whenever there was an empty seat in the coach. Twelve telegraph stations dotted the route and eating places had been established where good meals could be had for $3.00. The handbill went on to warn that the risk on the return trip was very great because of the amount of gold dust and nuggets being brought back from California, and the company refused to be held responsible for loss by robbers, Indians, or other means. Read more about the exciting staging era in The Stagecoach in Northern California: Rough Rides, Gold Camps and Daring Drivers, available at Amazon.com and local bookstores.

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *