The Stagecoach in Northern California

Sacramento Chronicles: A Golden Past by Cheryl Anne Stapp

Experienced new england stagemen followed thousands of bedazzled gold rushers out west in 1849 to create the west’s first public transportation. the stagecoach delivered mail, subjected its paying passengers to bone-bruising, sometimes terrifying travel…and transported millions of dollars in gold that fueled california’s unprecedented rapid development.

The stagecoach rumbled over california roads for 70 years. read the exciting, romantic history of the magnificent, iconic concord coach, half-wild stage horses guided by skilled “whips” and gold-country stage stations in these pages:

Part One: Western Staging Begins

  • The Stagecoach – Glamour and Utility
  • Lesser Coaches and Other Conveyances
  • Stage Teams and Traditions

Part Two: Men of Vision

  • James E. Birch – The California Stage Company
  • Jared Crandall – Hall & Crandall, the Pioneer Stage Company, & The Placerville Road
  • Louis McLane Jr. — Wells Fargo & Company

Part Three: Hazards of the Road

  • A Test of Endurance
  • Accidents
  • The Pitt River Indian Attack
  • Road Rage

Part Four: Stage Robberies

  • Highwayman Tom Bell
  • Irresistible Temptation
  • Renegade Confederates
  • Highwayman Charles Bowles, a.k.a. Black Bart
  • The Ruggles Brothers
  • Twentieth Century Desperados

Part Five: Drivers and Messengers

  • Stage Driver Charley Parkhurst
  • Stage Driver Hank Monk
  • Unusual Incidents in a Stagecoach
  • Shotgun Messengers

Part Six: Routes, Towns and Stage Stops

  • Coloma and Mormon Island
  • Stockton
  • Sacramento
  • Auburn
  • The Mountaineer House
  • Yankee Jim’s
  • Marysville
  • Amador County
  • Downieville and Goodyears Bar
  • The Henness Pass Wagon Road
  • Shasta, Siskiyou and Trinity Counties
  • Dutch Flat and the Dutch Flat-Donner Lake Wagon Road

Part Seven: Epilogue


Also available at and bookstores throughout northern California.