Wednesday, April 21, 2021

19th Century Commuting by Kimberly Grist

 Stagecoach travel was no picnic with photos from the film that made John Wayne famous.  

According to an 1877 Omaha Herald article, there was a stagecoach code of etiquette and a few warnings. Here are a few: 

“Don’t imagine for a moment you are going on a picnic; expect annoyance, discomfort and some hardships. If you are disappointed, thank heaven.” 

“In very cold weather, abstain entirely from liquor while on the road; a man will freeze twice as quick while under its influence.”

"When the driver asks you to get out and walk, do it without grumbling.” 
“If a team runs away, sit still and take your chances; if you jump, nine times out of ten you will be hurt.

“Never attempt to fire a gun or pistol while on the road; it may frighten the team and the careless handling and cocking of the weapon makes nervous people nervous.” 

“Don’t discuss politics or religion nor point out places on the road where horrible murders have been committed if delicate women are among the passengers.”

Proceeding photos from Stagecoach (1939), directed by John Ford. The film that made John Wayne a star 

Stagecoach Robberies 
Stagecoach robberies were frequent occurrences across the frontier. Highwaymen would typically select a site where the stage would have to slow down and would approach with guns drawn. 
John Boessenecker’s book Shotguns and Stagecoaches, claims that Wells Fargo’s stagecoaches were robbed nearly 350 times between 1870 and 1884. 

Types of Service 
Some companies had three classes of service 

  • First Class rode all the way. 

  • Second Class had to get out and walk on steep slopes. 

  • Third Class had to walk and push.  

Stage Stops
As the stage driver neared the station, he or she would blow a bugle or trumpet to alert the station staff of the impending arrival. Prior to my research, I don't recall learning of a bugle announcing the arrival of the stage, but I could certainly imagine the excitement of a small town, anxious to receive mail, supplies, or perhaps a visitor. The photo below is from the musical, "The Music Man," as the town welcomes The Wells Fargo Wagon.   

According to the late Mr. Walter Oatts of Austin, whose father was the postmaster at Brushy, the driver of the stage would blow his horn when the stage was about a mile away. When the horn sounded almost everyone in the vicinity would trudge up the hill to the Inn to be on hand when the stage came into town. Mr. Oatts also mentioned that "the arrival of the stage was heralded by the honks from a large flock of geese owned by the inn." The inn boasted every bedroom had its own feather beds.  

Just Released! Available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited! 

A Baker for Bear (Mail-Order Mama Series Book 6) The books in this series are separate stories where the bride arrives by stagecoach, not knowing that the person sending for "Mama" is not the groom.

A debutante baker with a stammer. A compulsive widowed blacksmith with two young daughters. Will they find a way to coexist or even better, forge a romantic relationship? Ada Pike longs to leave the life of a socialite and use her skills as a baker to love and nurture a family. A move to the country will perfectly suit her first steps into life on her own. Barrett Montgomery rejects the idea of a mail-order bride. What he needs is a housekeeper—someone he can fire if things don’t work out the way he likes. Can a matchmaking agency work miracles to bring two people with opposing goals together? 

Buy Link:

Kimberly Grist is married to her high school sweetheart, Nelson, a former teacher, and coach, now a pastor. They have three adult sons, one with Down syndrome, and they have a passion for encouraging others with family members with special needs. 
I believe you should come away refreshed and inspired after reading a book. In my personal life, I wear so many hats, working inside and outside the home. I work hard, try harder, and then begin again the next day. Despite my best efforts, sometimes life stinks. Bad things happen. I need and want an outlet, an opportunity to relax and escape to a place where obstacles are met and overcome. My stories are designed to entertain, refresh, and inspire you, the reader. They combine History, Humor, and Romance, with an emphasis on Faith, Friends, and Good Clean Fun.  

To visit Kim and learn more about her and her writing click on the links below. 

Sign up for her newsletter: 

1 comment:

Caroline Clemmons said...

Kim, your outlook on reading is the same as mine. I want to be uplifted, not depressed. Thank you for sharing your post with readers. Best wishes for continued success.