How did the stagecoach get its name?
Coaches that carried passengers became known as “stagecoaches” because they stopped to rest at stage stops along the way.
Until railroads appeared, early travelers in America made long-distance journeys either on horseback or in horse-drawn coaches, called “stagecoaches.”
Stops were made along the way at rest stations, or “stages,” for fresh horses and food for the passengers. Thus the name of “stagecoach.”
Travel by stagecoach was often unsafe as well as uncomfortable. The travelers faced the constant danger of robbery and Indian attack. The stagecoaches bumped along the bumpy dirt roads day and night.
The passengers, grimy with dust in summer and shivering with cold in winter, tried to sleep on the hard seats. A trip from Missouri to California took nearly three weeks.
Many of the finest stagecoaches were made at Concord, New Hampshire. They were handmade and cost $1,500 each.
Concord coaches drawn by six horses bounced along at a brisk, 10 miles an hour. So well were the coaches built that many of the original coaches are still used in Western movies. – Dick Rogers
- Posted in: Bumpy Dirt Road ♦ Early Travelers ♦ Finest Stagecoaches ♦ Fresh Horses ♦ Hard Seats ♦ Long-distance Journey
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