Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Arrival of Wells Fargo Stagecoach to History Park

With the sound of hooves reverberating off the store fronts and a cloud of dust rising from the street, a cry of “The stage is here! The stage is here!” could be heard from the onlookers as the daily stagecoach arrived into town.

A Wells Fargo stagecoach did arrive today into History Park; unfortunately not in the melodramatic fashion described above.

On temporary loan from the Children’s Discovery Museum, the stagecoach was unloaded from a flat bed truck and placed inside the trolley barn. Over the next couple of months, CDM needs exhibit space and needed to temporarily store their Wells Fargo Stagecoach offsite. After inspections by both CDM and Wells Fargo, arrangements were made to relocate the object to History Park.

In 1857, the Butterfield Overland Mail Company was awarded a U.S. Mail contract between St. Louis and San Francisco, by way of San Jose. Though 600 miles longer than a more northern path, this route was selected because it was snow free for most of the year. Due to owed debts, the company became part of Well Fargo in 1860. By 1870, overland stage coach operations lost their importance with the opening of the transcontinental railroad.

During its summer stay, the stagecoach will be on display in the trolley barn. On selected event days such as Gold Rush Adventure day, July 15, the coach will be rolled outside.