Mud wagons and more elegant, decorated Concord coaches carried passengers and mail throughout the country. The ride in these hard wagons over rough roads and dusty deserts or in frigid, snowy weather tested the endurance of even the most seasoned traveler.
Narrator: Prior to the Civil War one company dominated stagecoach travel.
In coaches like this one, John Butterfield's Overland Mail service carried passengers and mail coast to coast.
In 1869 came a landmark event, the linking up with the two coasts with one continuous rail line.
The Transcontinental Railroad was a breakthrough but it served too few communities.
Most in frontier towns still had to rely on the stagecoaches to connect them to the outside world.
Sometimes all they had were rough mud wagons like this one.
Climb in and imagine what it was like to ride in.