Cheyenne to Deadwood - $20


The Cheyenne-Deadwood Trail was built to carry freight and passengers from the busy railroad city of Cheyenne to the upstart gold fields, of the Black Hills, near the growing city of Deadwood. The first coach left Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory, in January of 1876, traveled north and east to cross the brand new bridge over the North Platte River at Fort Laramie.
Bridge built 1875
 
So many people needed, or wanted to make this trip that Luke Voorhees the stage line superintendent needed 600 horses and 30, very nice, Concord coaches to carry passengers north and all the gold, money and newly rich prospectors back south.
 The coaches, named for the city they were made in New Hampshire were the best of their day. But getting them to Cheyenne was a tall order. They were shipped to California, via the trip around South America, and then driven overland to Cheyenne. Concord coaches were described as huge, swinging on leather straps, and drawn by six horses hitched in teams of two. Shorter mail or special runs sometimes used four horses, but the longer runs always used six.


Want to ride? First class tickets, Cheyenne to Deadwood were, $20.00, if you didn’t mind walking up long or steep hills or through sand draws, a third class ticket could be purchased for $10.00.

Fort Laramie - The Army was charged with protecting the stage lines.
The route was divided into 40 mile segments, with major stopping places at those 40 mile intervals. Horses were changed several times during each segment, miles traveled depended on the terrain. Coaches averaged a speed of eight miles an hour, not bad for that day. The coaches traveled night and day, always accompanied by armed guards, including, at one time, Wyatt Earp, riding shotgun. Unlike movie and TV sidekicks riding shotgun beside the driver, these shotguners often rode alongside on horseback.  The line flourished until the railroad built enough connections to make the stage lines obsolete.

 


 
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