Sunday, January 2, 2011

Butterfield Stage Station

The seventh in a series of nine landmarks of June 23, 1993, and through heat and hunger we press on, the morning balloon ride a distant memory. We’ve pulled away from the cluster of landmarks to the South, picking up speed we head to one of the Butterfield Stage stops that dotted the California landscape thinking that maybe they’ve turned it into a quant restaurant where lunch was waiting. No such luck, just a ‘historical landmark’ road sign pointing to a small rock with a smaller plaque and after a photo, we press on like weary stage passengers wrought with thirst and scurvy hoping for relief as the DeSoto develops a ticking sound and a light wisp of smoke begins to stream from the tailpipe. Just when things could not be worse, an oasis of a farmer’s market and fruit stand appears from nowhere on the right, saving the day with sodas and sandwiches.
An earlier post dealt with the Butterfield mail route, however this site is one of several landmarks in the state that were Butterfield stage stations.

Plaque inscription: NO. 188 BUTTERFIELD STAGE STATION - Site of Butterfield Stage Station where mail was delivered and horses changed. The first stage carrying overland mail left Tipton, Missouri on September 15, 1858 and, passing through Temescal, arrived in Los Angeles October 7, 1858.
20730 Temescal Canyon Rd
, 7 mi S of Corona. Google maps: 33.811495,-117.504991

Here’s a link to a video sample of the song ‘Butterfield Stage’

BUTTERFIELD STAGE                   © Radio Flier Music

Ch) Ride the Butterfield stage, a Concord Coach so well made
Tipton Missouri to San Francisco bay, on the Butterfield Overland stage

Its 24 days to get there, conditions are hostile
Pleasures few, as you pass through, for 2900 miles

You’ll be a fine passenger; you’re looking fit and smart
A few supplies that we advise, before the stage departs

You’ll need a rifle for the journey, and bring along a pistol too
And to save your life, a bowie knife, keep your money in your boot

Make sure those boots are sturdy, there’s snakes and mud and rocks
To be prepared a half dozen pair, of heavy woolen socks

Bring three woolen overshirts, and a well-made woolen pant
Six undershirts, woolen drawers won’t hurt, and a broad wide-awake hat

You need gauntlet gloves and a cheap sack coat, and a rubber poncho too
And a greatcoat, no lightweight coat, or the chill will turn you blue

And blankets are essential; you must bring two or three
We’re not done the list goes on, let’s talk about toiletries

Four towels, a sponge, and hairbrush, and soap I hate to nag
A comb completes, arrange them neat, packed in a oil-silk bag

A repair kit is a useful, as every traveler knows
Needles and pins and thread in a tin, for occasional bullet holes

Son of a gun we’re almost done, just a few things to include
Besides clothes and gear in this frontier, we got to talk about food

It’s a mail route you’re along for the ride, that’s just the way things be
We’ll feed woman and man when we can, but we cannot guarantee

Bring a private larder of crackers, some cheese and canned sardines
To accent and supplement, lean fare from the company

And there’s water to think about, besides the day’s cuisine
The water may be bad when it can be had, bring along your own canteen

Aside from beef and biscuit, there’s a little thing about sleep
We change horses and crew and coaches too, but you’ll arrive in a heap

No comments:

Post a Comment