It’s quite the view from the long bridge over
Photo of the old
On September 17, 1882 in
The misfortunate driver Black Bart robbed was Horace Williams, who had the further misfortune of being robbed in the same place by Black Bart the year before. Also along this route on another occasion, Horace rolled the stagecoach down a hillside. The stages used here generally weren’t the luxurious Concorde coaches, but the lighter and more common ‘Mud Wagons’ that had a 3” wheel rather than the
Black Bart poem:
"I've labored long and hard for bread,
For honor and for riches
But on my corns too long you've tread,
You fine-haired sons-of-bitches.
Black Bart, the P o 8"
Boy howdy! These dispatches are finally yielding some new songs; Shasta Man,
Note to historical nit pickers: No, Black Bart didn’t do all of these things in the Bass Hill robberies, the song is a composite of a few of Charles Earl Bowles’ (Black Bart’s) highlights.
BLACK BART’S BASS HILL CATCH © Radio Flier Music
Horace Williams down the road, Drives the Wells Fargo stage
Strongbox with a load of gold, A goin’
Passengers they number six, Wish the ride was over soon
Soon to see the bag of tricks, From the shadow in the midnight moon
Long dark duster, brogan shoes, Fine gloves on his shotgun hands
The treasure box to be the dues, For the wayside gentleman
Verses in his pocket packed, To let them know the score
A poem for his dangerous act, He wrote the night before
(Black Bart’s poem – Chorus)
Here I lay me down to sleep, To wait the coming morrow,
Perhaps success, perhaps defeat, And everlasting sorrow.
Let come what will I'll try it on, My condition can't be worse;
And if there's money in that box, ’Tis money in my purse!
“By your leave sir, stop the coach, To this agent you’ll throw down
Your litter of gold I aim to poach, Here on Bass Hill’s mound”
“My men have their rifles trained, From the hillside’s boulders”
Moonlight showed to Horace plain, As the gun on the outlaw’s shoulders
Inside the coach a woman said, “Please take my jewels and cargo”
“Miss, I only take my bread, From the office of Wells Fargo”
And with that line they know’d, The suspicion from the start
The shadow in the moonlight’s glow, Was the legend, Black Bart
Black Bart vanished in the cold, Leaving Horace in a fix
For the rifles in the boulders, Were nothing more than sticks
A poem left to have some fun, With the gentleman’s outlaw game
For empty was his shotgun, He got the money just the same
Plaque inscription: NO. 148 BASS HILL - On the summit of Bass Hill a remnant of the California-Oregon stage road crosses the
Coordinates are for plaque, marker is in parking lot.
Google maps: 40.754507,-122.323108