Stagecoach Service from St. Louis to San Francisco

The Butterfield Overland Mail Co. operated from 1858 to 1861 under contract with the U.S. Postal Department, providing transportation of U.S. mail between St. Louis, Mo., and San Francisco, Calif. The route proposed by the Butterfield Mail Co. became known as the “Oxbow Route” because of its shape on a map, starting in St. Louis and then dipping southwesterly through Missouri, western Arkansas and the Indian Territory, turning west across Texas and southern New Mexico and Arizona, and then curving north again in California to finish at San Francisco.

This website provides history and information about the Butterfield Overland Mail Co., its stagecoaches and present-day efforts to preserve the route and establish it as a national heritage trail.

Follow these links for more information:

Maps of the Route


3 thoughts on “Stagecoach Service from St. Louis to San Francisco

  1. The route in Arizona is incomplete and (I believe) in error. Not shown are the San Pedro River Stop and the Ceinaga (SP) stops. I visited both as a teenager in the 1960s where the remains of the adobe building still existed. Also I believe the route shown through the Dragoon mountains is also wrong and should be shown as through Apache Pass (near old Ft Bowie).

    1. Thanks Neal. Let me make sure I understand though. Is the Ceinaga (SP) station separate from the Cienaga Station that I have shown between Tucson and Dragoon Springs? If so, do you have a location for it. Or do I have the right station, just not the correct location on it? For the San Pedro River Station, I didn’t have enough information to feel secure trying to put a marker on the map. I’ll do a little googling and see if I can track down a location for it. And if you have a location, I’ll be glad to add it. And, last, the trail I have drawn currently follows the Apache Pass Road. Should it be following further south and down the draw to the southeast?

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