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 first transcontinental mail service. Today, the National Park Service is investigating whether the Butterfield Route should be added to the national trail system. Part of that effort involves an identification of the historic route, identification of a potential driving route that would follow or parallel the historic route, and an inventory of historic properties along the route.

This website is maintained by Charlie Alison.

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    1. Thanks Wade. We’ve corrected the map to reflect the location the coordinates you mentioned. I’m not sure I could tell which building is the red-roofed one, however, so the map might still be locating the station in an incorrect spot.

  1. I visited the Dragoon Springs Station in Arizona recently. It’s pretty well documented and described in several places. The actual location is further south and west than your map marker. 31.997640, -110.022474 is pretty close. I have some pictures and videos of the site and will share if you wish. It is described in fair detail at this site too: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=2330130&CScn=dragoon+springs&CScntry=4&CSst=5&

    1. The stagecoaches were fitted with lanterns to help light their way during the nighttime hours, and certainly, they moved at a slower pace at night than their daytime speed. For adverse weather, they simply kept going as long as it was safe. Across Missouri and Arkansas, the route generally stayed along a high point between watersheds to help avoid having to cross creeks and streams that might become swollen after a heavy rainfall, but there were still some significant crossings that could prevent passage at times. Larger rivers such as the Arkansas and Red on the eastern end and the Gila on the western end had ferries in place so didn’t face the same issue. But there were a lot of mid-size streams such as the Pecos that did cause issues after a big rain event. Most of the southern route was through relatively dry countryside from Oklahoma west, so rain was much less a problem than lack of water during the heat of summer.

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