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Stage Coach

The stage coach at full gallop on a good dirt road was a glory to see. However, it was a rarity. The problem was that most stage coaches could not run at a decent speed on most of the roads.

Each new rainstorm created new gullies that ran across the sand and gravel roads of the Adirondacks. The stage drivers knew this and would hardly ever run their teams at full gallop.

But that was not the only reason that galloping stages were a rarity. Normally each stable had only two coaches; one four horse coach and one six horse coach. This meant that most of the travelers were transported by buckboard. This was not a kindly way to travel.

The coaches were plush and luxurious. The customers would be out of the wind and rain. The buckboards, in a few instances, had covers over the top. This hardly kept out inclement weather. The seats were sprung and padded but that didn’t seem to help the people with kidney problems.

And pity the poor man who decided to partake of whiskey at the stop between the railroad and the coach ride.

Quite often I would meet the coach company patrons at the entrance to one lodge or another. Those that suffered the most were the elderly and the infirm. We had a lot of infirm people coming to the Adirondacks for treatment of various lung conditions. I must agree, the clear cool air seemed to help quite a few of these people.

My business with the coach line was varied. Mr. Marsh, the superintendent, may have a sport or two that needed guiding. At other times he would give me a contract to build some new hubs for his coaches or buckboards.

My father and I were experts at building hubs and spokes. Mr. Marsh had his own mechanics that could assemble and fit the spokes and hubs to the axles.

It was good money but not easy work for father and me.

Tahawas and Tomosky c