|A Year of Indiana History - 2016|
Leave Louisville 12 noon, Saturday Vincennes 9 am tuesday 8 dollar fare
First Stage Coach
The first stagecoach between Vincennes and New Albany along the Vincennes Trace began service in 1820. Stagecoach travel was dusty, bumpy and uncomfortable. Most stagecoaches seated about nine people on three seats inside the coach. The spring-less coaches provided for a rough ride over the dirt roads of the time.
Travel in Stages
The stagecoach acquired its name because travelers completed their journey in "stages." Most stagecoach lines had several stops along the way. Minor stops, called "swing" stops, allowed a stop of about ten minutes. These were about twelve miles apart. The stage driver had a small brass horn he tooted before arriving at the stop to alert the attendant the stage was coming. Once at these stops, the horse team would be changed and the passengers allowed out for a few minutes of welcome relief. About ever fifty or sixty miles, the stagecoach stopped at a "home" station. These stations were bigger and usually had a cabin or house for the passengers to catch a few hours sleep and a meal before proceeding on. Sometimes there was a blacksmith on the site. A stagecoach could cover about 120 miles per day; the trip from Vincennes to New Albany would take somewhat less than three days to complete the 120-mile journey.
A Year of Indiana History - 2016
© Paul Wonning