the history nebraska blog

The Stage Ride

Vacationers heading towards Nebraska’s Pine Ridge, and the Black Hills beyond, have the

prospect of a pleasant journey through spectacular scenery. The trip hasn’t always been such

an enjoyable jaunt, as this traveler discovered in 1877:



“Will I ever forget that stage ride? I should rather think not. I had experimented on short

distance, say from the hotel to the depot, and had occasionally rode a mile or two out, but to

get into a coach with eight others, nearly all large men, when the utmost capacity was three

on each of the three seats, and start off for a ride of three hundred miles, with stops only for

changes of horses and meals, was something entirely fresh and new for me. The time passed

pleasantly enough until evening came.



“We held long interviews, smoked our cigars, and drank our iced tea. It isn’t safe to drink

water after leaving the railroad some of the wells and springs are so strongly impregnated

with alkali that the water is very unhealthy. There were eight flasks of liquor, one bottle of

wine, and my solitary bottle of iced tea inside the coach.



“But when night came, Oh. There was the rub. Then the trouble commenced. We were

tired, our eyelids dropped, our heads were nodding, we were all wrapped in our blankets, but

we couldn’t sleep. A sudden jolt of the coach (and they were frequent) would wake us all up,

and then we would laugh at each other. None would admit that they had been napping.



“Suddenly the coach would stop. Were we in the hands of road agents? No. Were the

Indians upon us? No. The voice of the driver was heard as the stage stood at the foot of a

long hill, ‘Come, boys, exercise yourselves,’ and we would get out, and in the cold night air,

we would walk four or five miles up hill and through deep sand.



“We would then all get back into the coach, blanket ourselves, nod a few minutes, get a few

good bumps on the head, sing a song, nod again, then get out and walk to please the driver,

you know. So the night passed, and morning dawned at last.” –Omaha Daily Republican


Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

Other Publications

Nebraska History Moments – For Further Reading

Do you have your copy of Nebraska History Moments, published by History Nebraska? This page is for readers who have the book and want to know more about its stories. ...

Nebraska History Index 1885-present

Searching Nebraska History Two ways to search past issues: Table of Contents (1885 to present) . Articles are listed issue by issue, with links to many that ...

Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger Foreward

Red Dog, an Oglala Lakota who lived at the Red Cloud Agency, Nebraska, 1876-77 (Nebraska State Historical Society RG2955.ph). In the summer of 1876, following the ...

Books Published by History Nebraska

In an effort to make quality stories from Nebraska's history more accessible, History Nebraska has partnered with University of Nebraska Press as a distributor of most ...

Darryl F. Zanuck

Darryl F. Zanuck Darryl F. Zanuck (1902-1979), a native Nebraskan, produced some of Hollywood's most important and controversial films. He helped found 20th Century Fox ...

History Nebraska newsletter

Darryl F. Zanuck Darryl F. Zanuck (1902-1979), a native Nebraskan, produced some of Hollywood's most important and controversial films. He helped found 20th Century Fox ...

The Burlington’s Profitable Pork Special

Nebraska railroads were much concerned with developing an adequate economy in the areas they served. The Burlington, for example, had a long history of caring for the ...

Bungalow Filling Stations

After the giant Standard Oil Company was broken into thirty-four separate companies in 1911, the newly independent Standard Oil of Nebraska dominated the state's market ...

The Bull Fight

This is the perfect time of year for a visit to the old fishin' hole. But a group of fisherfolk from Plainview discovered that this bucolic pastime sometimes has ...

Buffalo Soldiers West

African-American soldiers on the western frontier are the focus of an exhibit at the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln. Buffalo Soldiers West, on loan from the Colorado ...

Protection for Buffalo

The extermination of the buffalo on the Plains occurred largely between 1870 and 1885. The Nebraska State Journal of Lincoln on February 1, 1874, editorialized in vain ...

Buffalo Hunting

In late October 1877 young Rolf Johnson and three friends left their homes in Phelps County, Nebraska, for a buffalo hunt in northeastern Colorado. The hunt was not very ...
About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.
Nebraska Collections
History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.
Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.