Stagecoach will make stops in Barry County

Thursday, September 4, 2008

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Butterfield Stagecoach ride through southwest Missouri, the historic stagecoach, driven by Rick and Beverly Hamby, of West Plains, will arrive in Barry County on Tuesday, Sept. 9.

The stagecoach journey marks the sesquicentennial of the Butterfield Overland Mail Route, which ran from 1958 until the Civil War broke out in 1861. The stagecoach will travel along much of the original route, offering spectators a glimpse back in history.

After appearances in Springfield on Sept. 7 and Sept. 8, the stagecoach will travel to Barry County on Sept. 9 and camp at Hilton Church near Osa, arriving at approximately 4 p.m. A history program, moderated by Rev. Lee Neill, will begin at 6:30 p.m., and prior to the program, pen pal letters from area schools will be exchanged.

On Wednesday, Sept. 10, the stagecoach will move on to the Star City Ranch north of Cassville, which is located on the Old Wire Road (Farm Road 1142). A campsite visit, hosted by Star City Ranch owner Sheryl Hubbs-Taylor, is planned.

The historic Cassville square will be the site of an 11 a.m. program on Sept. 11. A welcome by Mayor Tracy Holle will be followed by a mail exchange with pen pal students and a mock trial involving the notorious Butterfield Bandit on the courthouse lawn.

That evening, William Piston, a history professor from Missouri State University, will share the history of the Butterfield Overland Mail Route at 7 p.m. in the Cassville Middle School cafeteria. The Hambys will also be sharing information about their past journeys.

On the morning of Sept. 12, the stagecoach will demonstrate a mail exchange at Southwest School before heading off to Arkansas and Pea Ridge National Park.

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