Prospectors and Postmen: Delivery By Land

Mules, Wagons, and Well-Worn Routes

Mail, including letters, supplies, and goods, was often freighted in by steamship from San Francisco to the port of Yuma. From there, items either continued up river or were loaded onto wagons, coaches, and pack animals and taken out to towns and camps.

The stage lines and buckboard lines that carried mail and supplies also transported passengers on a regular basis between towns, sometimes requiring at least one overnight stay. These vehicles were extraordinarily uncomfortable, however. After making the much longer overland (cross-country) trip on stagecoach, journalist Waterman L. Ormsby famously said, “I NOW KNOW WHAT HELL IS LIKE. I’VE JUST HAD 24 DAYS OF IT.”