Snow slows coach lines
by Ed Cook, Contributing Writer
Deep snow, making the roads almost impassible between Fort Laramie and Cheyenne, has delayed several coaches. Superintendent Voorhees of the stage line has been trying to keep the coaches moving as fast as possible. In good, dry weather they have been making the 311-mile trip from Cheyenne to Deadwood in about 48 hours. Bad weather and muddy or snowy roads slow the trip down to 72 hours or longer.
Dec. 13 - The down (southbound) coach today carried $30,000 worth of gold. Shipments like this have prompted the stage owners to make plans for extra guards and special strong boxes to protect future shipments.
Dec. 30 - The temperature this last week has been very cold, it has dropped as low as 30 degrees below zero. Regardless of the weather, the Indians have gone on several rampages. About Christmas time they killed Tate, a mail carrier from Hat Creek, and two couriers on their way to the Red Cloud Agency (Fort Robinson). Two other men were also found killed by Indians on Indian Creek a couple of days later. In that same week four freight teams were attacked while camped on the upper crossing of Indian Creek six miles east of here. Three men were murdered, the contents of their wagons were scattered and six horses were driven off.
Luke Voorhees, superintendent of the Cheyenne and Black Hills stage line, was on the down coach today. He had been in Deadwood this past week making arrangements for the huge increase in travel he expects this coming year, as miners, businessmen and settlers head for the Hills. Capt. D.B. Akey, also a passenger on the stage, assured Voorhees that California would send 10,000 people to the Hills in the spring.
(Information source: John Hunton's Diary 1876-'77. Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage and Express Routes by Agnes Wright Spring)