Riding in a Stage Coach

By an Unknown Author

Creeping through the valley,
Crawling o’er the hill,
Splashing through the “branches:’
Rumbling by the mill;
Pulling nervous “gemmen”
In a towering rage;
What is so provoking
As—riding in a stage?

Feet are interlacing,
Heads severely lumped,
Friend and foe together
Get their noses thumped;

Dresses act as carpets—
Listen to the sage—
Life is but a journey
Taken in a stage?
Spinsters “fair and forty?”
Maids in youthful charms,
Suddenly are cast in
To their neighbor’s arms;
Children shout like squirrels
Darting through a cage;
Isn’t it delightful—-
Ridging in a stage?
Married men are smiling- –
They are out of fright,
Thankful that the broomstick
Is no where in sight.
Young men with the d—1
Would with fiendish rage
Take them, if again they
Ever take a stage.

Bonnets crash around us—
Hats look “worse for wear”—
Teeth at each concussion
Fly to take the air;
Shrivelled maiden ladies,
Past “a certain age:’
Groan forlornly—”Dreadful
Riding in a stage.”
Jolted—thumped—distracted—
Racked, and quite forlorn—
“Oh” writhes one—”What duties
Now are laid on corn!”
Mad—disgusted—angry
In a swearing cage,
Tis the very d—1—
Riding in a stage!.

Special Notes:

When did the first stage coach transporting passengers arrive to Elk County on the Bennett’s Branch?

Assumedly it was probably over a primitive road from Karthaus to Medox (Medix) Run that was cut through the wilderness by Peter Aaron Karthaus, part of which was contracted to Leonard Morey, and opened in 1822. The road was eight foot wide and made passable for sleds, with bridged and dug ways to make the road suitable for travel.

A few years latter the Milesburg-Smethport Turnpike opened. A section of this road is now known as the Caledonia Pike. The course of this road followed the Caledonia Road to the intersection of Route 255, and on to Ridgway through the village of Kersey. About a mile north of intersection of Route 255 and the Caledonia Road there was a inn known as White Pines that served as a stage coach stop. Near the intersection of Fairview, there is a stone water trough that once served both passengers and horses for stage coaches traveling on the Milesburg Turnpike.

Sometime after 1836, there was an Inn at Ralph Johnson’s home in Grant that served as a stage coach stop for those traveling up and down the Bennett’s Branch. Obviously traveling by stage coaches in the 1800’s with not a pleasant experience. But wait! The trains will soon arrive.

Thanks to Jim Burke of the Mt Zion Historical Society for this and other contributions. Jim is the author of the soon to be published historical book titled: “Pioneers of the Second Fork”.