Curator’s Corner

A Sign of the Times: The Butterfield Overland Stagecoach Service

The Butterfield Overland Stagecoach Service operated from 1858 to 1861–it carried passengers and US mail from St Louis, Missouri to San Francisco, California.  The route covered almost 2,800 miles through mostly the Southern states. The contract with the US Postal Service was 29 days to get mail across the country. It is estimated there were 175 stage stops along the route; one of those stops was Temecula, California which is now famous for their grape vineyards and wineries.  These two

Chin Waggin’ About Wagons

This beautiful Mitchell Farm Wagon was conserved several years ago and is currently on display in the museum. Michell Lewis was one of America’s finest wagon makers and was known for building strong and durable wagons out of Racine, Wisconsin during the second half of the 19th century. In 1882, William Mitchell, grandson of founder Henry Mitchell, opened a West coast facility in Portland, Oregon. Wagons being built in Racine were shipped via railroad to Portland, where they were sold. 

Name that spoon!

Aside from our incredible collection of horse-drawn vehicles, we have so many other fascinating artifacts to look at in the museum.  Here is a “pole” or “spoon” shovel hanging in our Wheelwright/Blacksmith shop. These shovels were commonly used in the early 20th century (1910 to 1940) for digging telephone/power poles. They were replaced with electric augers or power digging machines. Some handles were over 10 feet long. These long spoon shovels were used by 10 to 12 man crews along

Local Landmark Lives On Through Reuse

Does anyone remember the old redwood water tower out on the South Fork of the Willapa River? We don’t have the tower itself, but we do have two beautiful Northwest Carriage Museum signs made from the original water tower redwood hanging above our front doors.