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Bulloch History with Roger Allen: New stagecoach routes would hug the Georgia coast
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Roger Allen

Note: The following is one of a series of columns looking at the first road systems in Georgia and Bulloch County.

By 1799, a major stagecoach route had been established from Portland, Maine to Key West, Florida. The route was therefore known as "The Post Road" (now known as U.S. Highway 1).

Articles appeared in both The Massachusetts Spy and The Worcester Gazette (on) Jan. 5, 1786 that stated, "There is now a line of stages, established from New Hampshire to Georgia, which go and return regularly."

The newspapers announced that they had been chartered to "carry the several mails, by order and permission of Congress" all the way up and down the Atlantic Coast.

The Savannah Republican of Aug. 21, 1819 announced that the "Southern Stage," according to owner William B. Holzendorf, would "run but once a week in future, until the first of October next."

The stage would "leave Savannah every Thursday, and arrive in Darien the same day; and leave Darien every Tuesday, and arrive in Savannah the same day."

Furthermore, Holzendorf declared, "The stage will start precisely at 4 o'clock in the morning, and in case any passenger shall fail to attend at the office in time, their money will be forfeited."

Traveling by stagecoaches and steamboats in Georgia were unforgettable experiences. In his book, "Travels in North America in the Years 1827 and 1828," (1829), Capt. Basil Hall related his experience in Georgia.

To begin with, Hall explained that while "we had found steamboat travelling extremely disagreeable...we were so completely worn out with the fatigues of travelling across Georgia (in a stage coach)...that we enjoyed the relief exceedingly."

Why? On the steamboat, "We had no chases after poultry...no fords or crazy bridges to cross - no four o'clock risings...no broiling at noon or freezing at night - and lastly, but not least, no mosquitos."

On top of all else, Hall commented "Our land journey through...Georgia and Alabama...cost us...11 times as much (as steam-boat travel)." How much? He wrote that it cost, "91 cents per mile for the whole party."

Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look each week at the area's past. Email Roger at rwasr1953@gmail.com.

 

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