Traffic Accident on Christmas Day—1897

Stagecoaches in Humboldt and Mendocino have fascinated me since I was a little girl standing awestruck at the Usau stopover.The stage lines ran from Ukiah to Westport and from there from Usau to Bear Harbor and eventually all the way through to Scotia.

Here is a newspaper story I ran across while doing some research. It came from the Jan 1, 1897 issue of the Mendocino Dispatch Democrat.  I tried to find a map of the stage routes from Mendo to Humboldt.  I know they went through Usal and apparently through Fruitland to Scotia. Here’s a non-detailed map of the Mendocino stageline from earlier and here’s a photo of stage that went between Greenwood and Cloverdale.

A fatal accident occurred between Harris and Scotia on the Ukiah-Scotia stage line Christmas night. A new driver was on duty that trip and being unacquainted with the road, he drove over a high embankment in the darkness. The accident was in Humboldt County, a few miles beyond Fruitland and the next morning the body of the driver was found below the grade with the weight of one horse on top of him. Both horses and the wagon were unhurt.

There is a book written about the Humboldt lines but I’ve never seen it. If anyone has access, I’d love to see it. Ernie had a post about the stagelines that is packed full of information for anybody like me who loves North Coast history.

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