It seems so far in the distant past, and yet it hasn’t really been all that long since the only method of transportation from Madera to the foothills and back was in buggies and stagecoaches or on horseback. Horse-drawn vehicles strained at their harnesses in Madera County well into the 20th century, and today it all seems a bit romantic.
Some folks still long for those “good old days” of simple transportation, and maybe for good reason, but when perusing the newspapers of the time, one has to wonder.
Take, for instance, that issue of the Madera Mercury dated Dec. 7, 1901. The headlines read: “Over a Cliff — Stage Load of Passengers Upset Near Coarse Gold — One Man Reported Killed — Three Badly Injured in an Accident Last Night.”
One of Ed Stevens’ stagecoaches had overturned...