Community to celebrate Butterfield / Overland Stagecoach
There was a new moon and a cold chill on that early morning in October 1858 as a single bugle call echoed from somewhere atop the Cahuenga Pass. It was about 3:40 a.m. on October 19, 1858 and those few who heard that horn could hardly imagine the importance of the event, for at that moment, on that day, in that month and year, the young State of California could finally know a genuine sense of “belonging” to the United States of America . With the crack of a whip and the pounding of hooves, the Butterfield Overland stagecoach had arrived, along with regular stagecoach service between St. Louis and California – and all points in between.
The tragedy of the Donner party (just eleven years before) still haunted the minds of many, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad was still eleven years in the future. The thought of a six to seven month land voyage by wagon train or a five month sea voyage to California left little doubt, there was no easy way to California . The trip was slow and difficult, and many travelers met their end along the trail. The Butterfield stage brought that era of sleepy isolation to a close. In about 23 days one could now travel by stage to St. Louis , where the railroad waited to whisk passengers to places east.
We invite you to bring your family and friends to join the Campo de Cahuenga as we recreate and celebrate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first Butterfield Overland Stagecoach. Welcome the coach and team as they arrive with special guest passengers, then learn about the rich history of the Butterfield, and the role of the Campo de Cahuenga in that history. Then help us send the coach on its way as it makes an 18 mile day-long journey along El Camino Real, with stops at Rancho Los Encino ( Los Encinos State Park ), the Tarzana Community Center and finally the Leonis Adobe for a grand fiesta.
Bring your family, your friends, and the kids as we remember and celebrate our rich past, and be a part of history as we make perhaps the last-ever horse drawn stagecoach run across the San Fernando Valley.