The Stagecoach Journey

Traveling through 3 centuries, discovered hidden away two different times and undertaking multiple chapters of service, The Journey Stagecoach has touched the lives of many thousands of people over nearly 130 years. It’s created many a memory – still vivid today. Originally built in the 1880s in Concord, New Hampshire, by a 19th century custom-built carriage company, the “Concord” coach was sent west to work on the Overland Stage Lines, delivering mail & passengers. It was retired in southern Arizona in 1905 and shipped back to Concord, NH, where it was carefully stored, complete with packing blankets, for half of a century! That’s when the owners of an upstate New York frontier park purchased it to entertain their guests. In 1960, the Herschend Family – founders of the 1880s theme park, Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri -purchased it from the frontier park for their Butterfield Stage Line. The coach was then retired in the 1970s and believed lost. But as Cowboy Rick Hamby tells in his own words below, the story comes full circle when he rediscovers the treasure he’d first seen as a child, having ridden in the grand old coach some 50 years earlier at Silver Dollar City.

Cowboy Rick and Bev Hamby, of West Plains, Missouri, are the owners of The Journey Stagecoach. Along with a handful of real cowboys, they have experienced stagecoach journeys across Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, California, Nevada and Arkansas. The Hambys’ school children pen-pal travels began in 1999, founded on their deep passion for the Great American West. Traveling in an authentic 1880 stagecoach, drawn by four magnificent bay horses, the ten-person crew continually seeks out historic trails and sites, delivering mail from children. Dozens of schools nationwide have participated in The Journey pen-pal program. Thousands of children have been touched by the project, with some adults still in touch with their childhood pen pals to this day.