Early nineteenth century stagecoach
This is a model of a stagecoach from 1818 that would have been used on such routes. Luggage was placed in the back of the coach, mail in the back or under the driver’s seat. As a rule, the coach carried six passengers, three on each side, but an extra, central seat could be added so proprietors could pack nine people into the space.
The Post Office Department began to contract with stagecoach proprietors to carry the mail in 1785. The contracts did not specify specific types of wagons or stagecoaches, and a variety were used, depending on the proprietor, area of the country, and passenger service demands. The inns and taverns that served as stagecoach rest areas and stops often served as the area’s first post office.
Round and oval topped stages such as those represented by this model first appeared about 1817. They were common along the northeastern seaboard through the early 1830s. Proprietors would post advertisements for their routes, using the phrase 'mail stage' whenever possible to alert potential passengers to a stage line that was required to keep to its posted schedule.