46 Hour Drive Across Montana? View Ad for 1886 Stagecoach Company
Let me just start by saying that my rear end hurts just thinking about bouncing across the prairie in a horse-drawn stagecoach. I have a hard enough time bouncing around in a modern-day pickup truck. But, that was the way people traveled back in the early years of Montana. No matter how uncomfortable the ride was, it still beats walking or traveling hundreds of miles on horseback.
An old ad from an 1886 newspaper surfaced online recently. The advertisement was for a stagecoach company called T.C. Power and Bro. Claiming they offered rides to and from the booming towns in Montana at the time. The advertisement says that the coach could get you from Fort Benton to Billings in only 46 hours. With "first-class accommodations" along the way. Including stops in White Sulpher Springs.
46 hours to get from Fort Benton to Billings?
One can only imagine traveling across our big state back in the 1800s. I can think back to a time when the weather caused me to take nearly 9 hours to drive from Billings to Missoula. I thought that was miserable. Just imagine it takes 2 full days.
If your goal was to get from the frontier to Europe, this was the way to go.
Looking at the rates, you would think that is a deal. A person can't get a bus ticket these days for $20. But, it you calculate the math. It would add up to over $640 in today's money to get from Fort Benton to Billings. I guess if you consider the "first-class accommodations" it isn't so bad. Hotel rooms these days run nearly $200 a night.