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Stagecoach Days: Pappy Remembered

by James H. Richey

During the late 1880's, my grandfather, James Richey, "Pappy" was employed to work at a livery stable, which was the business of taking care of horses and equipment. One of Pappy's duties was to saddle horses and to get them ready for the customers.

His boss was a hard man to work for. One day when Pappy was putting a saddle on a horse, he waited till his boss came along close to the side of the animal. Then Pappy threw the saddle on the horse just in time to hit the boss on the head with the saddle stirrup. He did this on purpose. Pappy used to smile while telling this story. I believe he was trying to get the boss's attention.

He was then hired as a stage coach driver. The stage was pulled by six, white horses. He drove the stage to and from Scottsville and Glasgow, KY. He related these accounts, as he would travel his route. One day he stopped at a country store in a little town called Pageville. This store stood until the Barren Co. dam was built and the site is now under water at the spot where the Barren Lake boat dock is located. As he entered the store he noticed a man turning a handle on a box hanging the wall. Then the man started talking through the box. Pappy went outside to see who that the man was talking to. This was the first time for him to see a telephone.

At a later time he stopped at the same store. He noticed someone was drinking a dark colored liquid from a green bottle and he asked what it was. He was told it was "Koki Kolie," (Coca-Cola). He liked to talk about these trips, which were 25 miles in length. For the 1880's that was a long trip. The roads were made of dirt and were muddy. During the rainy season, the Barren River would get high and wild. Pappy would talk about having to swim the 6 white horses through the river. There weren't too many bridges on 31-E road north and south.

This story was posted on 2003-09-10 12:18:49
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