Step into San Francisco's Wells Fargo Museum and turn back the hands of time.
It's the 1860s, and you're stepping into a Concord Stagecoach, used by the bank - the kind Mark Twain described as a "cradle on wheels"… taking a trip from St. Louis, Missouri to San Francisco, California.
Visualize spending 20 hours a day - inside a cabin measuring a mere 6 feet, 9 inches long… and a little less than 5 feet wide - sandwiched shoulder-to-shoulder - on two facing benches with a jump bench in between. Rocking back and forth… slamming into one another.
Here's the scene… you're sitting with an over-sized gentleman on one side of you… a poor widow on the other… a baby in your lap… a bandbox over your head… and three or more other folks sitting immediately in front of you.
You sleep—if you can manage it—in the moving coach, rolling night and day carrying mail between St. Louis and San Francisco.
Including the driver and the "shotgun messenger," eighteen people could ride on the stagecoach - nine inside and up to nine on top.
Imagine traveling night and day while the stagecoach zipped along at an average of about 5 miles an hour.
Stopping just long enough to change horses at home stations about every 18 miles or so; and letting you and the rest of the passengers' slug down a cup of coffee with some beef jerky and biscuits.
Then finally… about 25 days later, you clatter into San Francisco!
Probably NOT the most comfortable way to travel… would you agree?
And besides that… each passenger paid over $200 to ride the stagecoach from St. Louis to San Francisco, roughly $5,700 in today’s money.
But … stagecoach travel was the fastest mode of public transportation back then.
You see… prior to the invention of the stagecoach… anyone wishing to travel west from the East Coast had two options…
Okay... fast forward to today...
The Wells Fargo Museum, at 420 Montgomery Street, sits on the same site as the original Wells Fargo and Company Bank in the San Francisco Bay Area.
But this is no ordinary showroom of simply looking at objects under glass and reading labels.
Using the latest social media and interactive technologies, this awesome museum offers vibrant engaging history exhibits for everyone.
Learn how to drive horses. Imagine how the driver felt muscling, maneuvering, and controlling the six-horse team as they powered forward pulling the stagecoach across vast, treeless plains, jagged mountain passes, scorching deserts and rivers cursed with quicksand.
Get your own close look at the gold nuggets brought in from all over California's gold country.
Discover what's so special about an elaborate 1850s gold-weighing scale. It has been at the museum since it opened.
This 2-foot-high brass and copper scale - made by the Howard and Davis Company of Boston - used by Wells Fargo Bank at the height of the California Gold Rush… weighed gold dug from the Sierra Nevada.
The museum's a great place to learn about all those places in the gold country region… Like Sutter's Mill… where the gold rush started!
San Francisco's Wells Fargo Museum does a great job in bringing the gold rush days to life.
It’s a legacy worth exploring. And OH YEA… it's FREE!
So come check it out!