Transportation Collections

Frary and Foster stage line
Concord Coach No. 158 carried passengers and mail between San Diego, El Cajon, Lakeside and Julian between 1886 and 1910. It carried 9 passengers in 3 rows. A broad leather strap served as the backrest for the middle row. They were “miserable things to ride in.” Photo taken at corner of 4th and A downtown.

Map of Stage lines, 1858
Large map (170 kb)

This stately coach was restored by the San Diego Historical Society in 1960. It is part of our permanent collection. It was built at Abbot-Downing Company Carriage Works of Concord, New Hampshire, for New York hotelier Edward Herr and completed on August 17, 1866. It was subsequently owned by John Allman and used on the Santa Barbara to Newhall, California run. The coach was purchased by Joe Foster and Frank Frary of San Diego in 1886 (see photo above left) and was retired in 1910. In 1913 it was purchased by the Diamond Carriage and Livery Company of San Diego and title was transferred to SDHS in 1930.

SDHS Restoration

Concord stagecoaches were used to transport passengers, mail, currency and gold all throughout the western United States. The manufacturer referred to these vehicles as “Mail Coaches” and they were built in six, nine and twelve passenger sizes (not counting any roof-top passengers). With the rack on top, space in the boot under the driver’s seat, and a rear compartment, this vehicle could accommodate lots of baggage as well as passengers.