Saturday, May 14, 1870 - Wednesday, May 20, 1870

In 1858, the town of Visalia, California was added to John Butterfield’s Overland Stage route from St. Louis to San Francisco, and the telegraph arrived in 1860. Included in the early citizens were some notorious and nasty individuals who preyed upon the travelers along the Butterfield Stage route just like in the cowboy movies. Many saloons and hotels sprouted up around the stage stop downtown and commerce was brisk if a bit risky.

When John App stopped here the weekend of May 14th and 15th, it seemed a pleasant surprise for him to meet John Forney, someone whom he knew well enough to mention in his diary. On the morning of the 16th he departed Visalia for home in Jamestown, California. It was a 150 mile (241 km) five day ride to the north of here, most likely along the same route as he followed south when leaving home two months earlier.

Although John does not mention it in his diary, after leaving La Grange it was only a 25 mile (40 km) ride back to Jamestown. That is a short trip after riding 872 miles (1,403 km) through some of the most challenging terrain in America.

Saturday May 14/70
Left Deer Creek at 5 a.m. arrived at Farmersville at 1 p.m. left Farmersville at 3 p.m. arrived at Visalia at 5 p.m. saw John Forney at a Restaurant.

Sunday May 15/70
nothing new.

Monday May 16/70
Left Visalia at 6½ a.m. for Home Traveled 25 miles to Smithe Ferry rained nearly all day. very cold

Tuesday May 17/70
Left Smith Ferry 6 40 a.m. I was very Sick last night. arrived at J. Jones House at 5½ p.m. Traveled 35 miles

Wednesday May 18th
Left J. Jones Ferry at 6 a.m. arrived at Bennetts on Maryposy Creek at 6 p.m. Traveled 35 miles this day.

Tuesday May 19th 70
Left Bennetts at 6 a.m. arrived at Lagrange at 5 15 p.m. traveled 34 miles. rained this afternoon.

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